MS Windows 7 has been around for quite some times now, and the OS for new computers nowadays will be Windows 7 (no more Vista nor XP), beside Linux.
If you were to pick Windows 7, as a home user, you have a few options. Most PC vendors will let you select between Win 7 Home Premium or Win 7 Professional.
The question that many buyer will ask: Is Win 7 Home Premium good enough? Do I need to pay extra for the extra features in Professional or even Ultimate edition?
I found a report by Ed Bott in ZDNet pretty informative.
After reading the article, I found that most home user should be enough with Home Premium, unless:
- Your computer has more than 16GB RAM, or plan to upgrade the RAM to that amount in near future.
- You want easy access to network projectors.
- You want a one-button way (the Presentation Mode) to disable things like pop-up notifications and screen savers.
- You want a built-in Encryption File System (EFS) to encrypt a file or folder inside your Home folder so that it can only be unlocked when you log on with your user credentials. (Note: there are 3rd party alternatives which are equivalent or better than this)
- You want to have a licensed copy of Windows XP (at no additional cost) to run as virtualized machine within your Windows 7.
- You want your system image backup files to be stored across the network. (Home Premium will store it locally)
- You want a built-in folder synchronization feature similar to Windows Live Mesh. (You need to install separately for Home Premium)
- You want to make full use of Active Directory features. (Do you have many Windows PC at home until you need to use Active Directory?)
- You want a built-in Remote Desktop server for other to remotely access and control your computer.
- Boot from virtual hard drive
- Availability of Multilingual User Interface (MUI) packs. (Language Interface Pack is available for other editions of Win 7)
- BranchCache and DirectAccess to improve connectivity on networks that use Windows Server 2008 R2
- BitLocker drive encryption
- Subsystem for UNIX applications