Microsoft leak reveals new Windows 10 Workstation edition for power users

It’s been more than 20 years since Microsoft used the Workstation branding in its Windows 4.0 Workstation edition, but it appears the company is ready to bring it back.

Twitter users @AndItsTito and @GrandMofongo have discovered references to a new edition of Windows 10 in a build Microsoft accidentally released to testers last week. Described as “Windows 10 Pro for Advanced PCs,” the new version appears to cater for significant hardware demands.

In a leaked slide, Microsoft describes the edition as “Windows 10 Pro for Workstation” with four main capabilities:
  • Workstation mode: Microsoft plans to optimize the OS by identifying “typical compute and graphics intensive workloads” to provide peak performance and reliability when Workstation mode is enabled.
  • Resilient file system: Microsoft’s file system successor to NTFS, dubbed ReFS, is enabled in this new version, with support for fault-tolerance, optimized for large data volumes, and auto-correcting.
  • Faster file handling: As workstation machines are typically used for large data volumes across networks, Microsoft is including the SMBDirect protocol for file sharing and high throughput, low latency, and low CPU utilization when accessing network shares.
  • Expanded hardware support: Microsoft is also planning to allow Windows 10 Pro for Workstation on machines with up to 4 CPUs and a memory limit of 6TB. Windows 10 Pro currently only supports 2 CPUs.

Microsoft is clearly targeting this new edition of Windows 10 to power users who are processing mass amounts of data each day. This will likely be used mostly in enterprise scenarios, and the software giant appears to still be working on the exact feature set and naming.

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