Most home computers have “retail” versions of Windows 10 installed, typically either “Home” or “Pro”. Here at SUNY Fredonia we are using “Windows 10 Education” version. As to be expected, there are variations between versions. There are additional modifications to improve ease of use in some cases and to improve security in other cases.
One item that is primarily related to ease of use is the initial absence of the many pre-installed “Metro” style shortcuts when you open the start menu. Those have been removed by default, but you are able to add any that you would like there by merely right-clicking on the start menu item and clicking “Pin to Start”. Additionally, two frequently used items that are now buried in the start menu (Internet Explorer and File Explorer) have been pinned to the taskbar for easy accessibility.
As a security consideration, certain features that regularly send data to Microsoft or require frequent updating have been disabled. This includes Cortana voice command, Microsoft Ink, as well as Microsoft Edge. Microsoft Drive has also been disabled as we are not set up with corporate access and any access would be with your own separate Microsoft accounts which would not be an approved secure storage option. Microsoft Store is disabled as there are no Store apps that are on the approved software list other than the ones already installed.
An additional feature that is enabled (and is recommended for enabling on your home computer) is a screensaver timeout which requires your password to get back in to the system. Depending on the security classification of the system this would be either 3 hours of inactivity or 30 minutes of inactivity.
One feature that you may or may not have enabled on your home computer is Windows Firewall. This closes many of the network “holes” that malware can use to get into your computer. It is enabled on University Windows 10 computers and we highly recommend that you ensure that it is enable on your home computer for your own protection.
A security feature that eliminates the vast majority of malware is enabled on the University Windows 10 computers but is not available on your home computer is AppLocker. We have a “Whitelist” of locations that programs and applications are allowed to execute from. These are typically locations that a normal “user” cannot write to and therefore Malware cannot write to and thus run from. The Whitelist covers all the approved software, but if you encounter something that it blocks that you need to run, please contact the ITS Service Center and we will either adjust the way it is installed or if needed, add it to the whitelist (if it is approved software).
Lastly, both as a security measure as well as a way to ensure you can keep track of your files, you cannot create new folders on the root of the C: drive the only place you can save files on the C: drive is within your user profile (this includes Documents, Desktop, Download, Music, Picture, and Video folders). See the Answers documents “Where can I save files on my Windows 10 Desktop?” or “Where can I save Files on my Windows 10 Laptop?” for more detail.
There are some other very minor differences such as how updates are handled and such, but those should not be particularly noticeable.