Windows 7 vs. Windows Vista
Versions and Variations
Windows 7 is the latest OS from Microsoft’s arsenal, the previous one being Vista. There was a big hype when Windows 7 was released that its performance will be better manifold when compared to its forerunner Vista.
We will see here whether Windows 7 lived up to its expectations or not. Also, we will see if Windows 7 is better than Vista and if so, how?
Vista and its Flavors
Windows Vista has many versions or flavors and the most extensively used four flavors are Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Business, and Windows Vista Ultimate. When you are given all four flavors and asked to choose one, it would be really difficult to pick the cherry. To make your task easier let us see about each of the versions in detail and what makes one better than the other.
Windows Vista Home Basic
This is the cheapest of all the four versions. Don’t take the stand that it will be the worst just because it is cheap, keep in mind that it has all the features which are necessary to run a normal machine, but it lacks some fancy or advanced features, which some enthusiasts would expect their PCs to have. Below are some of the features that you would miss out in Home Basic:
- There is no Media Center for entertainment.
- There are only 5 games.
- It does not have automatic backup.
- It does not have Movie Maker; a feature that many people would want to have.
- There are no themed slide show options.
Windows Vista Home Premium
If you are looking to buy a Vista for your home PC, then Home Premium would be the top pick. Of course, it is slightly higher priced than Home Basic, but it has some cool features in its ammo, so you wouldn’t mind forking out the extra buck. However, here are some features that you will be missing in Home Premium:
- It does not have applications like scan and fax.
- You will get the preliminary version of the backup tool.
- It does not have BitLocker (security software).
- You don’t have subsystem for UNIX applications on this.
- It does not support dual CPUs.
Windows Vista Business
Yes, you got it right; this version is for managing a business. It comes equipped with all the tools necessary to manage a business. Its salient features are increased security and backup of the complete system, because in business breach of data would incur a huge loss. It does not have some features that you would find in Home Premium and Ultimate, but I don’t think that you would miss those features that much. The features, missed out in Windows Business are:
- There are no games.
- You will miss out BitLocker drive encryption; which comes along with Ultimate.
- You can’t use different user languages for Windows.
- There is no Movie Maker or Media Center, but it is available in Ultimate and Home Premium.
- You can’t run UNIX applications just like in Ultimate.
- You don’t have Parental Controls, which is available in Ultimate.
Windows Vista Ultimate
As the name suggests it is the ultimate with almost all the functionalities that you would dream about having in your PC and you have to pay a higher price to get these features. Whatever features are missed out in the other three versions is available in Ultimate. In addition, you have a total of 36 languages available and you will get BitLocker.
Windows 7 and its Flavors
Now, let us see about Windows 7 which Microsoft boasts of as its most innovative and best OS. There are seven different versions available for Windows 7 and let us pay our attention to only four of the most commonly used versions.
Windows 7 Home Premium
This is the best version for home PC users, but it does not have some of the important features that are available in Professional or Ultimate. Home Premium is a good cocktail of functionalities and utilities that any PC user would love to have. If you use your PC mostly for entertainment, then you would love the remote control that you can use to control Windows Media Center. The Windows Aero Interface would help interact with your PC more easily, touch-screen for easy usability and biometrics for better security come along with Home Premium. Listed are the features that you would miss out in Home Premium.
- There is no BitLocker hardware encryption software.
- There is no remote desktop.
- You can’t go to Windows XP mode.
- Backup is not as competent as in other editions.
Windows 7 Professional
Though this is slightly better than Home Premium because of some features, it is not a clear winner of all the four versions we are talking about. This will be a better choice for business users. This version supports one of the best backup and restore tool and it is virtually impossible to access your most classified files. When using Professional, you can easily go into XP mode. It has many features to entice corporate users like presentation mode and stopping screensavers from appearing so that you can use your computer in a boardroom without any hassle. It has all the features that are included in Home Premium. Below are the features that you will miss out very much in Professional.
- BitLocker, software to encrypt the hard disk.
- BitLocker To Go, software to encrypt external USB drives so that without a password you won’t be able to access these USB drives.
- DirectAcess, used to remotely access your company’s network.
Windows 7 Ultimate
Ultimate and Enterprise are the better versions of all the four versions. Though there is not much of a difference between the two, Ultimate can be bought by anyone whereas Enterprise is not. Ultimate has many features like AppLocker, BitLocker, and Direct-Access among other things. You have 35 different languages to operate your OS on. Since it is one of the best, you will hardly miss out any functionality.
Windows 7 Enterprise
It is not available to everyone, but only to Microsoft’s elite customers who are involved in its Volume License schemes. It is a money-saver package for usage in big enterprises and is cheaper when compared to Ultimate. It also has all the features like Ultimate and it is best suited for business.
Microsoft released Vista with the hope that it can convert many of its XP users to Vista, but it was not the case because of the requirement of upgrading your hardware, which many people did not want to even think about. There were also performance lags in Windows Vista. But, when it comes to Windows 7, Microsoft has made a huge leap. Windows 7 beats Vista on the basis of installation process, which has been simplified and performance with regards to startup time, shutdown time, battery life, software performance, video playback performance and many others. These features are so attractive that many people are willing to convert to Windows 7. When it comes to the final battle, Window 7 clearly crushes Windows Vista and lifts the crown.