Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise E3 with Virtual Desktop Access - Billed Monthly In most instances, organizations are moving quickly to Windows 10 due to the heightened security risks they face and the industry-leading security features in Windows 10 that can help protect them. In the US alone there are more than 56 million small to mid-sized businesses, in critical sectors like healthcare, legal and financial services that need strong security similar to what our large enterprise customers get through volume licensing agreements. CSP partners will be able to provide a subscription to Windows 10 Enterprise Edition as part of a managed service offering, which is ideal for businesses who do not have dedicated IT resources or limited IT staff, and want their licensing and IT needs managed by a trusted and experienced partner. Key features include: Increased Security: Offering the sophisticated security features of Windows 10 to help businesses secure sensitive data and identities, help ensure devices are protected from cybersecurity threats, give employees the freedom and flexibility to access sensitive data on a variety of devices, and help ensure controlled access to highly-sensitive data.
In other words, if you get a license for Home or Pro, then you can use that version of Windows forever. In other words, you have keep paying the subscription fee each year in order to keep using them. How do you get the Enterprise version installed on your device? What Microsoft has done here is impressively simple. The Windows 10 Enterprise feature set is now included in a Windows 10 Pro installation.
But by default the Enterprise features are turned off. When you apply a subscription license for Windows 10 Enterprise to your Windows 10 Pro machine, those features turn on.
If you subscription expires, those features turn off again. The add-on license is subscription based, but the base license is perpetual. The add-on subscription license is user-based, but the perpetual base license is still assigned to the device. This is illustrated in the figure below. Notice how the Windows 10 Pro licenses are tied to the machines while the Windows 10 Enterprise add-on licenses are tied to the user: So in our illustration the user is applying a single subscription to multiple devices.
Each of the base licenses need to be purchased separately, but the three subscription licenses in the illustration are included in a single subscription to Windows 10 Enterprise E3 or E5. Not a problem. Microsoft recently announced that even users with Windows 7 and Windows 8. In other words, your subscription includes the perpetual base license for Windows 10 Pro and the subscription add-on license for Windows 10 Enterprise.
That said, there is also a way for you to get a device-based subscription license for the Enterprise version. There are two ways to do this.
The first way is to buy an upgrade license for Windows 10 Enterprise with Software Assurance. As long as you keep the SA subscription current, then you can keep using the Enterprise version.
However, if your SA ever expires, you lose the Enterprise subscription but get to keep a Windows 10 Pro base license. A word of caution here: For example, a Windows 7 Home license does not qualify as a base license for Windows 10 Enterprise. To get more details, you can download a chart from Microsoft here. The base license will be an OEM license , but you will purchase the SA through one of the volume licensing programs. Again, as long as you keep the SA current, you have permission to enable the Enterprise features.
But if the SA expires, then you get to keep the base license for Windows 10 Pro. It is important to note that if you go this route then you can only enable Windows 10 Enterprise on that one machine. So in our illustration below, our user can only use Windows 10 Enterprise on one device, not multiple devices. Also note that the Windows 10 Enterprise subscription is tied to the device not the user since this is an SA benefit not an E3 or E5 subscription: As usual, Microsoft licensing is complicated, but I hope this helps shed some light on the subject.
If you have questions about Windows 10 Enterprise E3 and E5, you can check out these resources: