Windows 10 is marketed in several editions: the best known are undoubtedly the Home and the Pro (for the differences between the two editions, see the article Differences between the editions of Windows 10: it is worth moving to the Pro?) but in the corporate is also very popular Enterprise edition.
At this address you can find an interesting comparison that highlights all the main differences between the various editions of Windows 10.
First of all, it is always good to check the edition of Windows 10 in use: to proceed, just type Activation in the search box of the operating system (located next to the Start menu).
You will then immediately read the edition of Windows 10 in use.
Windows 10 offers the possibility to purchase a license of Windows 10 Home or Pro using the Microsoft store (Go to Store button).
If you have a Windows 8.1 Pro or Windows 7 Professional Product Key available, you can use it to change the installed edition of Windows 10 (provided, of course, that you discontinue the old installation of Windows 8.1 or Windows 7).
We talked about this in the article How many computers can you install Windows on? And with dual boot?
To use the Product Key of Windows 8.1 Pro or Windows 7 Professional and change the edition of Windows 10 in use, just click the Change Product Key button and type your product code without dashes.
In case the entered Product Key is not accepted, as suggested by Microsoft, we recommend using the following code to switch from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro:
Using this code, the Windows 10 Home installation will automatically be transformed into Windows 10 Pro but will not be activated.
To solve the problem, simply go back to the Activation window, click the Change Product Key button and enter your product code. By doing so, the Windows 8.1 Pro or Windows 7 Professional Product Keys will be accepted.
The important thing is to make sure that Windows 10 is correctly updated to at least version 1511 (use the Windows+R key combination then type winver and press Enter).
Switching from Windows 10 Home or Pro to Enterprise Edition
You can also switch from the Windows 10 Home edition or the Pro to the Windows 10 Enterprise edition from the Activation screen, without reinstalling the operating system.
To proceed, simply use one of the Product Keys listed on this page in the KMS Client Configuration Key column under Windows 10.
To change the edition of Windows 10 in use, there is nothing to prevent you from installing from scratch using the ISO images that can be downloaded from Microsoft servers: Download Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 from Microsoft servers.
Please note, however, that if you use the Product Key KMS codes (normally used in multi-license activation contexts) or the generic codes presented above, the Windows 10 installation will not be activated.
In this page Microsoft highlights the main differences between the Enterprise edition of Windows 10 and the other editions of the operating system.
Among the many more features present in the Enterprise edition, we remember AppLocker (allows you to specify users or groups that can run certain applications), Windows To Go Creator (allows you to create a bootable media with the installation of Windows; see also Copy Windows to USB along with all the data), the ability to check the Start screen with Group Policy, DirectAccess (similar technology-VPN) and so on.
Compared to previous versions of Windows, you can use Windows 10 without activation without any particular difficulties or limitations.
This is an important innovation for those who, for example, usually install Windows 10 inside virtual machines and perform frequent application tests.
When using Windows 10 without activation, the operating system displays a warning in the lower right corner of the screen: Activate Windows, switch to the settings to activate Windows.
Also, if you try to change the desktop background (e.g. right-clicking and choosing Customize), the message will appear Before you can customize your PC, you must activate Windows.
In fact, to change the Windows 10 desktop background, simply right-click on any image and select Set as Desktop Background.
Among other things, the wallpapers used by Windows 10 are stored in the system folder C:\Windows\Web.
You can also, as an alternative, start the Windows 10 Photo app and set an image as your desktop wallpaper from here.
Apart from these “aesthetic” restrictions, Windows 10 does not place any further restrictions on installations that are used without activation.