Multiple versions of Windows 7 exist and users are left confused which version to buy. Luckily, the answer is actually very easy and we’ll walk you through the process.
Recently I helped my father purchase Windows 7 for his laptop. The guys at the big name tech store started peppering him with questions. It was obvious to me they were just trying to up-sell him. The decision is actually easy.
If you are purchasing this for your home, Window 7 Home Premium is 99% of the time your correct answer.
I know you think you may want some of those sexy features in the Professional or Ultimate versions. Don’t worry… you can upgrade your Home Premium version to another version at any time. Windows 7 comes with Windows Anytime Upgrade which makes the process relatively easy.
The only reason not to do it this way is if you know you’ll need the few extra features available on the more expensive packages. I’ll summarize the extra features at the bottom of this article.
What’s a Family Pack?
A “family pack” gives you permission to install on three different computers. If you know you are upgrading more than one system, the “family pack” will save you some money.
Upgrade Version or New Full Installation:
To me this is always the most complicated decision. Most people will buy the upgrade version and upgrade over an old version of XP or Vista. If that’s all you plan on doing, the upgrade version is perfect for you.
As I frequently install into virtual systems and rebuild my system from scratch, I usually opt for the new full installation. You can upgrade with a new full installation but it’s just more expensive.
What are the upgrades from Windows 7?
Professional and Ultimate features:
– Will run programs in an XP compatibility mode which may allow some stubborn XP-only programs to work.
– Has “Domain Join” features which assist with connecting to certain network types
– Contains the ability to backup and restore from a network.
Additional Ultimate features:
– Bitlocker encryption
– Easy language switching