The Different Versions of Windows 7
Windows XP had two versions: home and business. Windows Vista split into five different versions. Windows 7 boasts six different versions, but the versions are much easier to figure out.
Each version of Windows 7 is slightly different and offers different options. The vast majority of consumers will choose Windows 7 Home Premium, and most businesses will choose Windows 7 Professional. That being said, it's important to know what is in each version in case you need to purchase something other than the obvious version.
|Windows 7 Version||What It Does|
|Windows 7 Starter||A stripped-down version of Windows 7 that can only run three programs at a time. This version is ideal for netbooks.|
|Windows 7 Home Basic||Designed for developing countries, this version adds better graphics and Internet connection sharing to the Starter edition.|
|Windows 7 Home Premium||Built to fill most consumers’ needs, this version includes programs for watching and recording TV on the PC as well as for creating DVDs from videos.|
|Windows 7 Professional||Aimed at the business market, this features everything from Home Premium plus tools used by small businesses: extra networking features, for example, and similar business tools.|
|Windows 7 Enterprise||Microsoft sells this large business version in bulk to large businesses.|
|Windows 7 Ultimate||This version aims at the wallets of information technology specialists who spend much of their lives in front of their keyboards.|
Although six versions may seem complicated, choosing the one you need isn’t that difficult. Here are some guidelines for choosing the version you need:
If you’ll be using your PC at home, pick up Windows 7 Home Premium.
If you need to connect to a domain through a work network — and you’ll know if you’re doing it — you want Windows 7 Professional.
If you’re a computer industry professional, you should get your hands on Windows 7 Ultimate.
That inexpensive Windows 7 Home Basic version isn’t sold in the United States; it’s sold at reduced prices in developing nations like Malaysia.