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Windows 7 Detailed Version Comparison [groovyTips]

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 comparison between editions.


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


windows 7 home premium Home Premium windows 7 professional Professional windows 7 ultimate / enterprise Enterprise / Ultimate
Price $199.99 $299.99 $319.99
Maximum physical memory (64-bit mode) 16 GB 192 GB 192 GB
Maximum physical CPUs supported 1 2 2
Backup and Restore Center No Network Sprt Yes Yes
Remote Desktop (Client and Host) Client Only Yes Yes
No Yes Yes
Location Aware Printing No Yes Yes
Presentation Mode No Yes Yes
Windows Server domain joining No Yes Yes
Windows XP Mode No Yes Yes
Software Restriction Policies No Yes Yes
Local Group Policy No Yes Yes
Domain Support No Yes Yes
Aero glass remote No No Yes
Windows Media Player multimedia redirection No No Yes
Audio recording over Terminal Services No No Yes
Multi-display Terminal Services No No Yes
Federated Search No No Yes
AppLocker No No Yes
BitLocker Drive Encryption No No Yes
BranchCache Distributed Cache No No Yes
DirectAccess No No Yes
Subsystem for Unix-based Applications No No Yes
Multilingual User Interface Pack No No Yes
Virtual Hard Disk Booting No No Yes


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, not just an infrequently used “flunky program.” Skip a few lattes next week and take the plunge.  🙂


Questions, Comments?  Check out the groovy community or start a conversation in the comments below.

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