One of the best accepted questions I get these canicule comes from bodies who’ve been active the Windows 7 beta and RC and are planning to advancement to the final adaptation back it’s accessible on October 22. “Which archetype of Windows 7 do I need?”
Interestingly, this catechism additionally comes up in added contexts as well. Back Apple defenders arise in the TalkBack area here, they consistently assert that the Home Premium archetype is “crippled” and “stripped-down.” Sooner or later, they insist, any appreciative Windows user will accept to upgrade. Based on that argument, they say that you charge use the added big-ticket Ultimate archetype to analyze the costs of a Windows PC to those of a Mac, which comes in alone a distinct edition. As you’ll see from the table below, this isn’t accurate.
On the Windows side, abounding users aloof automatically accept that added is better. By that logic, Ultimate is acutely the best and bottom versions are inferior. Because they’re adeptness users, they accept that Home Premium’s missing appearance beggarly they’re activity to be defective a affection they absolutely need.
But is that true? If you’re affairs Windows Home Premium, what appearance are you missing, exactly? What would you get if you paid added for Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate? And is it fair to analyze OS X and Windows 7 Home Premium?
A few weeks ago, I did an all-embracing allegory of the differences amid Windows 7 editions. For the allegory here, I absitively to band the account bottomward to a single, simple table, which represents the absolute account of appearance that are in Professional or Ultimate editions that are not in Home Premium archetype (with one abstruse exception, which I documetned at the end of the addendum page). For comparison’s sake, I included OS X in the table as well. As you can see, OS X has abundant added in accepted with Windows 7 Home Premium than it does with the appearance in Professional and Ultimate editions. That shouldn’t be a surprise, because those two upgraded Windows editions are accurately aimed at barter active on Windows-based networks.
Note that this is not a Windows 7 against Mac OS X smackdown. Rather, it’s carefully advised to advice you see whether you charge one or added different appearance from the Professional and Ultimate editions or whether the boilerplate Home Premium archetype will accommodated your needs.
Table: Appearance begin alone in Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate
Note: this blueprint has been adapted back its aboriginal advertisement as declared on the abutting page.
For a abundant altercation of what these items mean, see the addendum on the abutting page.
These addendum administer to the affection table and addition on the antecedent page.
The items in the table on the antecedent folio accommodate all appearance that are accessible alone with Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate. In abounding cases, agnate or identical functionality is accessible through add-ons or third-party software. However, I accept alone accustomed a artefact with a Yes and the accompanying blooming concealment if the affection is a allotment of the operating system. Click the angel to the appropriate to see the beyond adaptation of this table on the antecedent page.
MEMORY Windows 7 Home Premium supports a best of 16GB of installed RAM, admitting Professional and Ultimate can abode a best of 192GB of RAM. [Update: To admission added than 3.5GB of RAM, you charge the x64 version. All editions of Windows 7 will be accessible in x86 and x64 versions and will abode with bifold media.] The OS X adventure is a little added complicated: According to Apple, the accessible Snow Leopard absolution will be able to abode 16 TB of RAM. However, Apple’s accepted calendar of accouterments maxes out at 8GB (for MacBook Pro and iMac lines) or 32GB (for the Mac Pro).
PRESENTATION MODE/NETWORK PROJECTOR The Professional and Ultimate editions of Windows 7 accept a brace of accoutrement advised to achieve activity easier for bodies who accord presentations regularly, with accessible admission to arrangement projectors and a one-button way to attenuate things like pop-up notifications and awning savers. Nice, not acceptable that anyone will pay added for this.
ENCRYPTING FILE SYSTEM Home Premium does not abutment EFS, which allows you to encrypt a book or binder so that it can alone be apart back you log on with your user credentials. (Don‘t abash this with BitLocker, which allows you to encrypt an absolute drive.) OS X has a affection alleged FileVault that allows you to encrypt the absolute home folder. You can’t encrypt annihilation alfresco the home binder and you can’t specify alone locations to encrypt. For Mac and Windows PCs, there are a array of third-party add-ons that acquiesce this function.
WINDOWS XP MODE The primary account of this affection is that it includes a accountant archetype of Windows XP at no added amount for Professional and Ultimate editions. If you use Windows 7 Home Premium or OS X, you charge accumulation your own XP authorization (at added cost) and virtualization software, which may or may not crave a paid license.
BACKUP TO NETWORK In a above change from Windows Vista, the Windows 7 Advancement affairs now allows conception of arrangement angel backups and appointed backups on any edition. The Antecedent Editions feature, which allows you to balance afflicted or deleted files application automated Arrangement Restore points, is additionally accessible in Home Premium edition. The alone added advancement affection you get with an advancement is the adeptness to specify a arrangement area for a backup. In OS X, the Time Apparatus affection is primarily advised for use with an alien adamantine drive. According to Apple’s documentation, the alone accurate arrangement area is an Apple Time Capsule, which costs $299 and up.
OFFLINE FILES I’ve ahead alleged this “the distinct best advantageous Windows affection you’ve never heard of.” If you appetite seamless admission and synchronization amid a carriageable PC and a bounded server, it’s a abundant solution. For Home Premium, you can get abounding of the aforementioned allowances application Windows Live Mesh or a third-party program. OS X does not accept an agnate feature.
JOIN A WINDOWS DOMAIN The Professional and Ultimate editions of Windows 7 can accompany a Windows domain, area they can use security, action management, and deployment appearance that are abnormally advantageous to ample enterprises. Home Premium archetype can admission assets on a domain-based arrangement but can’t use Active Directory or administration tools. OS X audience can affix to a domain’s Active Directory but abridgement abutment for Group Action and added area tools.
REMOTE DESKTOP HOST Every archetype of Windows 7 includes the Remote Desktop client, which allows you to affix deeply to a Windows apparatus that has been configured to acquiesce access. To achieve your apparatus accessible for admission Remote Desktop connections, you charge be active Professional or Ultimate edition. OS X makes this affection accessible as an extra-cost add-on that starts at $299 for a 10-license package. [Update: Some correspondents via Twitter accept acicular out that Apple includes VNC server with every adaptation of OSX back 10.4. Ironically, if you go to Apple.com and chase for VNC, you get this:
You can bout this adequacy in Windows 7 Home Premium (or any edition) by installing any of several chargeless versions of VNC.]
BOOT FROM VIRTUAL HARD DRIVE An acutely abstruse feature, accurate alone on Ultimate/Enterprise editions.
LANGUAGE PACKS Here’s a ambagious affection primarily of use for multilingual speakers. Within two weeks of launch, Windows 7 will abutment 35 languages. Your abject accession will use the accent you acquirement initially (U.S. English for best readers of this article), but any user of any Windows archetype including Home Premium can download a Accent Interface Pack that allows switching to one of the added accurate languages. LIPs construe best of the user interface elements. For Ultimate/Enterprise editions only, you can install Multilingual User Interface (MUI) packs that beset the absolute interface. Apple boasts abutment out of the box for 18 languages.
BRANCHCACHE AND DIRECTACCESS Both of these appearance are advised to advance connectivity on networks that use Windows Server 2008 R2. This affection is best acceptable to be acclimated in ample organizations that use Windows 7 Enterprise Archetype (which is the aforementioned cipher as Ultimate edition, accountant differently).
APPLOCKER This enterprise-oriented affection allows administrators to whitelist applications for locked-down environments. It has no analogue in OS X. (Don’t abash this with the consumer-focused Parental Controls feature, which is accessible in Windows 7 Home Premium and in OS X.)
BITLOCKER DRIVE ENCRYPTION Enterprises adulation the adequacy to encrypt an absolute adamantine drive so that if the computer is absent or baseborn the abstracts can’t be accessed. Windows 7 adds BitLocker To Go, which works on disposable media such as USB beam drives. If you use Windows 7 Home Premium or OS X, you charge third-party software such as TrueCrypt to achieve the aforementioned goal.
I larboard one appearance off this list. is a affection that applies alone to domain-joined laptops. The subsystem for UNIX applications is an acutely abstruse affection that has about no real-world users as far as I can tell.
So, is there annihilation on this account that represents a killer, must-upgrade affection for you?
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