What features are in which version of Windows 7?


I’m sure this list is out on the web somewhere, but just in case you’ve not seen it in this easy-to-read format before, below is my list of the features of each version of Windows 7. I think this will help you to work out which one is right for your school:



  • Windows 7 Home Premium is the retail version. It doesn’t allow network login (called Domain Join), so it’s unsuitable for school-based computers, and unlikely to be useful for student laptops owned by the school, unless you don’t plan to manage them or connect them up to your school network except via the web. It is also unable to run XP Mode, which might be useful for some of your older software.

  • Windows 7 Professional is the minimum version you’ll need in-school as it has network domain join and XP Mode.

  • Windows 7 Enterprise is the right version if you believe that you should be encrypting any laptops used by staff (this is something I believe strongly!), because it comes with BitLocker and BitLocker To Go. And in addition it also adds AppLocker – which you may want on all of your devices too.

  • Windows 7 Ultimate is in the table below for completeness, but you are only likely to get this version if you buy it in a retail store with it pre-installed (which is an expensive way to get the functionality in Enterprise or Professional edition)

See below the table for my “How to Buy Windows 7” guide


What features are in which version of Windows 7?










































































































































































































Features


Home Premium


Professional


Enterprise


Ultimate


32-Bit and 64-Bit Versions


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Create and Join a Home Group


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Tablet PC Functionality


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Multiple Monitor Support


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Document Libraries


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Fast User Switching


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Windows Search


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Windows Mobility Center


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Windows Aero, Taskbar, & Jump Lists


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Live Thumbnail Previews


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Multi-Touch


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Premium Games Included


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Windows Media Center


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Create & Play DVDs


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Device Stage


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Action Center


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Encrypting File System


No


Yes


Yes


Yes


Location Aware Printing


No


Yes


Yes


Yes


Remote Desktop Host


No


Yes


Yes


Yes


Domain Join & Group Policy Controls


No


Yes


Yes


Yes


Windows XP Mode


No


Yes


Yes


Yes


AppLocker


No


No


Yes


Yes


BitLocker & BitLocker to Go


No


No


Yes


Yes


BranchCache


No


No


Yes


Yes


DirectAccess


No


No


Yes


Yes


Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications (SUA)


No


No


Yes


Yes


Enterprise Search Scopes


No


No


Yes


Yes


Multilingual User Interface Language Packs (MUI)


No


No


Yes


Yes


Licence Rights for 4 Windows Virtual Machines


No


No


Yes


Yes


Virtual Hard Disk Booting


No


No


Yes


Yes


Volume Activation


No


No


Yes


No


Licence Rights for Network Booting of Windows


No


No


Yes


No


How to buy Windows 7 for your school


So now you’ve worked out which version you want, you may want to know the best way to buy the right version!


Existing computers



  • For any existing computers running any version of Windows XP or Windows Vista, you can buy a Windows 7 upgrade on your Select, SESP or School Agreement. If it’s basic Select, the upgrade is to Windows 7 Professional. If you have SESP or School Agreement, or buy a Select licence with the Software Assurance option, you’ll get Windows 7 Enterprise.

New computers



  • For Professional edition, you can either buy a new PC with it pre-installed, or buy a PC with Windows 7 Home Premium, and then add an upgrade.
    It’s worth checking the price of both options, because the second often can often be cheaper.

  • For Enterprise edition, the best way is to buy a new PC with Windows 7 Home Premium, and then add an upgrade licence via a School Agreement, or with the Select licence plus Software Assurance (which gives you the right to keep upgrading, and adds the Enterprise features)

Here’s some links to find out more about School Agreement, SESP, Select Licences and Software Assurance. And the evergreen “How to get the best deal on Microsoft software” post


Your existing Microsoft partner will be able to give you a quote. I’ve just checked on the Pugh site*, and they quote £34 for a Select Windows 7 Professional upgrade.



* Pugh is one of our partners, but there are plenty of others. You can find them all on our website






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