Windows 7 Professional is the second Windows 7 edition that we take a closer look at (after Windows 7 Home Premium yesterday). This edition is actually the equivalent to Windows Vista Business but Microsoft decided to rename it in this operating system. Some say they did so to make it easier for Windows XP Pro users to switch to Windows 7.
The price difference between Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Professional is steep. You can currently get a so called Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack that includes three licenses for roughly $200 whereas a single Windows 7 Professional license puts you down $299 (some rebates are currently available dropping that figure to $260).
Still, users would expect value for that price difference. As outlined yesterday there are only a few additional features in Windows 7 Professional that are not available in Home Premium.
The following list lists the features that Windows 7 Home users don't get. They are only included in Windows 7 Pro and Windows 7 Ultimate.
Most of these features have been designed for a business or professional environment while some could be useful for other users as well.
Most of these features can be substituted with third party software: this includes software backups, file system encryption, presentation mode, location aware printing or the Windows XP mode. Computer users who know that they need several of these features might want to pick this version whereas everyone else is probably better off with Windows 7 Home Premium or even Windows 7 Ultimate which retails for only $20 more than Windows 7 Professional.
One of the core features that Windows 7 Professional supports but Home does not is the Group Policy. Other features that may be of interested include Windows XP Mode, Bitlocker support, and if required, Windows Server Domain support.
Windows 7 Professional does support computer memory of up to 192 Gigabytes whereas Home Premium only supports 16 Gigabytes. This could be a valid reason to use the Pro (or Ultimate) version instead of Home Premium although it is highly unlikely that many end users are using computer systems which exceed 16 Gigabytes of computer memory.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.