Windows 7 Edition Comparison

Introduction

There are total 5 editions Microsoft offers to Windows 7, from starter all the way up to enterprise, which pretty much covered all levels of use. Whether you are a basic home user, or IT pro, or a savvy user in large enterprise, you will find one edition that suits your needs perfectly.

Starter Edition

The edition is the one Microsoft made just for small notebook PCs, and is only available through the OEM channel on the new PCs limited to the specific types of hardware. So you can’t buy it directly from any sales channel. The features on Starter Edition are quite limited but still supports the unique features that are only available on Windows 7, such as Jump Lists, Pin, Snap, and Windows Search. If you want to enjoy more multimedia entertainment on your PC, Microsoft recommends Home Premium.

Enterprise

Windows 7 Enterprise is the Windows 7 edition with unique technology designed to address the needs of enterprise customers, and only available through Microsoft Software Assurance Licensing. It has a few features that are not available in other editions, such as:

  1. DirectAccess
    Give mobile users seamless access to corporate networks without a need to VPN.
  2. BranchCache
    Decrease time branch office users spend waiting to download files across the network.
  3. Enterprise Search Scopes
    Find information on network locations including SharePoint sites with a simple user interface.
  4. BitLocker & BitLocker To Go
    Help protect data on PCs and removable drives, with manageability to enforce encryption and backup of recovery keys.
  5. AppLocker
    Specify what software is allowed to run on user’s PCs through centrally managed, but flexible, Group Policies.
  6. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Optimizations
    Improved user experience for VDI with multimon and microphone support. Plus the ability to reuse virtual machine (VHD) images to boot a physical PC.
  7. Multi Lingual User Interface
    Create a single operating system (OS) image for deployment to users worldwide.

Windows 7 Edition comparison chart

Features / Availability Home Premium Professional Enterprise Ultimate
Retail and OEM licensing Retail, OEM and Volume licensing Volume licensing Retail and OEM licensing
End of Life 2015.01.13 2020.01.14 2020.01.14 2015.01.13
Maximum physical memory (64-bit mode) 16 GB 192 GB 192 GB 192 GB
32-bit and 64-bit versions Both Both Both Both
Maximum physical CPUs supported 1 2 2 2
Backup and Restore Center Cannot back up to network Yes Yes Yes
Home Group (create and join) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multiple monitors Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fast user switching Yes Yes Yes Yes
Desktop Wallpaper Changeable Yes Yes Yes Yes
Desktop Window Manager Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Mobility Center Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Aero Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multi-Touch Yes Yes Yes Yes
Premium Games Included Yes Disabled by default Disabled by default Yes
Windows Media Center Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Media Player Remote Media Experience 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
Presentation Mode No Yes Yes Yes
Windows Server domain joining No Yes Yes Yes
Windows XP Mode No Yes Yes Yes
Software Restriction Policies No Yes Yes Yes
Aero glass remoting No No Yes Yes
Windows Media Player multimedia redirection No No Yes Yes
Audio recording over Terminal Services No No Yes Yes
Multi-display Terminal Services No No Yes Yes
Federated Search No No Yes Yes
AppLocker No No Yes Yes
BitLocker Drive Encryption No No Yes Yes
BranchCache Distributed Cache No No Yes Yes
DirectAccess No No Yes Yes
Subsystem for Unix-based Applications No No Yes Yes
Multilingual User Interface Pack No No Yes Yes
Virtual Hard DiskBooting No No Yes Yes

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