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Comparing Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate

by jmine83 / July 4, 2009 2:28 AM PDT

Okay, so I have an OEM version of Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition that I purchased years ago when I built a custom PC rig. Now, I "presume" based on the current upgrade program that I do qualify for the retail upgrade version of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit Edition correct? Presuming I do qualify, this brings me to my next agenda which requires clarification IF I am to jump on this Windows 7 upgrade promotion; i.e. getting Windows 7 Professional upgrade edition at the current special promotional price of $100 -OR- paying $220 for Windows 7 Ultimate upgrade edition. The decision of course, boils down to the difference in their features.

First off, one would "presume" that the differences between Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate are the exact SAME DIFFERENCES between Vista Business and Vista Ultimate. However, I feel that fully explaining these differences has not been sufficiently nor completely explained.

Now, the primary advertised features unique to the Ultimate versions of either Vista or Windows 7 that I've investigated, is the inclusion of a feature called BitLocker which protects and secures data from loss, theft, or hackers -AND- the ability for the O/S language interface to not be tethered-down to one language. During my use of Vista Ultimate, I have found that I don't even use these particular features and therefore aren't important to me. However, I believe the big unanswered question is in the regards of the "Vista Ultimate Extras" and what the future of those extras is in relation to Windows 7. These "extras" include special wallpapers, desktop videos, multimedia content, and games that were ONLY available to owners of the Ultimate Edition of Vista. So I am wondering if Windows 7 Ultimate Edition has a similar hidden difference with the inclusion of special Ultimate exclusive "extras" not being talked about. I would be greatly appreciative to anyone who can shed some light on this.

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Frankly? Hang in there.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 4, 2009 2:35 AM PDT
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Thank You
by jmine83 / July 4, 2009 3:21 AM PDT

Thank you for bringing this article to my attention. I feel I shall definitely hold on until a better offer comes along that hopefully Microsoft will issue later. Although I found the article and comments posted regarding it rather curious. I mean, I partly expected and knew that the "Vista Ultimate Extras" before buying it years ago would simply just be multimedia content and such. And those extras on top of having BitLocker and the inclusion of no language selection restrictions. And yet users are complaining these exclusive features don't justify a unique Ultimate Edition? I myself have mixed feelings upon whether or not the exclusive Ultimate extras should justify a completely different version of Vista or Windows 7.

My exact "two cents" into this debate is that if Microsoft wants to have a special Ultimate edition of their O/S whose ONLY differences compared to Professional/Business editions is the inclusion of BitLocker and freedom to switch between multiple languages, then that's fine and I think justifies a unique Ultimate edition. However, the "Vista Ultimate Extras" multimedia content such as games, sound schemes, wallpapers, and videos should NOT be exclusive to any one Windows operating system. Those extras should be freely available to any Windows user on any edition of Windows. I think the multimedia content deserves praise as fun and rewarding content produced directly by Microsoft, however, again that content should NOT be exclusive to just one specific edition of Windows.

To appreciate this argument, you need to consider the target demographic for which each edition of Windows is made for. Their is a logical, ascending difference in target audience when you go from a Home edition, to Professional edition, and finally to Ultimate edition. Naturally, the Home edition is suppose to be for PC users of beginner to moderate proficiency looking to do basic day-to-day home user tasks, but also enjoy entertaining content and features. They are not running a business or corporate network. The Professional edition steps up from Home with the inclusion of specific features targeted towards PC users of advanced proficiency, maintains engaging multimedia content, and is targeted towards PC users who are running a business or perhaps are college students majoring in a field of Computer Science. Finally the Ultimate edition steps up the features from the Professional edition for users in a formal corporate infrastructure with massive networks maintained by IT professionals looking for features to maintain information security and also be able to communicate and cooperate globally with other companies in other countries. So between these varying editions, there is a clear distinction in the audience for whom each edition is intended. Therefore, for the Ultimate edition to have exclusive "extras" that in no way specifically relates to its intended target demographic, it is quite simply absurd. Multimedia features should be accessible to everyone using any edition of Windows.

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"Multimedia features should be accessible to everyone using
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 4, 2009 3:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Thank You

"Multimedia features should be accessible to everyone using any edition of Windows."

Now there's a pig trough for the lawyers. (no disrespect for you here.)

-> Do you remember the battles and more over audio and video encoding and decoding? For example demands payment if you included their encode/decode (codec) system.

Since they (mpegla) and not MSFT own the rights to that would you impose the mpegla TAX on everyone that runs Windows?

As this is one of some thousand items that could have other companies with a license to be paid can you see that your statement "Multimedia features should be accessible to everyone using any edition of Windows" amounts to a tax?

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by John.Wilkinson / July 4, 2009 3:04 AM PDT

1.) Yes, you qualify for qualify for the retail upgrade version of Windows 7 Professional x64.

2.) Actually, the differences differ. We have a quick comparison in our forum sticky:

3.) Ultimate Extras were available under Windows Vista, but will NOT be continued under Windows 7. Instead, any 'extras' that may be developed will be for all Windows 7 users, though no guarantees regarding additional features will be made.

Hope this helps,

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Oh good...
by jmine83 / July 4, 2009 3:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Comparison...

Great, I believe this is exactly what I needed to know. So to clarify, the previous "Vista Ultimate Extras" in terms of multimedia content, will not be exclusive to the Ultimate edition of Windows 7, but rather will be freely available to all Windows 7 users correct? And thus the only thing I have to worry about is whether or not to jump on features like BitLocker or language selection yes?

If this is true, then I believe I shall definitely jump on pre-ordering Windows 7 Professional x64. Although, however, to shed some light on mine own pursuits, I am currently a junior in college who has recently decided to officially declare my major in Computer Science/Engineering. Over the course of the next two to three years, I shall be completing a series of prerequisite courses towards a BS degree until I get to the core-level of courses. And thus I am wondering if perhaps in terms of keeping up with the PC market trends and keeping myself highly knowledgeable and savvy in the computer industry, that I should get the Ultimate edition of Windows 7 for the sake of building upon a reputation for being an all-around knowledgeable and trustworthy source of technical know-how. At the same time, however, I'm unemployed and have to be careful with my money, and for mine own personal usage, I know the Professional edition is all I should need.

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by John.Wilkinson / July 4, 2009 7:36 AM PDT
In reply to: Oh good...

"So to clarify, the previous "Vista Ultimate Extras" in terms of multimedia content, will not be exclusive to the Ultimate edition of Windows 7, but rather will be freely available to all Windows 7 users correct?"
-> "Ultimate Extras" will not exist. If they develop "extras" of some sort, everyone will have access to them, provided they are supported by the edition (note the limitations on Starter and Home Basic editions) and hardware. If they do not develop extras, no one will have them. No promises either way.

"And thus the only thing I have to worry about is whether or not to jump on features like BitLocker or language selection yes?"
-> Not at all. Look at the comparison I linked to previously.

Hope this helps,

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