Windows 10 Education vs Pro: The Differences Explained

Microsoft Windows is the preferred operating system for millions of customers around the globe. It comes in a few variants, including Pro and Education. These variants all have different features and advantages, so which Windows is the best fit for you? 

Windows 10 Education comes with specific features that benefit educators and students, while Windows 10 Pro is designed for professionals of all types to use. Windows 10 Education is effectively a variant of Windows Pro equipped with education-specific default settings and without Cortana.

In this article, I’ll talk about the differences and fundamental similarities between Windows 10 Education and Pro. We’ll also examine the pros and cons of both the Windows 10 Education and Pro editions. 

windows 10 education vs pro download product images

Basic similarities

While there are differences between Windows 10 Education and Pro, they both have a lot in common. This is a result of the fact that Windows 10 Education is a variant of Windows 10 Pro.

Here are a few similarities between the Windows 10 Pro and Education editions:

  • Maximum physical memory.
  • Maximum CPU cores and sockets.
  • Family safety and parental controls.
  • Hardware device encryption.
  • Mobile device management.
  • Windows analytics.
  • Data protection.

These are just a few of the fundamental similarities between both Microsoft Windows 10 editions. Both of these systems are equipped with the same basic features and many of the same added features. They only differ in a few areas and features. 

windows 10 education symbolized by a window drawn on a blackboard

Pros and cons of Windows 10 Education

Windows 10 Education is an edition of windows designed for schools and universities. It has specific settings and features that provide educators and students with a convenient, secure, and streamlined experience. 

ProsCons
Education specific settingsFewer tips from Windows
App lockerCortana disabled 
BranchCache
Enhanced security features

The pros

Here are some of the advantages of Windows 10 Education.

Education-specific settings

students studying around computer with a teacher

One of the significant benefits of Microsoft Education is that it comes with education-specific settings. This can save you a lot of time if you’re using Microsoft in school or college.

Schools and colleges often request that students change specific settings in a Window Home or Windows Pro. This can take up a lot of time when taking on new students, as configuring their laptops with the school system can lead to issues. Microsoft developed Windows Education to solve this issue.

Because of the education-specific settings, schools can now seamlessly add new students to their system without any complications. 

AppLocker

The next significant advantage to using Microsoft Education is the AppLocker feature, which is unique to Windows Education. The admin for the Microsoft Education account will be able to lock and unlock apps at their discretion.

Educators can block out any potentially harmful content, as well as games and other distractions. Students will be less likely to get distracted while working on assignments as a result. This will lead to an increase in productivity which can give student’s grades a boost. 

This feature also allows schools with small children to use computers as teachers can block unsuitable content. 

Cost-effective

student hat placed on a piggy bank with certificate rolled up beside it

Windows 10 Education is without a doubt a cost-effective Windows edition and is much cheaper than Pro. As a result, Windows Education is an affordable option for students who couldn’t afford Windows Home or Windows Pro. 

BranchCache

The next feature that comes as standard in Windows Education is BranchCache. It’s for users on a Wide Area Network (WAN) connection. 

BranchCache will store some of the data used locally instead of constantly communicating with the central server. The server will work better as a result.

Additionally, BranchCache will improve efficiency and internet speeds for a WAN connection. This is a significant benefit for large schools and universities as they’re likely to have thousands of devices on their internet at any given time. 

Enhanced security features

an abstract design with padlock symbolizing electronic security

Windows Education comes equipped with two enhanced security features: credential protection and endpoint detection and response. 

Credential protection is a credential guard. Visualization-based security isolates single sign-in users. As a result, only the privileged can access specific files or accounts. 

Endpoint detection and response monitor behaviors and activities on Microsoft Education accounts. This system uses analytics and computer learning to identify and investigate potential security threats. It’ll then attempt to resolve any issues detected. 

The cons

Now let’s explore the cons of the Microsoft Windows Education edition. 

Fewer tips from Windows

On Windows Education, users will receive far fewer tips and tricks compared to other Windows editions. Windows Education makes more periodic recommendations on changes and improvements. Windows Education also has less guidance on how to use different programs effectively

Cortana disabled

The most significant difference between Windows Education and Windows Pro is that Cortana is disabled in Microsoft Education.

Cortana is Microsoft’s personal productivity assistant. It helps you to save time and focus on what matters most. It also comes equipped with voice activation for maximum convenience. 

This feature comes disabled on Windows Education; however, this setting can be adjusted so users can use Cortana. 

Pros and cons of Windows 10 Pro

two professional people using computers to deliver work

Windows 10 Pro has many fantastic advantages designed for professionals to avail of, so they can conveniently and efficiently operate windows.

Check out the table below to see the pros and cons of using Windows 10 Pro. 

ProsCons
2 TB RAMUpgrade Issues
Client Hyper-V FeatureUser Interface
Domain JoinUnsuitable for devices with low storage
Remote DesktopThe settings app
Cortana EnabledMissing Features

The pros

There are many excellent advantages to using Windows Pro. Here are a few of the key benefits you receive when using Windows Pro for your business. 

2 TB RAM

Windows 10 Pro comes with a massive boost to Random Access Memory or RAM for short. Windows Pro can be fitted with up to 2TB of ram, which is more RAM than you’re ever likely going to need. As a result, you’ll receive effectively endless amounts of RAM with Windows Pro. 

Client Hyper-V feature

Another great advantage of Windows Pro is paying extra to install the Client Hyper V feature. This feature enhances the operating system, so you can go the extra mile while using Windows Pro. 

This feature assists with hybrid and hardware visualization in the data centers, ensuring proper emulation of the available resources. 

Domain join

a network of computers with a firewall and a globe cgi rendering

Domain Join is another great benefit of Microsoft Pro that allows you to access any local domain with crucial devices linked in a single network. 

You can manage each workstation on the domain to fit your business policies and procedures.

This feature is a fantastic organizational tool that allocates jobs and assigns roles to each team member. 

Once up and running, Domain Join can save you a lot of time and hassle by providing you with a useful organizational tool. 

The improved organization will enhance productivity which in turn can lead to more profits for your business. 

Remote desktop

Another fantastic bonus that you receive when you install Windows Pro is the remote desktop feature. This feature allows you to quickly and effectively manage the IT aspects of your business.

You can access different computers within the same local domain with this feature. This makes your IT admin significantly easier and convenient. 

Remote desktop also allows you to access other computers without having to visit the device physically. This will save you a tremendous amount of time and hassle when managing your IT as you’ll never have to leave your desk, go to another employee’s desk, and address their IT issue. 

So, the remote desktop feature is a very convenient tool for large businesses.

Business tools

business man and woman looking at a computer monitor at a desk

Windows Pro was designed with professionals in mind; it should be no surprise that it’s equipped with various tools that make running your business easier. 

The Group Policy Management System will grant you granular control over workstations. You can also make use of the Enterprise Mode Internet Explorer and Assigned Access to manage and run your business efficiently. 

Cortana enabled 

Cortana is a convenient tool that Microsoft describes as a personal productivity assistant. It has numerous features that can save you time and hassle. It assists with prioritizing tasks, time management, and scheduling. Cortana can maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your business which can lead to more profits. 

However, Cortana is not enabled in all countries for Windows Pro, but it’s available in the U.S, Canada, and the U.K.

The cons

While there are many fantastic benefits to choosing Microsoft Pro, there are also a few drawbacks. Here are just a few of the cons that come with Windows Pro.

Upgrade issues 

upgrade key photoshopped onto a computer keyboard's return key

Users have reported issues with Windows Pro when it comes to installing upgrades. Complaints vary across numerous issues relating to downloading and installing updates. 

Updates can be automatically installed with Windows Pro, leading to severe disruptions to your business if there are any issues during the automatic update. Problems are common when updating Windows Pro, and it can put your Windows out of action at an inconvenient time. 

Microsoft has resolved many of the issues mentioned by users, but some problems may still arise while upgrading. Some of the reported issues include:

User interface

Another common complaint of Windows Pro users is the user interface. The updated operating system has improved the user interface, but it’s still incomplete. 

Older Windows Pro versions will have a lot of bugs and other inconveniences within. Newer versions will have fewer bugs, but like anything, it’s still not perfect. 

You can also miss out on exciting new features with the user interface. 

Unsuitable for devices with low storage

One major drawback of Windows Pro is that it can be unsuitable for computers with low storage capacity. This means that users have to pay extra for devices with ample built-in storage to prevent any issues. 

Devices with low storage can’t use external storage to free up space on their device. This is in part due to the next issue, the setting app. 

The Settings App

cogs in abstract design representing electronic settings

The settings app is a significant flaw in Windows Pro. This app was designed to replace the control panel function; however, the settings app is incomplete. 

As a result, you’ll have to jump between the control and settings app to adjust and configure settings on your computer. This is majorly inconvenient and time-consuming.

Since the settings app is incomplete, some features don’t work effectively or are missing altogether. This causes bugs and issues in different aspects of Windows Pro, including adding extra storage space on devices with low storage capacity. 

Launch of Windows as a service

Microsoft has announced the launch of Windows as a service. As a result, Microsoft will no longer be releasing any significant upgrades to Windows Pro. This is disheartening news for Windows Pro users hoping for bugs to be fixed in the future. 

Unfinished aspects of Windows Pro, such as the settings app or operating systems, may never be completed. This means that Microsoft may never fix many of the issues that currently exist in Windows 10 Pro. 

Missing features

Last but not least on the list of issues with Windows Pro is the missing features. Two specific parts are missing from these windows editions: DVD playback and Media Center. This can be a significant drawback if you need to use these features for your business.

When parts are missing from your Windows edition, it can be frustrating and a considerable inconvenience, especially when you’re paying a premium price for Windows Pro. 

On the flipside, free apps like VLC are excellent media players which can be downloaded and installed in moments and play your DVDs as originally intended.

Final thoughts 

Microsoft has delivered two excellent additions to Windows. Windows 10 Pro and Education each have their unique advantages and disadvantages. 

Windows Education is ideal for use by universities and schools. Features such as AppLocker can allow for an easy way to promote productivity and ensure that only suitable content reaches users. 

Microsoft Pro comes equipped with various tools designed for a business to use. It comes fitted with Cortana in specific locations. You can also use remote desktop features to manage the IT admin of your business without having to get out of your seat.