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Windows 7 Detailed Version Comparison

Microsoft never ceases to annoy me when it comes to their marketing machine.  For instance, rather than release just Windows 7, they decided to release a total of six different editions of Windows 7.

Apart from being annoying from a financial standpoint, it can also be confusing when trying to figure out which Windows 7 edition is right for you.  Sure, the easiest thing would be just to go all out and buy the big bad Windows Ultimate edition. However, what is it you’re getting for Ultimate Vs Home Premium or Pro?  Is the $$$ worth it?  Luckily for you, I have the answer!

As I mentioned earlier, Microsoft released a total of six Windows 7 editions. However, of the six, only three are worth discussing: Home Premium, Professional, and UltimateEnterprise edition and Ultimate edition are the same things; Enterprise is just designed for corporate use while Ultimate remains for the home user.  Take a look at the chart below for some feature comparisons between editions.

Keep in mind that if you are upgrading from Vista, Microsoft cuts close to $100 off the price tag regardless of which edition.

windows 7 home premium Home Premiumwindows 7 professional Professionalwindows 7 ultimate / enterprise Enterprise / Ultimate
Maximum physical memory (64-bit mode)16 GB192 GB192 GB
Maximum physical CPUs supported122
Backup and Restore CenterNo Network SprtYesYes
Remote Desktop (Client and Host)Client OnlyYesYes
Location Aware PrintingNoYesYes
Presentation ModeNoYesYes
Windows Server domain joiningNoYesYes
Windows XP ModeNoYesYes
Software Restriction PoliciesNoYesYes
Local Group PolicyNoYesYes
Domain SupportNoYesYes
Aero glass remoteNoNoYes
Windows Media Player multimedia redirectionNoNoYes
Audio recording over Terminal ServicesNoNoYes
Multi-display Terminal ServicesNoNoYes
Federated SearchNoNoYes
BitLocker Drive EncryptionNoNoYes
BranchCache Distributed CacheNoNoYes
Subsystem for Unix-based ApplicationsNoNoYes
Multilingual User Interface PackNoNoYes
Virtual Hard Disk BootingNoNoYes

After a thorough examination of the differences in features, I would suggest Windows 7 Ultimate.  The price difference is only $20 more, and you have to consider that this is your Operating System.

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