The Final Straw
This issue Ken Rigsby is being swamped by…
Ken Rigsby can’t move for versions of Windows
Did you hear that there’s a new version of Windows 10 on the way? It’s called Windows 10 S. Microsoft hasn’t revealed if the ‘S’ stands for anything in particular but the company boasts that it’s “streamlined for security and superior performance”. Much of the marketing is aimed at students, and it will also come pre-installed on the new Microsoft Surface laptop.
So, streamlined, secure, superior, students, Surface. With all that alliteration I imagine Microsoft’s marketing folks looked at each other, shrugged, and quickly agreed just to stick an ‘S’ on the end.
A key selling point is that if you use Windows 10 S then your only source for new apps will be the Windows Store. You won’t be able to buy or install anything from anywhere else. You’ll also have to use Microsoft’s Edge browser, as that’s the default – no change will be countenanced. If you want to ‘Google the web’ then you’ll have to, er, use Bing.
Don’t like it? Well, you could always upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for a few quid, because Microsoft is offering that as an option to disgruntled Windows 10 S buyers. The Pro edition has a few features that you’ll probably never use, but at least you can install whatever programs you want, such as Chrome. And actually Google the web using Google.
Alternatively, forget S and Pro and just go for Windows 10 Home. It’s better than S, but a bit worse than Pro. But, if you’re buying pre-installed, make sure your PC manufacturer hasn’t installed Windows 10 Home N, because that’s a bit worse than Windows 10 Home (but still a bit better than Windows 10 S). Or Windows 10 Pro N for that matter, which is a bit worse than Windows 10 Pro but a bit better than Windows 10 Home and Home N. You can’t buy an N edition separately but there’s a chance you’ll end up with it when you buy a new PC. What’s the N stand for? I imagine Microsoft’s miserable marketing folks also had no idea, hence…n.
Clear so far? Great! Of course if you’re an enterprising sort and setting up in business then perhaps Windows 10 Enterprise has caught your eye. Sadly, that’s probably not for you, because it’s aimed at companies that want to manage their own IT affairs. For the same reasons, you can also write off Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise and Windows 10 LTSB. That’s short for Long Term Servicing Branch, in case you were wondering.
Oh, did I mention Windows 10 Mobile (without the Enterprise)? It’s the Windows version you need if you want to use Windows on a tablet or smartphone, if you can actually find such a device. Except in enterprise, where you need Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise.
We’re not done yet. There’s also Windows 10 IOT for the Internet of Things, which means a version for any device that might conceivably connect to the internet. But make sure you get the right version of Windows 10 IOT because there’s Windows 10 IOT Core, Windows 10 IOT Enterprise and Windows 10 IOT Mobile Enterprise. Oh, there’s also Windows 10 IOT Core Pro, which is like Windows 10 IOT Core but presumably more professional.
Don’t worry, we’re nearly at the end. But I must also mention Windows 10 Education! That version obviously has echoes of Windows 10 S but, for some reason, no Cortana. So that’s a bonus.
Henry Ford once famously said that customers could have any colour car they wanted, as long as it was black. Microsoft could take inspiration from that, scrap the countless versions and consolidate them into a single version for everyone – Windows 10 Black. Mind you, considering Microsoft’s track record, it’d probably turn out being the Blue Screen edition.
Henry Ford said car buyers could have any colour, as long as it’s black – Microsoft could take inspiration from that
Do Windows versions confuse you? Let us know at email@example.com