Microsoft’s latest Surface Pro will feature a slight downgrade out of the box compared to its predecessors, but most consumers might not notice the change. Since the original Surface Pro was introduced, Microsoft has always included the professional version of Windows; however, Surface Pro 6 devices will now come pre-installed with Windows 10 Home. On the flipside, Surface Laptop 2 users will enjoy an upgrade from the limited edition of Windows 10 S to a more full-featured Windows 10 Home.
Quite appropriately, Microsoft has always included the professional version of its latest operating system with the Surface Pro, but it now seems that the company doesn’t feel the inclusion is necessary. The general consumer version of Surface Pro 6 will include the standard Windows 10 Home edition, while the enterprise variation will include Windows 10 Pro. With no price drop to compensate for the change, businesses will find themselves paying an additional $100 more for the software upgrade.
It is likely that the majority of consumers won’t notice that their operating system has been downgraded, with most Windows 10 Pro features aimed at enterprise environments. Some abilities exclusive to the Pro version of Windows include the capacity to join network domains, access group policy management, access remote desktop, and secure your drive with BitLocker encryption — the last of which is beneficial to all users.
However, an operating system downgrade isn’t the only difference between the consumer and enterprise versions of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 6 as the latter packs a bit of extra technology under the hood. Beneficial for IT management, the Surface Pro 6’s enterprise variation will feature a slightly different CPU variant that supports Intel’s vPro platform.
While the Surface Pro 6 is seeing a downgrade, the new Surface Laptop 2 will be seeing an upgrade. Microsoft previously included Windows 10 S with the original Laptop, a stripped-down version of the operating system only able to run apps from the Windows Store; however, that changes with this year’s upgrade. The Surface Laptop 2 will now come with Windows 10 Home out of the box — you won’t need to upgrade the machine just to run your favorite legacy applications.
From a consumer standpoint, most Surface Pro 6 users typically won’t notice the downgrade, but Surface Laptop 2 owners will see the expandability that Windows 10 Home offers over the Windows 10 S variation. In the end, the situation is a bit of a losing case for businesses and power users who will now find themselves dishing out an extra $100 to get features back that were previously standard.