Windows Vista: Which Edition Do You Need?

By Matt Peterson



With the commercial release of Windows Vista right around the corner many users are preparing to upgrade to the latest Microsoft operating system.  The software giant has created serveral editions of the Vista OS to meet the needs of home and business users.  At first glance the list of Vista editions may seem unnecessarily confusing.  Let's take a look at these new versions so you can decide which one works best for you.

Windows Vista Starter

This edition is the bare bones version of Vista.  It only supports Aero Express, so there are no glass or transparency effects.  This version will not be available to users in the United States, Canada, the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, or other high income markets.

Windows Vista Home Basic

This edition is built for the average home user with basic computing needs.  The features in Windows Vista Home Basic form the foundation for all of the other editions of Windows.

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

Windows Vista Home Premium

This is the Vista edition for homes with advanced computer needs.  It will help you use your laptop or desktop PC more effectively as well as enable you to enjoy new, exciting digital entertainment experiences, all with the benefit of added security and reliability.  Windows Vista Home Premium includes all of the Windows Media Center capabilities for turning your PC into an all-in-one home entertainment center.

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

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 provide a more stable operating system, and hopefully less need for dedicated IT support.  For larger organizations, Windows Vista Business provides several new administrative improvements, reducing the time your IT staff spends on deploying PCs and the day to day support requirements that come along with a large business environment.

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

Windows Vista Enterprise

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 businesses to standardize by using a single operating system disk image.

This edition will only be available to customers who have the Microsoft Software Assurance or a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement.

Windows Vista Ultimate

The Ultimate edition is the most comprehensive versions.  It combines all of the features of the business platform, as well as digital entertainment features you would get with a Media Center PC.  For the person who wants one system that is great for working from home, on the road, and for entertainment, Vista Ultimate is the OS that lets you have it all.

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


About the Author:

Matt Peterson is a Senior Consultant for N2 Network Solutions, a Phoenix IT Consulting Firm that specializes Microsoft Exchange Consulting.







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