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Which Vista Edition is Right for Me? (Basic/Premium/Business/Ultimate)

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Slimy    13

If you are having trouble choosing which Vista Edition to buy, whether it is as an upgrade or a retail purchase, this guide is for you.

Windows Starter 2007

In order to offer a legal alternative to unauthorized copies, Microsoft released Windows Starter 2007 to emerging markets such as India, Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Thailand and Indonesia. This edition is not available in USA/Canada/Europe.

  • Pricing Currently Unknown
  • XP Counterpart: Windows XP Starter Edition
  • For beginner PC users with a very low end PC
  • Themes Included: Windows Classic, Windows Vista Basic
  • Very limited: no Aero, does not work with incoming network connections, only allow 3 applications to run simultaneously, no DVD Authoring or Gaming Controller Support
  • 32-bit version only, up to 256 MB of physical memory

125px-Windows_Vista_Home_Basic_Box.jpgWindows Vista Home Basic

This version is the basis for the next three major product editions. It contains the core elements of Windows Vista.

  • Retail: $199.00, Upgrade: $99.95 (USD)
  • XP Counterpart: Windows XP Home Edition
  • For budget users, general consumers
  • Themes Included: Windows Classic, Windows Vista Basic, Windows Vista Standard
  • Features: Windows Firewall, Windows Security Center, secure wireless networking, parental controls, anti-spam/anti-virus/anti-spyware functionality, network map, Windows Search, Movie Maker, Photo Library, Windows Media Player, Windows Mail with RSS support and finally P2P Messenger
  • 32-bit and 64-bit version available, up to 8 GB of physical memory

125px-Windows_Vista_Home_Premium_Box.jpgWindows Vista Home Premium

This version is the direct upgrade to Vista Home Basic and is what the average PC user will be using.

  • Retail: $239.00, Upgrade: $159.00 (USD)
  • XP Counterpart: Windows XP Media Center Edition
  • For home entertainment and geared towards the home user or the mobile user
  • Themes Included: Windows Classic, Windows Vista Basic, Windows Vista Standard, Windows Aero
  • Features: Everything in Vista Home Basic as well as Media Center and Media Center Extender functionality (including Cable Card support), DVD video authoring and HDTV support, DVD ripping support, mobility (Mobility Center) and presentation features, auxiliary display support, P2P ad-hoc meeting capabilities, Wi-Fi auto-config and roaming, unified parental controls that work over multiple PCs, backup to network functionality, Internet File Sharing, Offline Folders, PC-to-PC sync, Sync Manager, support for Quattro Home Server, extra games, file system encryption, photo management application and finally Tablet PC functionality
  • 32-bit and 64-bit version available, up to 16 GB of physical memory

125px-Windows_Vista_Business_Box.jpgWindows Vista Business

This version is an alternative upgrade to Vista Home Basic that is the edition that people will tend to use at work.

  • Retail: $299.00, Upgrade: $199.95 (USD)
  • XP Counterpart: Windows XP Professional
  • For businesses of all sizes, from the cubicle worker to the IT manager
  • Themes Included: Windows Classic, Windows Vista Basic, Windows Vista Standard, Windows Aero
  • Features: Everything in Vista Home Basic as well as domain join and management functionality, compatibility with non-Microsoft networking protocols (Netware, SNMP, etc.), Remote Desktop, Microsoft Windows Web Server, Encrypted File System (EFS), IIS web server, fax support, offline files, dual (physical) processor support, Remote Desktop, ad-hoc P2P collaboration capabilities and finally Tablet PC functionality
  • 32-bit and 64-bit version available, up to 128 GB of physical memory

icon_boxshotenterprise.gifWindows Vista Enterprise

This version is a step-up from Vista Business. It is offered exclusively through Software Assurance.

  • Part of Software Assurance Enterprise Licensing
  • XP Counterpart: None
  • For business decision makers, IT managers and decision makers
  • Themes Included: Windows Classic, Windows Vista Basic, Windows Vista Standard, Windows Aero
  • Features: Everything in Vista Business as well as Virtual PC, the multi-language user interface (MUI) and the Secure Startup/full volume encryption security technologies ("Cornerstone")
  • 32-bit and 64-bit version available, up to 128 GB of physical memory

125px-Windows_Vista_Ultimate_Box.jpg Windows Vista Ultimate

This version is the top of the line version of Windows Vista.

  • Retail: $399.00, Upgrade: $259.00 (USD)
  • XP Counterpart: None
  • For gamers, multimedia professionals and PC Enthusiasts
  • Themes Included: Windows Classic, Windows Vista Basic, Windows Vista Standard, Windows Aero
  • Features: Everything in Vista Home Premium and Vista Business as well as Windows Ultimate Extras (Windows DreamScene, BitLocker and EFS Enhancements, Hold 'Em Poker Game, Group Shot) and finally additional customer service options
  • 32-bit and 64-bit version available, up to 128 GB of physical memory

N Editions

In order to meet the requirements set by the European Union, Microsoft released Vista Home N and Vista Business N.

  • XP Counterpart: Windows XP Edition N
  • For Europeans that do not want Windows Media Player
  • Themes Included: Windows Classic, Windows Vista Basic, Windows Vista Standard, Windows Aero
  • Identical to Vista Home Basic and Vista Business respectively, except that they are stripped of Windows Media Player 11

Home Basic System Requirements

  • 800-megahertz (MHz) 32-bit (x86) processor or 800-MHz 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 512 megabytes (MB) of system memory
  • DirectX 9-class graphics card
  • 32 MB of graphics memory
  • 20-gigabyte (GB) hard disk that has 15 GB of free hard disk space
  • Internal or external DVD drive
  • Internet access capability
  • Audio output capability

Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, Ultimate System Requirements

  • 1-gigahertz (GHz) 32-bit (x86) processor or 1-GHz 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 GB of system memory
  • Windows Aero-capable graphics card (DirectX 9-class graphics card, support for a WDDM driver, pixel shader 2.0, 32 bits per pixel)
  • At least 128 MB of graphics memory
  • 40-GB hard disk that has 15 GB of free hard disk space (needed for temporary file storage during installation)
  • Internal or external DVD drive
  • Internet access capability
  • Audio output capability
  • Note: For x86 installations of Vista, the OS will not be able to see (utilize) 4GB of memory since 4GB is the maximum and some of the memory is actually allocated elsewhere. More information here.

Windows Anytime Upgrade

Windows Anytime Upgrade allows a user who has purchased a specific edition of Windows Vista to upgrade to a more "advanced" edition. The user will use their Vista DVD and a key that they purchase, either online or via telephone, to install the upgraded edition. Manufacturer?s suggested retail prices:

  • Home Basic to Home Premium = $79
  • Home Basic to Ultimate = $199
  • Home Premium to Ultimate = $159
  • Business to Ultimate = $139.Purchase Optionsb>
    • In-store at the retail prices mentioned above
    • Online or in-store, OEM versions can be purchased for cheaper than the retail price as long there is a piece of hardware bought along with the OS
    • Online, at Windows MarketplaceWindows Marketplaceb>
      • Editions available: Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Ultimate,
      • Languages available: English only
      • 32-bit and 64-bit version available[Still Can't Decide?u>[/i]i>
        Here are the three main sources I used when compiling this little overview:

        Believe it or not, this took quite a while to compile. Nonetheless, I want to hear criticism and suggestions for improvement!

Edited by Slimy

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yourmotherisold    0

No MUI for Vista Business? :|

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HoochieMamma    715

Where do you actually get the MUI files for Vista anyways?

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Shammy    0

Vista Ultimate for me

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dagamer34    2

For me, I think that Windows Vista Basic is a dud. It's really there just to increase the overall cost for the other versions of Vista.

I really do hope that OEMs only use Basic on their cheapest of computers IF at all because Basic is NO better than XP.

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Morpheus Phreak    0
For me, I think that Windows Vista Basic is a dud. It's really there just to increase the overall cost for the other versions of Vista.

I really do hope that OEMs only use Basic on their cheapest of computers IF at all because Basic is NO better than XP.

Are you kidding me? Sure goody-wise it's the same as XP, but the security is another story.

Vista security is mind-blowingly awesome compared to XP.

Also where are you seeing these huge price increases? The only product that it affects is Vista Home Premium.

Home Basic $199 = XP Home $199

Home Premium $239 is only $40 more and you get Media Center & Aero.

Business $299 = XP Pro $299

Ultimate $399 is a completely new category.

It combines Home Premium & Business as well as some Enterprise features and adds in the Ultimate Extras program with a premium of only $100 over the business price.

Are you telling me that an OS that can work on a Tablet PC with a Wireless HDTV tuner/receiver isn't worth $400 retail or $360 upgrade if you own XP?

Yes I realize that Wireless HDTV tuners aren't out yet, but I wouldn't expect that to take too long.

Or rather I should say the ability to stream HD streams to Vista MC from an HD source via a high speed wireless connection.

Edited by Morpheus Phreak

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Slimy    13

Where do you actually get the MUI files for Vista anyways?

This is the best I could find at the moment

All Windows Vista operating system versions are built on MUI technology. Any languages can be added to any language system to provide an MUI operating system, although licensing considerations do apply.
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms776215.aspx

http://www.microsoft.com/globaldev/reference/muizone.mspx

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Aero Ultimate    2

Home Premium $239 is only $40 more and you get Media Center & Aero.

I really don't want that Media Center/Media Player garbage, and $40 just for Aero+Flip3D is a bit steep.

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Liquid    4

I got Vista ultimate for free so why not.

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RGSPro    1

i hear ye. Get ultimate, thats a bargain at $400 ;)

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dagamer34    2

Are you kidding me? Sure goody-wise it's the same as XP, but the security is another story.

Vista security is mind-blowingly awesome compared to XP.

Also where are you seeing these huge price increases? The only product that it affects is Vista Home Premium.

Home Basic $199 = XP Home $199

Home Premium $239 is only $40 more and you get Media Center & Aero.

Business $299 = XP Pro $299

Ultimate $399 is a completely new category.

It combines Home Premium & Business as well as some Enterprise features and adds in the Ultimate Extras program with a premium of only $100 over the business price.

Are you telling me that an OS that can work on a Tablet PC with a Wireless HDTV tuner/receiver isn't worth $400 retail or $360 upgrade if you own XP?

Yes I realize that Wireless HDTV tuners aren't out yet, but I wouldn't expect that to take too long.

Or rather I should say the ability to stream HD streams to Vista MC from an HD source via a high speed wireless connection.

But it's supposed to be an improvement, remember? Replacing XP Home with Vista Basic is not an improvement, and for the next year until driver support gets better, it will actually be a downgrade. For the most part, you want an OS that is good enough that you'd never want to go back to previous versions. Vista Basic makes me cling onto my copy of XP Home.

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Khujo    0

Ultimate for me as well, thanks to MS for the free copy for testing

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RaisinCain    0

Why not just go to NewEgg & buy XP MCE 2005 for $110 & get the voucher for a FREE upgrade to Home Premium?

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jordanspringer    42

for me, im still deciding whether or not to get home premium, or ultimate. i think depending on what (and how good) the ultimate extras are, is what will make up my mind.

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Hurmoth    518

If I had to purchase a copy of Windows Vista, I'd most likely go with Home Premium. I see no reason spend that much on Ultimate when it doesn't offer that much more over Home Premium.

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ahhell    1,303

Ultimate sounds kind of useless...unless the Extras are amazing.

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sundayx    127

it just doesnt feel right without ultimate.....

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Gio Takahashi    29

I'll stick with Ultimate.

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mongoloid    0

Im running Windows Vista Ultimate, and so far so good.

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ambiance    67

Dammit! I was planning on purchasing Home Premium, but now I see WinSAT is on Ultimate only. Figures.

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Shagin099    0

I tested home premium all through beta and it seemed good for me... got ultimate for free though and hoping to test the extras :)... Hoping they really are "Ultimate"..

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Denis W.    731

125px-Windows_Vista_Ultimate_Box.jpg Windows Vista Ultimate

Features: [...] as well as Game Performance Tweaker with integrated gaming experiences[...]

I've heard of this before, but have yet to see any evidence of game performance tweaking in Vista (not to mention at the moment most games are slower in Vista versus XP). Care to elaborate on that one?

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Slimy    13

I'm pretty sure it was scrapped. It may be included as an Ultimate Extra though, you never know. I'll remove it from the first post.

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Ap0x    0

Basic or Home Premium for me....

Basic because im a standard gamer, web, movies (no need for media center) and music playback...thats it.

I like it simple..lol

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Hello1024    0

If I had to purchase a copy of Windows Vista, I'd buy ultimate, download ubuntu, sell vista on ebay, and use the money to go on holiday...

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