Windows 11 Home vs. Pro – What are the Differences?
Microsoft has finally offered a glimpse into its newest OS after a lot of speculation. Windows 11 is packed with many exciting features, ranging from gaming to business. However, these features will vary depending on the edition of your Windows 11 OS. The two popular editions are Windows 11 Pro and Windows 11 Home.
While Microsoft has been generous in sharing information about Windows 11 features, it has not delved much into the differences in the various editions. However, we can speculate what to expect based on past operating systems and the information obtained thus far.
Here is an overview of some of the notable differences between Windows 11 Pro and Home editions:
Setup & Operations Requirements
There are different requirements for setting up and operating Windows 11 Home and Pro editions. Users will need a Microsoft Account and a reliable internet connection to set up both editions after installation.
Home editions users will not require a Microsoft Account for most of their operations. However, Pro edition users will need a reliable internet connection and an active Microsoft Account for many of their business-related operations. For example, Microsoft Azure is exclusively available on the Pro edition and requires an internet connection to connect to the cloud.
Cloud & Remote Business Solutions
The world has been shifting more and more towards remote working solutions, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Microsoft has helped make this a smooth transition with solutions such as Microsoft Teams. Additionally, it promises to continue doing this through its new OS by offering a range of remote business and cloud solutions.
The Pro edition will feature Microsoft Azure, the company’s robust cloud solution. Microsoft Azure has been instrumental in enabling remote working, in addition to many other benefits.
It is also worth noting that both editions will feature Microsoft Teams, the company’s new remote working solution. This solution has helped many businesses cope with the lockdowns forced by the COVID-19. It may be more robust in the Pro edition than in the Home edition.
Microsoft Store for Business
It is fitting that Windows 11 Pro should feature the Microsoft Store for Business feature – it is designed for professionals, after all. However, this feature isn’t expected in the Home edition.
Microsoft Store for Business offers users access to a wide range of apps and programs for a wide range of industries and applications. Additionally, users can create secure private stores for their business apps and programs. Users can also distribute these apps and programs among their employees, monitor their usage, and do more. It is an invaluable feature for business users in a digitized age.
Kiosk Mode Setup
Microsoft’s Kiosk mode helps to streamline the use of computers and commonly shared programs in business settings. It is ideal for businesses that rely heavily on one program (such as a point-of-sale program in a mall) or commonly use computers for many of their operations.
The Kiosk mode is ideal for use with fixed-purpose devices. These include digital signs, point-of-sale machines, ATM machines, and a range of medical devices. Users can limit the use of other programs on the computer, grant access to a set of programs, and monitor each computer’s usage, in addition to other control features.
Microsoft’s Kiosk mode is available in Windows 10 Pro, and it will definitely feature on Windows 11. However, it may not feature on the Home edition.
Mobile Device Management
The use of mobile devices has been rising steadily over the recent past. Today, many people conduct business on their personal mobile devices, ranging from laptop PCs to smartphones. This is convenient, but it also comes with some risks. For example, these devices may be hacked to access their valuable data. They can also easily get stolen. This is where Mobile Device Management (MDM) comes in.
MDM uses a third party to secure mobiles devices used for business purposes. Some of this solution’s functionalities include boosting the device’s cybersecurity to protect business data from cyberattacks. Additionally, users can track their mobile devices in case they get lost or misplaced, and they can wipe the devices’ data remotely to prevent unauthorized access.
Microsoft has offered its MDM program in Windows 10 Pro, and it is expected to feature in the Windows 11 Pro edition, too. However, it may not feature in the Home edition.
Windows 11 Pro edition is expected to feature Microsoft’s Group Policy solution. This feature was available in Windows 10 Pro, but not in the Home edition – and it may not feature on the Windows 11 Home edition, either.
Group Policy enables users to manage and control the operations of different programs and accounts on one network. For example, users can restrict access to an account when an employee is fired, prevent browsers from accessing social media sites, and do more. It is ideal for businesses that rely heavily on computers and sensitive apps and programs.
Group Policy cannot operate without Microsoft’s Active Directory program. Active Directory enables users to manage many users, making it ideal for large organizations. This means that Windows 11 Pro edition will also feature Active Directory.
Windows 11 Pro is designed for business uses that rely on sensitive data. Consequently, Microsoft is expected to bolster security in this edition to protect its users’ data. This will involve the inclusion of several security features that may not be included in the Home edition.
The Pro edition is expected to feature Microsoft’s BitLocker device encryption solution. This solution allows users to encrypt the OS and removable devices, ensuring that the data stored therein is secure. This feature has not been present in previous Home editions.
The Pro edition will also feature Windows Information Protection (WIP), an improved version of Microsoft’s Enterprise Data Protection (EDP). This security solution prevents the accidental leak of data through third-party apps installed in employees’ personal devices. It helps complement the benefits of the mobile device management feature.
Windows 11 promises to be revolutionary. However, there will be notable differences between the various editions. Overall, Windows 11 Pro edition is more suited for business uses compared to the Home edition, which is ideal for regular use.
Do you have any more questions about Windows 11 and its varying editions? Realized Solutions would be glad to answer them! Get in touch today with all of your questions.