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Windows 7 Features Offered on each Edition of Windows 7

Updated on December 10, 2009

Windows 7 has been released with a number of different editions of the operating system much in the same fashion as Windows Vista.

With Windows 2000 Professional which was built off of the NT kernel technology that grew from Windows NT, there was just that release of Windows 2000 with respect to a client operating system aimed at the corporate environment. There were three versions of Windows 2000 Server that were released but these were designated for servers and workstations over desktop or laptop use.

Windows XP released with a Home Version and a Professional Version with Home being targeted for the end user / consumer field and Professional being targeted for corporate environments.

When Windows Vista released there were a number of versions that were made available for both consumers and corporate customers.

The main releases for Vista were Vista Home Basic, Home Premium and Ultimate Edition for the end user / consumer and Business Edition and Enterprise Edition for corporate customers.

There were several other releases that were not for general sale and consumption. One example is the Windows Vista Starter Edition that was specifically developed for emerging nation use only.

There was also the Home Basic N version and a Business N version that was available within the European Union (EU) which was developed without Windows Media Player. This was required of Microsoft by the European Union as a result of EU sanctions brought against Microsoft for violating anti-trust laws.

With respect to Windows 7 there are six main versions that have been released with four of the six aimed at the end user and consumer market, one version that is aimed at the advanced user / enthusiasts and small business user market and one version that is specifically designed for the corporate enterprise.

Windows 7 Starter is different than its Vista cousin Windows Vista Starter Edition. The Vista version was specifically developed for emerging nation use only where in the Windows 7 family that version is Windows 7 Home Basic which I will get to in a minute.

I recently covered Windows 7 Starter in another hub titled Windows 7 Starter Edition but very briefly, this edition of Windows 7 offers just the basic set of features for everyday casual computer users that just check email and surf the web and maybe write a document or a spreadsheet or two. It works well on systems with limited hardware and it is delivered on systems directly by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) - Windows 7 Starter Edition is not available for retail sale.

Windows 7 Starter Edition Features

  • Jump Lists
  • Windows Search
  • HomeGroup Join
  • Windows Media Player
  • Backup and restore
  • Enhanced Media Playback
  • Action Center
  • Device Stage
  • Home Media Streaming
  • Bluetooth Support
  • Fax and Scan
  • Credential Manager

Windows 7 Home Basic is available in emerging countries only; it is not available for retail sale nor is it supposed to be transported to other geographical locations for sale. This version of Windows is also quite limited in feature set as well as expandability and is intended for casual computer use. It does sport a few additional features that are not included in Starter Edition.

Windows 7 Home Basic Edition Features

  • Jump Lists
  • Windows Search
  • HomeGroup Join
  • Windows Media Player
  • Backup and restore
  • Enhanced Media Playback
  • Action Center
  • Device Stage
  • Home Media Streaming
  • Bluetooth Support
  • Fax and Scan
  • Credential Manager
  • Taskbar Thumbnail Preview
  • Fast User Switching
  • Ad-hoc wireless networks
  • Internet connection sharing
  • Multi-Monitor Support
  • Windows Mobility Center

Windows 7 Home Premium contains all of the features that are a part of Starter Edition and also includes additional enhancements such as Windows Media Center, Windows Aero and support for specialized input devices such as touch-screens. Home Premium is available through retail channels and everyday users can purchase it directly.

Windows 7 Home Premium Edition Features

  • Jump Lists
  • Windows Search
  • HomeGroup Join
  • Windows Media Player
  • Backup and restore
  • Enhanced Media Playback
  • Action Center
  • Device Stage
  • Home Media Streaming
  • Bluetooth Support
  • Fax and Scan
  • Credential Manager
  • Taskbar Thumbnail Preview
  • Fast User Switching
  • Ad-hoc wireless networks
  • Internet connection sharing
  • Multi-Monitor Support
  • Windows Mobility Center
  • Aero Glass
  • Aero Background
  • Windows Touch
  • HomeGroup Create
  • Windows Media Center
  • Remote Media Streaming
  • DVD Playback and authoring
  • Snipping Tool
  • Sticky Notes
  • Windows Journal
  • Windows Side Show

Windows 7 Professional adds to the feature set from Windows 7 Home Premium and it the first of the editions that can be joined into a domain. Additional features include location aware printing, Software Restriction Policies and Windows XP Mode. Windows 7 Home Premium is also available for retail sale.

Windows 7 Professional Edition Features

  • Jump Lists
  • Windows Search
  • HomeGroup Join
  • Windows Media Player
  • Backup and restore
  • Enhanced Media Playback
  • Action Center
  • Device Stage
  • Home Media Streaming
  • Bluetooth Support
  • Fax and Scan
  • Credential Manager
  • Taskbar Thumbnail Preview
  • Fast User Switching
  • Ad-hoc wireless networks
  • Internet connection sharing
  • Multi-Monitor Support
  • Windows Mobility Center
  • Aero Glass
  • Aero Background
  • Windows Touch
  • HomeGroup Create
  • Windows Media Center
  • Remote Media Streaming
  • DVD Playback and authoring
  • Snipping Tool
  • Sticky Notes
  • Windows Journal
  • Windows Side Show
  • Domain join
  • Encrypting File System (EFS)
  • Location Aware Printing
  • Group Policy
  • Remote Desktop Host
  • Advanced Back-up
  • Windows XP Mode
  • Windows Mobility Center Presentation Mode
  • Offline Folders

Windows 7 Enterprise is the top edition of Windows 7; it includes all of the features found in the down-level editions and offers additional functionality and services such as BitLocker and BitLocker To Go, AppLocker, Direct Access and Branch Cache. Enterprise Edition also offers Multi-User Interface Language Packs, VDI Enhancements and the ability to Boot from VHD. Enterprise Edition is not available for consumer purchase or through OEM channels; it must be obtained by commercial enterprise customers through their software reseller.

Windows 7 Ultimate is a complete superset of all of the prior editions of Windows 7 and it completely mirrors the feature set of Enterprise Edition. Ultimate Edition is available for retail purchase and despite the fact that it could be domain joined in a corporate infrastructure it is currently supported through Microsoft support as a consumer version of Windows. This means that from the support lifecycle standpoint it will have five years of mainstream support and then retired without any additional support beyond that (provided a successor product ships on time and as expected).

A detailed listing of supported features for both Enterprise and Ultimate Editions is shown below and is an entire superset of all the downstream versions of Windows 7.

  • Jump Lists
  • Windows Search
  • HomeGroup Join
  • Windows Media Player
  • Backup and restore
  • Enhanced Media Playback
  • Action Center
  • Device Stage
  • Home Media Streaming
  • Bluetooth Support
  • Fax and Scan
  • Credential Manager
  • Taskbar Thumbnail Preview
  • Fast User Switching
  • Ad-hoc wireless networks
  • Internet connection sharing
  • Multi-Monitor Support
  • Windows Mobility Center
  • Aero Glass
  • Aero Background
  • Windows Touch
  • HomeGroup Create
  • Windows Media Center
  • Remote Media Streaming
  • DVD Playback and authoring
  • Snipping Tool
  • Sticky Notes
  • Windows Journal
  • Windows Side Show
  • Domain join
  • Encrypting File System (EFS)
  • Location Aware Printing
  • Group Policy
  • Remote Desktop Host
  • Advanced Back-up
  • Windows XP Mode
  • Windows Mobility Center Presentation Mode
  • Offline Folders
  • BitLocker
  • BitLocker To Go
  • AppLocker
  • Direct Access
  • Branch Cache
  • Multi-User Interface Language Packs
  • Enterprise Search Scopes
  • VDI Enhancements
  • Boot from VHD

This concludes my Windows 7 Features as available on each Edition overview article - I hope you found it a good investment of your time.

I am always interested in your feedback and hearing about other topics that you might like to read about so please feel free to contact me directly by email at Jason@Zandri.net

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    • profile image

      itsmemad 6 years ago

      Nice work. Microsoft should consider offering Multi-User Interface Language Packs in the Home Premium and Professional editions. As stated above, it's available only in the Enterprise and Ultimate editions.

    • GUNDERSTONE profile image
      Author

      GUNDERSTONE 6 years ago

      That is one of the selling points of the larger SKUs. I for one think they should allow for EFS (encrypting file system) and BitLocker for all editions of Windows 7 since the company has had their big security push.

    • profile image

      shreyas srinivasan 5 years ago

      Very well explained !

      Thank you.

    • smga22 profile image

      smga22 4 years ago from Dhaka, Bangladesh

      Excellent Hub. Thanks for sharing.

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