There are six different versions available for a Windows 7 download: Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise. However, three of the above options are not suited for an everyday user and are not available for download. Starter is made for low-power netbooks only, Home Basic is a step above but is only sold in developing nations, and Enterprise is the top version but is designed only for large corporations. Thus the only three versions most North American customers need to concern themselves with when selecting a Windows 7 download are: Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate. Below, we help you sift through the features each offers and make an informed decision on which one is best for you.

Windows 7 Home Premium


Nearly every PC that comes with Windows 7 pre-installed will have Home Premium, which is the most basic retail version available. For a little extra, you can also purchase Home Premium in a Family Pack that lets you use the same licence for three separate computers. Home Premium includes Windows Media Centre, which allows you to run or burn CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray disks. It has a back-up utility that copies everything on your computer and a Previous Version function that lets you retrieve files just deleted/changed. It lacks certain security and customization features however, that are found on the other versions.

Windows 7 Professional


Windows 7 Professional adds advanced networking tools like Domain Join, which gives you the ability to securely connect to business networks and restrict access; and Location Aware Printing, which lets you make your default printers network-specific. It also has remote desktop accessibility, an offline files features that saves your network files on your device so you can work through lost connections, Windows Backup to back up on-device data to networks, and file encryption to protect sensitive information. Finally, Professional also includes "XP Mode," which makes certain XP-legacy-apps usable on Windows 7.

Windows 7 Ultimate


Windows 7 Ultimate gives you the full range of features and enterprise only extending licensing volume. Users need to have a Windows Server 2008 domain to utilize some of these features, but for highly mobile small business use, it is well worth it. Laptop users will especially value BitLocker Disk Encryption, which protects data on laptops and USBs if the device is lost/stolen.  Additionally, you can use multiple languages on the same PC, search across network drives, use Direct Access for secure VPN-free access, and cache local copies of Web-content using BranchCache.


In general, the average PC-user can do well with Windows 7 Home Premium, the average small business owner will find Windows 7 Professional adequate, and the extremely mobile business owner will find Windows 7 Ultimate well worth the extra cost. Note that Windows 7 comes with an OS for both 32 and 64 bit processors in each version. No longer must you choose ahead of time between 32 and 64; you only need choose which system to install on your device. With 32-bit, you may be capped at accessing 4-GB of RAM, while with the 64-bit, your RAM use is virtually unlimited.


For more tips on choosing the right Windows 7 download, contact us at Software King today!