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Microsoft Announces Windows 10 Edition for Workstations

A new edition of the Windows 10 client OS, Windows 10 Pro for Workstations, is coming this fall for organizations with "mission critical and compute intensive workloads," Microsoft said this week.

Few other details were provided in Microsoft's announcement, although Windows 10 Pro for Workstations appears to have features that are more typically associated with Microsoft's Windows Server products than its client OS editions. Windows 10 for Workstations is described as an OS for "high-end PCs." It will be capable of using Intel Xeon or AMD Opteron multicore processors, for instance.

The new edition will support certain high-end features, such as the Resilient File System (ReFS), a capability more typically associated with Window Server 2016 and Windows Server 2012 products. ReFS is designed for moving large data sets. It also has some self-repair features to address data corruption issues.

Windows 10 Pro for Workstations will have support for "persistent memory" when using non-volatile memory module hardware. The persistent memory feature speeds up the file read-and-write process, and it enables access to files when a workstation gets turned off. Microsoft first added the persistent memory capability with "Windows Server 2016 and the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (1607)," according to this MSDN document description.

Microsoft is promising faster file sharing with Windows 10 Pro for Workstations because of its SMB Direct feature. SMB Direct is Windows Server technology that increases the throughput of network adapters that have Remote Direct Memory Access technology. It's a low-latency, low-CPU technology for data transfers and file storage.

Microsoft also described the edition's processor support (Xeon and Opteron) in a bit more detail. Windows 10 Pro for Workstation will work with up to four CPUs and 6TB of memory. However, the edition now just supports two CPUs and 2TB of memory.

The announcement offered few other details. The existence of the new Workstations edition, though, had been leaked back in June, according an account by reporter Mary Jo Foley.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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