Which Edition of Windows 7 Do You Need?

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Today, Microsoft announced the six editions of Windows that will be coming to the market when Windows 7 is released. For clarity and simplicity, the company is messaging that two editions will broadly support the mainstream: Windows 7 Home Premium (Consumers) and Windows 7 Professional (Small business).

These Windows 7 editions hearken back to the Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional editions.  So for most people who are still on Windows XP, the choice will be clear.  If you have XP Home or XP Media Center Edition , you will upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium.   If you have Windows XP Professional, then you move to Windows 7 Professional. Not so fast, XP Pro users.

Universities and colleges will find their best value with Windows 7 Enterprise Edition, the successor to Windows Vista Enterprise Edition.  One of the biggest challenges facing many of our universities is protecting the privacy and data of employees and students.  Additionally, a lot of research projects require the protection and security of data because of patent pending work and intellectual property rights. Windows 7 Enterprise Edition provides the best route for people and data security for the Higher Education enterprise.

Features like BitLocker, found in Windows Vista Enterprise, are extended to removable storage, like the infamous thumb drives that pervade some many desk drawers and backpacks in Windows 7 Enterprise Edition.  With Windows 7 Enterprise you can encrypt the data on the primary hard drive and removable storage devices so that you can ensure that employees, students, and research data is fully protected.  Windows 7 won’t prevent laptop lost or theft.  However, it will ensure that if your storage devices end up in the wrong hands, your institutional data will not.

BitLocker to Go, isn’t the only reason to adopt Windows 7 Enterprise Edition.  However, I will cover the enterprise story for both Windows Client and Windows Server since they are so closely tied together in a separate post.

Hopefully, we will continue our student campaign for the Ultimate Edition of Windows 7.  Currently Windows Vista Ultimate Edition PRODUCT(RED) is made available to college students and at extreme discount.  No announcements on Windows 7 PRODUCT (RED) or pricing have been made available at this time.

Find out more about Windows 7 BitLocker to Go Encryption.

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