What are the editions of Windows Vista?

What are the editions of Windows Vista?

Microsoft, learning from their experience in Windows XP, have created different versions of Windows Vista for different lifestyles. Within the editions of Windows Vista, Microsoft have separated them into two sets: “Home” and “Business”.

Windows Vista Ultimate

Windows Vista Ultimate is the most comprehensive edition of Windows Vista. It is the first operating system that combines all of the advanced infrastructure features of a business-focused operating system, all of the management and efficiency features of a mobility-focused operating system, and all of the digital entertainment features of a consumer-focused operating system.

Windows Vista Ultimate delivers all of the features available to both business users and home users. It is the ideal solution for a small-business owner who wants a single PC that he or she can use at the office, on the road, and at home. It is also the ideal solution for someone who wants a home PC that will be used primarily for entertainment purposes but that can also be used for business purposes such as connecting to a corporate network.

Windows Vista Ultimate delivers all of the entertainment features available in Windows Vista Home Premium. It includes everything you need to enjoy the latest in digital photography, music, movies, analog TV, or even HDTV. Windows Vista Ultimate has great tools such as Windows Photo Gallery and Windows Movie Maker to ensure that you have everything you need to collect, manage, and edit your digital content. It also includes Windows Media Center for turning your PC into an all-in-one home entertainment center.

Suggested retail price for full package product, $399.00 USD. Suggested upgrade retail price, $259.00 USD.

Windows Vista Enterprise

Windows Vista Enterprise is designed to meet the needs of large global organizations with highly complex IT infrastructures. Windows Vista Enterprise can help you lower your IT costs while providing additional layers of protection for your sensitive data.

To better address the needs of large, global organizations and those with highly complex IT infrastructures, Microsoft will introduce a new version of Windows—Windows Vista Enterprise—designed to significantly lower IT costs and risk. In addition to all of the features available in Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise is designed to provide higher levels of data protection using hardware-based encryption technology. It also includes tools to improve application compatibility and enables organizations to standardize by using a single worldwide deployment image.

Windows Vista Enterprise includes built-in tools to improve application compatibility with previous versions of Microsoft operating systems, as well as with UNIX operating systems. A feature of Windows Vista Enterprise, Virtual PC Express enables you to run—unchanged—a legacy application on a legacy Windows operating system in a virtual environment on top of Windows Vista Enterprise. This feature saves you time and money if you are unable to easily migrate a legacy application directly to Windows Vista. Additionally, Windows Vista Enterprise includes Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications (SUA), which enables you to run UNIX applications unchanged on a Windows Vista Enterprise-based PC. Whereas today a UNIX database administrator or system administrator needs to have a UNIX workstation in addition to a Windows-based PC, Windows Vista Enterprise enables you to consolidate both functions into a single Windows Vista-based PC.

Windows Vista Enterprise includes Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption, a new technology which helps prevent sensitive data and intellectual property from falling into the wrong hands if a computer is lost or stolen. Windows BitLocker uses hardware-based data encryption technology that gives you greater peace of mind knowing that your corporate intellectual property is safer and will remain your strategic asset. Also, since the entire hard drive is encrypted, Windows BitLocker reduces the cost associated with decommissioning old PCs.

The Windows Vista Enterprise edition is only available to Microsoft Volume License customers, it is not available for retail purchase.

Windows Vista Business

The Windows Vista Business operating system is designed to meet the needs of business organizations of all sizes. For small businesses, Windows Vista Business will help keep PCs running smoothly and more securely so you will be less reliant on dedicated IT support. For larger organizations, Windows Vista Business provides dramatic new infrastructure improvements, enabling your IT staff to spend less time focused on the day-to-day maintenance of PCs and more time adding strategic value to your organization. Windows Vista Business also offers powerful new ways to organize, find, and share information while staying better connected whether you are in the office or on the road. This helps your business to run more efficiently than ever before.

For larger organizations, Windows Vista Business has been designed from the ground up to improve the deployment and management of the operating system. For instance, image-based installation is now the default method for installing the Windows Vista operating system, and the images are no longer hardware-dependent. These two key design principles enable your organization to dramatically reduce the number of images you are required to manage and streamline the process of deploying new PCs and updating existing PCs.

For businesses of any size, Windows Vista Business is designed to allow your IT department to configure users’ systems so that they can log onto their PCs as standard users instead of as administrators. Windows Vista Business enables the use of standard user accounts without the compatibility and usability issues that could occur in previous versions of Windows. This new capability significantly reduces the likelihood of a malicious attack causing damage to your organization’s PCs.

In addition to these navigation improvements, Windows Vista Business makes it easier than ever to manage huge volumes of business documents. By integrating search throughout the operating system and providing new ways to organize files, Windows Vista Business helps you quickly find exactly what you are looking for.

For those who are not full-time IT professionals but have roles that require them to support their organizations’ PCs, Windows Vista Business includes Small Business Resources. This built-in how-to guide leads you through everyday tasks and troubleshooting in easy-to-follow, non-technical language.

Computers that include Windows Vista Business and an auxiliary Windows SideShow display will also allow you to access critical business information even when your computer is turned off. Windows Vista Business also makes it easy for you to share documents and collaborate with colleagues, partners, and customers—even if a network is not available. Additionally, Windows Vista Business helps you get the most out of your portable PC by making it quick and easy to manage key mobility settings. Regardless of the size of your organization, Windows Vista Business will help you lower your PC management costs, improve your security, enhance your productivity, and help you stay better connected.

Suggested retail price for full package product, $299.00 USD. Suggested upgrade retail price, $199.00 USD.

Windows Vista Home Premium

Whether you choose to use your PC to write e-mail and surf the Internet, for home entertainment, or to track your household expenses, Windows Vista Home Premium delivers a more complete and satisfying computing experience. Windows Vista Home Premium will improve every aspect of your digital entertainment experiences including viewing and sharing photos, video, TV, movies, music, games, and more. Windows Vista Home Premium includes all of the Windows Media Center capabilities for turning your PC into an all-in-one home entertainment center. Windows Media Center in Windows Vista provides new ways for you to enjoy your music, photos, and DVD movies. You can also use Windows Media Center to record and watch your favorite TV shows (even HDTV) and to access new kinds of online entertainment content. You will also be able to connect Windows Vista Home Premium to your Microsoft Xbox 360 to extend your Media Center experience to multiple rooms in your home.

Suggested retail price for full package product, $239.00 USD. Suggested upgrade retail price, $159.00 USD.

Windows Vista Home Basic

Windows Vista Home Basic is the edition of Windows for users with the most basic computing needs. The features in Windows Vista Home Basic also form the foundation of all of the other editions of Windows Vista. Windows Vista Home Basic is designed to deliver improved reliability, security, and usability to home PC users who just want to do the basics with their PCs.

Suggested retail price for full package product, $199.00 USD. Suggested upgrade retail price, $99.95 USD.

Windows Vista Starter

A very basic version of Windows, only supporting Aero Express (no Glass or transparency) and is to be sold in developing countries. This edition will only ship in 32-bit and won’t be available to North America, Western Europe, or Australia.

Note: The "N" version

Because of rules and regulations within the European Community, Microsoft will offer a reduced "N" product, which means there will be "No Media Player". This version will allow you to still download Media Player afterwards, but it’s mainly for developing and smaller companies of which produce media players. These versions will be available in the EU.

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