Struggling to decide which version of Windows 7 should you install: Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate? It mainly depends on your needs and what you are going to use Windows for.
The ranking of functionality from highest to lowest of the three Windows versions: Ultimate – Professional – Home Premium. Here are some things you can consider when choosing the version of Windows 7 to buy.
Basically, it works like this: Windows 7 Home Premium gives you everything you need. From there, a few more features have been added to Windows 7 Professional. Take it one step further and you have the best Windows 7 Ultimate with all the bells and whistles. Here’s a diagram provided by Microsoft that gives a good overview of this:
Let’s start with Windows Home Premium. Home Premium retails for about $ 199 for the full version and $ 119 for the updated version. Microsoft recommends Home Premium for the most basic computer users who use their computers for common things like email, web browsing, document editing, and more.
The next step up from Home Premium is Windows 7 Professional, which adds three main features: XP mode, domain join, and the ability to back up to your home or corporate network.
For you, does the $ 100 price hike justify these three features? Consider the following:
– The vast majority of PC users will never use Windows XP Mode, including programmers, designers, and developers. XP Mode is essentially a way to let people run old software that is incompatible with Windows 7. If you are not actually using older software, XP Mode is not a necessary feature.
If you want to run Windows XP inside Windows 7, you can do so for free using VMware Player and your old Windows XP installation disc, if you have one.
– Joining a domain is by no means a revolutionary feature. It allows you to join a computer to a Windows Server Active Directory domain. If you need to join a domain, you will need at least Professional.
– Ability to back up to your home or business network. This is another feature that can be replaced with some great free apps. If you plan on using this feature in the office, keep in mind that most businesses don’t use Windows Backup. In most cases, they use specialized solutions.
Worth an upgrade. You decide.
Windows 7 Professional, mid-range versions of Windows, will set you back about $ 299 for the full version and $ 199 for the upgrade. As previously mentioned, Professional adds upgrades for XP Mode, Domain Join, and Online Backup over Home Basic.
Now what features Professional is missing in Ultimate. Two main things: Bitlocker and multilingual support.
– Bitlocker is an add-on that allows you to encrypt your hard drive for more security. As you may have guessed, there are many free apps that can easily replace Bitlocker functionality. However, they may not be as comfortable to use.
– Multilingual support. Multilingual support is one of the many differences that can actually be difficult to effectively replace with a free application. There are free translation apps; and you can download free Microsoft language packs. However, this will not provide the ease of native language switching capabilities in Windows Ultimate.
Worth an upgrade? You decide.
Windows 7 Ultimate costs roughly $ 319 for the full version and $ 219 for the upgrade, which is more than Professional in both cases. Since Windows 7 Ultimate is the oldest version, there is no way to compare it.
Worth an upgrade? If you’re arguing between Professional and Ultimate, you can also shell out the extra $ 20 and go for Ultimate. If you’re discussing between Home Basic and Ultimate, it’s up to you.
Obviously, many of the “high quality” features offered by more expensive versions of Windows can easily be replaced with equally good free applications. For most people, this is a matter of preference.
Free apps are what they are, and they are not built into Windows. If you think you will be using some of the features that Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate has to offer and want to use Microsoft programs, please upgrade. If you don’t care if you use free software, you can get Windows 7 Home Premium to do just about everything Windows 7 Ultimate can do and save $ 120.
Most people will never use things like XP Mode, Domain Join, BitLocker, etc. Loyal Online Tips Subscribers? Many of them may find the “bells and whistles” very handy. If you want to know the exact differences between each version of Windows 7, check out this Wikipedia article. Enjoy!