Options Galore with Feature Packed Windows® 7 Editions
For consumers who were perplexed in figuring out which edition of Windows Vista was the appropriate choice, Microsoft is offering a fresh whiff of newness with retooled feature sets for Windows 7.
The latest operating system comes with three editions, with common features like improved GUI and desktop navigation, Windows Search, Internet Explorer 8, Windows Media Center and HomeGroup (Windows 7-specific networking).
However, the software giant’s list leaves out some significant core features, including:
- 32-bit and 64-bit editions provided in retail/upgrade versions
- Improved network management for mixed Windows 7/Windows Vista/Windows XP
- Improved digital TV support
- Devices and Printers management interface
- Device Stage enhanced driver support for multifunction devices
- Improved wireless networking
- Windows Backup for both files and system image
- Improved audio and video codec support
- Windows Aero desktop (with supported graphics cards and drivers)
Home Premium, with image backup as a core feature as well as higher SKUs, is a "no second thoughts" choice for home or small office-home office users, who do not require the extra features of Professional or Ultimate editions.
The “Business” moniker has been dropped for the small-business edition of Windows 7 and the “Professional” label – used in previous generations of the operating system – has been retained.
Potential upgraders from Windows Home Premium to Windows Vista Business were forced to trade away Windows Media Center to get support for business networking and image backup. But, there are no such tradeoffs if you intend to move to Windows 7 Professional from Windows 7 Home Premium - Windows 7 Professional includes every Home Premium feature.
Additional attributes In Windows 7 Professional include:
- Domain network support
- Windows XP Mode
- Automatic backup supports network shares as well as local hard disks
Therefore, Professional edition is suitable for users who routinely shift between domain and workgroup networks, require support for Windows XP-compatible applications that just don’t run under Windows 7 and prefer to back up to a network share without using third-party backup programs.
Glance at Windows 7 Ultimate and you will find all the features of Windows 7 retail editions combined with features from Windows 7 Enterprise. But unlike its Windows Vista predecessor, it omits Windows 7 Ultimate Extras.
Ultimate towers over other editions with features including, support for BitLocker full-disk encryption and the ability to switch between languages on the fly.
Retooled BitLocker in Windows 7 can now encrypt external drives (including USB keys) allowing a user to transport data between home and office without being concerned about being mugged and winding up in the next data breach headline.
There are other editions of Windows 7, too. Windows 7 Starter, which will also be sold in developing countries, replaces Windows XP on netbooks. However, it drops image backup, Windows Aero, Windows Media Center, and 64-bit support.
Treading the path of Windows Vista, Windows 7 editions will be shipped into EU sans Internet Explorer in order to satisfy regulatory requirements.