The Difference Between Windows 7 Professional & Ultimate

By John Williams

Microsoft always prides itself on providing multiple versions of Windows to accommodate all users. This holds true with Windows 7. Windows 7 was released with three different versions: one for home users, one for professional users and an ultimate version. Each version has different features created for each type of user. With each version, there are price differences due to more features and functionality.

BitLocker

Encryption is a definite must-have in today's society to help protect your data on your computer. Without it, someone could compromise your system's data. Windows 7 introduced a new service called "Bitlocker." Bitlocker is a new file encryption method that completely locks down any hard drive on your computer. This feature is only available with Windows 7 Ultimate. By giving a user the option to encrypt the entire hard drive, users can protect the encrypting passwords as well as data.

Language Options

With Windows 7 Ultimate, you can change your language setting while working. This means if you are working on your computer and you need to change it to another language, you can with just a touch of a button, unlike other versions of Windows where you have to install that specific language pack in order to read or write in another language. This feature is only available in Windows 7 Ultimate.

Applocker

Another feature available in Windows 7 Ultimate and not Professional is Applocker. Applocker is designed to help IT professionals control what types of programs users can put on their computers. A problem IT professionals face in the workplace is people use their computers to access emails and visit peer-to-peer sites while away from work and access other things from home or on the road which install many different programs. These programs can range from simple browser add-ons to full programs that install as toolbars. Either way, this presents a major security risk, and with Applocker, you can specify only programs on a specific list to run as well as prevent programs that use bandwidth from being installed altogether.

DirectAccess

DirectAccess is another feature available only in the Ultimate version. DirectAccess provides users the ability to connect to workplace networks without the use of a VPN connection. DirectAccess enables the administrator to route people's Internet access through the network or send it directly to the Internet. Another key feature of DirectAccess is it supports different types of authentication, such as network user names and passwords, as well as smart cards, to log in to your computer or network resource.