Three new Windows 10 versions revealed for “Advanced PCs” and Servers (Updated with more detail)

June 4, 2017

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A few days back, Microsoft accidentally pushed out builds from their internal branches to both PC and mobile. The mobile build bricked a number of devices. Microsoft later posted an explanation on what really happened and how to recover the bricked devices. A MDL forum member has now spotted three new Windows 10 SKUs in the released Windows 10 Build 16212 pkeyconfig. The following are the three new Windows 10 versions revealed through this build,

  • Windows 10 Pro for Advanced PCs
  • Windows 10 Pro N for Advanced PCs
  • Windows Server 2016 ServerRdsh

Microsoft already offers the following Windows 10 versions,

  • Windows 10 Home
  • Windows 10 Mobile
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • Windows 10 Team
  • Windows 10 Education
  • Windows 10 Pro Education
  • Windows 10 Enterprise
  • Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB (Long Term Servicing Branch)
  • Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise
  • Windows 10 IoT Core
  • Windows 10 S

Looks like Microsoft has now found reasons to release some more versions of Windows 10 in addition to the above. We believe the new versions are targeted towards Education and Enterprise users. Windows 10 Pro for Advanced PCs was previously believed to be called Windows 10 Pro for Workstations and will presumably have licensing and optimisations targetted to these powerful multi-core PCs with masses of RAM and petabyte hard drives.

The N editions of Windows are targeted at European Union countries and allow users to choose their own media player and software required to manage and play CDs, DVDs, and other digital media files.

Windows Server 2016 ServerRdsh would target servers used as Remote Desktop Session Host. A Remote Desktop Session Host (RD Session Host) server is the server that hosts Windows-based programs or the full Windows desktop for Remote Desktop Services clients. Users can connect to an RD Session Host server to run programs, to save files, and to use network resources on that server. Users can access an RD Session Host server by using Remote Desktop Connection or by using RemoteApp.

Microsoft has not released information or details on the new SKUs. We will update the post once we get more information.

Update:  More information has now become available regarding Windows Pro for Workstations (ie Advanced PCs), seemingly leaked from a Microsoft slide deck.

As we suspected it would allow users to access more resources, ie 4 physical CPUs instead of 2, a massive 6 Terabytes of RAM and the Resilent File System, which is optimised for large volumes and auto-correcting. Read more details below:

Introducing Windows Pro for Workstations

We want to deliver a solution for those advanced users.

Based on feedback regarding product truths – we went back to the drawing board studying typical workstation use cases, and using the
information from the Insiders using Windows 10 Pro on a high-end machine and held several engineering discussions within Microsoft and
also with our partners to identify what new value can we bring to the market that benefits advanced users of PC in the market.

We came up with a large set of features, and have prioritized 4 key capabilities for the initial release.

  • Workstation mode: We are identifying typical compute and graphics intensive workloads. We will optimize the OS to provide peak performance and reliability in such use cases when the Workstation mode is engaged by the users
  • Resilient file system: ReFS is the successor of NTFS, which has been a mainstay of Windows for past several years. We were overdue for a file system innovation, and our Windows Insiders also agreed. ReFS is designed for fault-tolerance, optimized for handling large data volume, auto-correcting and much more at the same time backward compatible with NTFS
  • Faster file sharing: Often high-end workstation machines are used for processing large data volumes, accessed across the network or even hosting file share on the workstation machine itself. We are including the SMBDirect protocol based file sharing in Windows 10 Pro for Workstation which allows for high throughput, low latency and low CPU utilization when accessing network shares
  • Expanded hardware support: Finally, the top pain point expressed by our Insiders was the raw power of their machine. Hence, we are expanding hardware support in Windows 10 Pro for Workstation. Users will now be able to run Windows 10 Pro for Workstation on machines with up to 4 CPUs (todays limit of 2), and add memory up to 6TB.

The above capabilities are just a starting point. We are engaged with our advanced users, and will continue to bring innovation to this high- end segment of the market. We believe that with our innovation in OS, and your designs, we can collectively be successful in providing value-added benefits to users in the advanced segment of the market.

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