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6 versions of Windows 7 explained

Created: 05 Dec 2009 • Updated: 29 Jul 2010 • 1 comment
erikw's picture
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Now for a quick runthrough of every version.

Windows 7 Starter is for emerging markets mostly, but also for some netbooks as an option. It's pretty gimpy, and only runs three apps at a time, though it'll have the new taskbar, Device Stage and jump list. Since Home Premium (and even the Ultimate beta) runs pretty well on netbooks, most of them are probably going to stick with that, so don't worry too much about it.

Windows 7 Home Basic is for developing markets only.

Windows 7 Home Premium is the standard consumer offering of the OS with Aero Peek, Media Center and all the other cool features we've been talking about, and what most people will be running, whether they're on a desktop or a netbook. It's better at media than Vista Home Premium, since it ships with DVD playback and codecs like DivX out of the box. In case you're wondering why Microsoft kept the "Premium" tack-on despite the extinction of Basic—it's because in market testing, Vista users thought they were getting downgraded, going from Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Home.

Windows 7 Professional has everything that Home Premium does, but with business and "enthusiast" features like file encryption, location-aware printing and advanced backup.

Windows 7 Enterprise is for businesses buying OS licenses in bulk, so you probably won't have to worry about it (unless you're paid to). It's got everything Professional does, but with a few additions like BitLocker full-disk encryption and direct access capability, so you don't have go through a VPN for remote access.

Windows 7 Ultimate is, as you might have guessed, the ultimate version of Windows. Unlike Vista, where it was the combo of Home and Business with a couple added features, this time, it's like the end user version of Enterprise—in other words, the Enterprise version that regular people can buy. It has BitLocker, notably, and a few other advanced features. It seems like visibility of this will be low, outside of a few "special promotions" from vendors occasionally, to minimize confusion.
 

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Pascal KOTTE's picture

From WIKIPEDIA - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_7_editions
Enjoy 7 - as for Altiris & Windows ;-)

Windows 7 Edition comparison chart
Features / Availability Starter Home Basic Home Premium Professional Enterprise Ultimate
OEM licensing Emerging markets Retail and OEM licensing Retail, OEM and Volume licensing[28] Volume licensing[28] Retail and OEM licensing
End of Support[29] 2015.01.13 2015.01.13 2015.01.13 2020.01.14 2020.01.14 2015.01.13
Maximum physical memory (64-bit mode)[30][31] N/A 8 GB 16 GB 192 GB 192 GB 192 GB
32-bit and 64-bit versions 32-bit only Both (64-bit disc not included) Both Both Both Both
Maximum physical CPUs supported [32] 2 2 2 2 2 2
Backup and Restore Center[33] Cannot back up to network Cannot back up to network Cannot back up to network Yes Yes Yes
Remote Desktop (Client and Host) Client only Client only Client only Yes Yes Yes
Home Group (create and join) Join only Join only Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multiple monitors No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fast user switching No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Desktop Wallpaper Changeable No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Desktop Window Manager No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Mobility Center No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Aero No Partial Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multi-Touch No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Premium Games Included No No Yes Disabled by default Disabled by default Yes
Windows Media Center No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Media Player Remote Media Experience[34] No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Encrypting File System No No No Yes Yes Yes
Location Aware Printing No No No Yes Yes Yes
Presentation Mode No No No Yes Yes Yes
Group Policy[35] No No No Yes Yes Yes
Offline Files and Folder redirection[35] No No No Yes Yes Yes
Windows Server domain joining No No No Yes Yes Yes
Windows XP Mode[36] No No No Yes Yes Yes
Software Restriction Policies No No No Yes Yes Yes
Aero glass remoting[37][38] No No No No Yes Yes
Windows Media Player multimedia redirection[38] No No No No Yes Yes
Audio recording over Terminal Services[38] No No No No Yes Yes
Multi-display Terminal Services[38] No No No No Yes Yes
Enterprise Search Scopes[35]:130 No No No No Yes Yes
Federated Search[39] No No No No Yes Yes
AppLocker No No No Create Policies, But Cannot Enforce Yes Yes
BitLocker Drive Encryption No No No No Yes Yes
BranchCache Distributed Cache No No No No Yes Yes
DirectAccess No No No No Yes Yes
Subsystem for Unix-based Applications No No No No Yes Yes
Multilingual User Interface Pack No No No No Yes Yes
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Enhancements[35]:130 No No No No Yes Yes
Virtual Hard Disk Booting No No No No Yes Yes

~Pascal @ Kotte.net~ Do you speak French? Et utilisez Altiris: venez nous rejoindre sur le GUASF

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