SYSK 238: Vista… Six SKUs… Which One Is For Me and Which One Is For My Spouse?

Now that Windows Vista is here, it might be a good time to figure out which version is the best fit for you and the other family members.


If just want to do the basics: email, web browsing, document creation and editing, and are not interested in Windows Aero™ user interface, then look for Windows Vista Home Basic edition. You will get “quick search” functionality, sidebar, gadgets, Windows Defender, SuperFetch, “Easy Transfer”, amongst other things… Note: you’ll need to get at least Vista Home Premium SKU if you’re using Tablet PC.


If Windows Aero™ user interface demos, like “Windows Flip 3D”, taskbar thumbnails, and many others, got you excited and you just have to have it, or you’re looking for more digital media and entertainment support like Windows Photo Editor, MovieMaker HD, DVD authoring/burning, then check out Windows Vista Home Premium edition. You also get features like Sync Center, Windows Mobility Center, HotStart, DX10 appreciated by gamers, etc.


Windows Vista Business is designed for businesses – you still get Windows Aero™ UI, Quick Search, sidebars, gadgets, search explorer, Windows Defender, but it also comes with features like the Networking center, Windows Mobility Center, Windows Disk Diagnostics, Resource Exhaustion Protection, Restart Manager…just to name a few.


Large size organizations might benefit from Windows Vista Enterprise, which includes all technologies of Windows Vista Business, plus Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption, multilingual user interface, device driver installation control, integrated group policy management console, application compatibility toolkit, Windows image manager, offline image servicing, subsystem for UNIX applications, and some other features.


Windows Vista Ultimate is just that -- no compromises Windows offering for people using their PC for both work and play. It has all features of Windows Vista Enterprise and Windows Vista Home Premium editions, but the entertainment features are not group-policy enabled, and there is no volume licensing support.


The six’s edition, Windows Vista Starter, is intended for the emerging markets and provides the basic functionality of Windows Vista.

For more information, download Windows Vista Beta 2 Product Guide at or search for Vista “product guide” on for a more recently updated document.