Windows 11 is the latest operating system in Microsoft’s portfolio, officially released on October 5, 2021. Similar to its predecessor, it features many editions for business and home usage. Funny enough, Microsoft stated that Windows 10 was “the last version of Windows.” It appears that the pandemic must have changed their minds when the majority of people we’re reliant on remote work and necessary software. It looks like this trend is going to be permanent, so Microsoft made a business decision to release a new operating system.
Luckily, Windows 11 is not just a carbon copy of its predecessor. It aims to simplify the user experience and reduce clutter. They intend on making it a versatile OS for every device, including the android app support for their iconic applications like Edge and Office. Overall, there are plenty of new features in Windows 11, most of which are viable. But you may wonder which version is suitable for you. In this article, we’ll cover every version of Windows 11 and its unique features so that you can choose one according to your needs.
Table of Contents
Windows 11 Versions | Everything You Need to Know
Windows 11 – 7 Different Editions
Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
Windows 11 – 7 Different Editions
- Windows 11 Home
- Windows 11 Pro
- Windows 11 Education
- Windows 11 Enterprise
- Windows 11 Pro Education
- Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
- Windows 11 Mixed Reality
These are all available editions for Windows 11 at the time of writing. Different editions are aimed at different people. Many companies need Pro features for their workflow, whereas a regular user probably won’t even notice their existence.
However, versions and editions are two different things regarding Windows. A version can be described as a series of letters and numbers at the end of Windows’ name, like 20H2 or 22H2. A version can change by upgrading or downgrading your system through Windows Update.
Editions are what you see above. Most people and stores use these terms interchangeably to avoid confusion, so we will do the same.
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC).
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB or larger storage device.
- Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver.
- Display: A high-definition (720p) display greater than 9” diagonally, 8 bits per color channel.
- Internet connection: Every version of Windows requires internet connectivity and a Microsoft account.
New Features in Windows 11
Before we delve into the differences between each Windows edition, we will focus on what they all share. Let’s start with design. Windows 11 isn’t all that different from its predecessor. Microsoft kept the same layout but redesigned some of its elements. You’ll definitely notice rounded corners and a centrally positioned Start Menu. However, you can always move it to the side if you prefer.
The latest version of Windows also incorporates a new widgets panel showing weather, news, stocks, and whatever you want since it's fully customizable. It’s there to replace Start Menu’s live tiles – something most people completely ignore. Even apps like Microsoft Edge on Android devices are aesthetically similar to Windows 11. Not to mention that the newest system is offered as a free upgrade to eligible Windows 10 devices.
Additionally, a brand new Action Center, Quick Settings, Notifications, and music controller are split into separate sections. This way, it’s easier to navigate with any pointing device. The taskbar functionality got improved with Microsoft Teams integration and live chat, so you can use it directly from the desktop. Dark Mode is also present for black interface enthusiasts. All in all, the new Windows is a solid improvement compared to previous versions, and pointing out all of its features needs a separate article.
Windows 11 Editions Explained
With extra features out of the way, we’ll explain in detail every version of Windows 11 and how they are similar or different from one another. We’ll start with the most popular and probably the best version of Windows 11 for most users – Home.
Windows 11 Home Edition
Home Edition is the basic Windows 11 version. However, basic doesn’t mean it’s stripped of feature updates and is the least functional one. It packs all the features described earlier and has everything you’ll ever need for day-to-day tasks. Whether it’s gaming, watching movies, streaming, or content creation, Windows 11 Home is perfect for that. It also takes the least amount of storage space out of all versions.
It’s the most balanced edition using a phased and measured approach focused on bringing the essential features without compromising the system’s functionality. It’s a perfect choice for a regular user who doesn’t need any data encryption features or virtual machine capabilities. Besides, Windows 11 Home Retail CD Key is available on RoyalCDKeys for only a fraction of the retail price. If you don’t own a Windows 11 license, it’s a perfect opportunity to get one.
Windows 11 Pro Edition
Windows 11 Pro packs everything that Home Edition offers, adding functions suitable for business environments. Here are all the additional functions of the Pro version:
- Virtualization. The Pro version supports Windows Sandbox and Hyper-V, tools unavailable in the Home version. They allow you to set another operating system virtually without taking your storage space. It’s especially useful for developers wanting to test out their software on multiple operating systems simultaneously.
- Bitlocker Encryption. It’s a special security tool that encrypts your sensitive data. It remains encrypted even if your system stops working for whatever reason. It also comes with Windows Information Protection which prevents data leaks on every device with Pro version installed.
- Extended hardware capabilities. Windows 11 Pro supports up to 128 cores, 2 CPU sockets, and 2TB of RAM. Such ridiculous numbers aren’t meant for home usage but a professional workstation.
- Management tools. With the Pro version, you can manage Windows built-in apps freely. For example, you can disable Cortana or delay Windows Update for a given amount of time. In short, Group Policy Editor allows for more personalized usage.
Like Home Edition, Windows 11 Pro Retail CD Key is available on RoyalCDKeys for a competitive price.
Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
There’s nothing much to say about the Pro version for workstations. It’s a regular Pro with one additional feature: Resilient File System (ReFS). ReFS is a function to protect your data by replicating a corrupted copy with an intact copy.
Windows 11 Enterprise
Enterprise is the full package when it comes to Windows functionality. Among other features described above, Enterprise is gifted with truly advanced capabilities, like Direct Access, BranchCache, Start Screen Control, or SMB over QUIC support.
If these functions sound like magic incantations, you’re not a target of this system. As the name suggests, it’s a version for large companies and enterprises packing features that are completely redundant for regular users. It can only be purchased through Volume Licensing channels.
Windows 11 Pro Education and SE
These versions of Windows are given specifically to educational institutions and pack almost all Enterprise Edition features with few exceptions. Similar to Enterprise, it can be bought only through Volume Licensing. However, it’s often included as an OEM operating system in Microsoft devices for the education sector.
Windows 11 Mixed Reality
In October 2021, Windows 11 received a major update adding a new virtual home environment that uses fewer resources during VR sessions than standard usage. Although it’s not a standalone version of Windows, it feels like a system within a system. Mixed Reality can bring you some great hours of fun exploring 3D worlds from the comfort of your home using VR goggles.
Windows 11 is a versatile system, whether you want to use it for day-to-day tasks or as a professional working station. Most users will be more than satisfied when using Home Edition, which has everything Windows 10 had but improved even more. Redesigned Microsoft Store, File Explorer, new Start Menu, and improved Task Manager make the system more intuitive even for advanced users.
We hope this article helped you understand the differences between each Windows edition. We encourage you to visit our Blog for more articles regarding software and gaming. See you in our store!