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Download Windows operating system that’s perfect for your needs!

Are you choosing the appropriate version for your needs when you buy Windows? Not all OS are made equal when you buy Windows online. You can choose among different versions including Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and Windows Server. Further options include 32-bit or 64-bit and Standard, Home, Premium, Professional, Business, and more.

 Buy Microsoft Windows from Softwaredepot.co for a digital copy delivered the soonest to your email with easy to follow download and install process. If in doubt what what Windows system is the best for you - please contact our knowledgable sales staff through phone or livechat for more information.

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Microsoft Windows Buyers Guide

The operating system provides a platform for interacting with your computer. It is designed to provide a bridge between the programs you use on your computer and the computer’s physical components. Therefore, you can’t use your computer without an operating system because you wouldn’t be able to run any applications, programs utilities or games.

Without an operating system you would not be able to use your computer as no programs, applications, games or utilities would be able to be installed and run, your PC would just display a blank screen waiting for an operating system to be applied. Microsoft Windows is currently the most popular OS (Operating System) with about 90% of the total market share. It’s also the premier platform for most programs and PC gaming.

Different versions of Microsoft Windows

There are five major Microsoft Windows versions that you’re likely to encounter. These are Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP.

Windows XP

Windows XP was released on October 25th 2001 and it’s one of the oldest operating systems you’re likely to come across when using a PC. It’s the successor to both Windows ME and Windows 2000, and Microsoft’s first customer-oriented OS to be built on Windows NT kernel. This allows Windows XP to offer high stability levels compared to previous versions such as Windows 98 SE, Windows 95 and Windows ME. However, Windows XP lacks support of the latest technology in hardware and only offers primitive support of multi-processor core technology and memory management.

Windows XP Editions

  • Windows XP Home Edition: This is the version you’re most likely to encounter. It offers all the features home users need.
  • Windows XP Professional Edition: Offers the safe features as Windows XP Home Edition but adds support for two physical processors and Windows Server domain support and is targeted towards enterprise clients, businesses and power users.
  • Windows XP Media Centre Edition: Adds multimedia features which enhance the OS’s ability to watch and record TV shows, listen to music and view DVD movies.
  • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition: Is built to run touch and stylus input applications designed using Tablet PC platform.

Although Microsoft Windows XP was initially released for both 64-bit and 32-bit processors, most copies of Windows XP Professional and Home are 32-bit. Moreover, the 64-bit editions have limited hardware support with most webcams, scanners, internal components and printers not supporting 64-bit editions.

Windows Vista

Windows Vista was released on 30th January 2007 and it addresses many complaints of Microsoft Windows XP. It also brought an improved user interface and extra hardware support to the Windows experience.

Windows Vista came with several new features and changes including a redesigned search function, an updated interface known as Aero, multimedia tools including a new way of configuring networks and Windows DVD Maker. Windows Vista was designed to improve security with many free utilities including Windows Security Essentials.

Windows Vista editions for personal computers

Microsoft Windows Vista offers five main editions for personal computers:

  • Windows Vista Home Basic Edition

    Just like Windows XP Home Edition, Windows Vista Home Basic mainly targets users who don’t need advanced features and are looking for a budget solution. However, Vista Home basic edition has some hardware limitations. For instance, the Home Basic edition supports only one CPU with multiple cores, and 64-bit home basic can only support up to 8 GB of RAM.

  • Windows Vista Home Premium Edition

    Vista Home Premium Edition offers all of the features of Vista Home Basic edition and also supports extra features such as support for DVD-authoring and HDTV. It also supports extra features such as auxiliary monitors tablet PCs and network projectors. Vista Home premium includes a functionality compared to that of Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition. It supports one CPU but with multiple cores and the 64-bit version supports up to 16 GB of RAM.

  • Windows Vista Business Edition

    This is the Vista equivalent of Windows XP Tablet Edition and Windows XP Professional Edition. Microsoft Windows Vista Edition mainly targets the business market. Windows Vista Business Edition comes with all the features included in the Home Basic Edition with the exception of parental controls and the Windows Vista Standard theme. It can also join a Windows Server Domain and comes with additional business features including rights management, fax support, File System Encryption, shadow copy, offline services, system image backup and recovery, Internet Information Services, and other business management features. It supports up to 2 physical CPUs and the 64-bit edition supports up to 128GB of Ram.

  • Windows Vista Enterprise Edition

    This edition is mainly targeted towards the enterprise market and is based upon Windows Vista Business Edition but includes several additional features. Windows Vista Enterprise Edition comes with support for BitLocker drive encryption and UNIX application support. Windows Vista Enterprise supports 2 physical CPUs and the 64-bit version can support up to 128 GB of RAM.

  • Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Edition

    Windows Vista Ultimate combines all the features of Microsoft Windows Vista Enterprise and Windows Vista Home Premium Edition into one edition. Additional features include video desktop wallpapers, extra sound schemes, and extra games. Windows Vista Ultimate Edition 64-bit can support up to 128GB of RAM.

Windows 7

Released on October 22nd 22009, Microsoft Windows 7 is an evolution on the designs and concepts introduced in Microsoft Windows Vista with the aim of being compatible with hardware and applications which are already compatible with Windows Vista. Some of the main features included in Windows 7 include a redesigned Windows Shell, a new taskbar, multi-tech support, HomeGroup home networking and numerous performance improvements. It is optimized for the latest hardware and provides sustainability and performance improvements with hardware such as SSHDs (Solid State Hard Drives) thanks to optimization of processes and support for the TRIM command.

Windows 7 Home Premium Edition

Windows 7 Home Premium is similar to Windows Vista Home Premium Edition in features but includes additional features such as enhanced media playback, home group networking support, improved desktop navigation, quick searching and quick program startup. Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit supports up to 16GB of ram.

Windows 7 Professional Edition

It comes with all the features of Windows 7 Home Premium Edition but adds support for Microsoft Windows XP Mode which enables you to run a virtual copy of XP from Within Microsoft Windows 7. This enhances compatibility with older applications and hardware, enhanced backup to network locations and Domain Join for connecting to a Windows Server Domain. The 64-bit version of Windows 7 Professional Edition can support up to 192GB of RAM.

Windows 7 Ultimate Edition

Includes all the features of Microsoft Windows 7 Professional but adds several essential features including BitLocker drive encryption and supports 35 languages on the fly. The 64-bit version of Windows 7 Ultimate Edition can support up to 192GB of RAM.

Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 was released on October 26th 2012 and has proven to be quite popular so far. It introduces several significant changes to the traditional Windows setup in order to improve compatibility for touchscreen devices and tablets, and compete with other operating systems. One of the biggest changes is the Modern User Interface (UI) which replaces the start button in previous versions. With the new Windows 8.1 UI’s native apps and live icons, it’s an entirely new to use your devices. Security features such as secure boot support, built-in antivirus software and anti-malware measures are also welcome additions. Moreover, Windows 8.1 also features Windows Store and Apps in a bid to compete directly with OSX’s Apple App store.

Windows 8.1 has slightly higher hardware requirements compared to Windows 7. On the other hand, 64-bit versions of Windows 8.1 require slightly more resources than 32-bit versions but perform better in use. Your computer should have a minimum of 20GB free disk space, 2GB of ram and a 1GHz processor or above. It also recommends a minimum screen resolution of 720p (1366x768) for snapping functionality and 1024x768 for Windows Store Apps.

Windows 8.1 Editions

There are two main editions of Windows 8.1 and both are available in 64-bit and 32-bit versions.

Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 is directly comparable to Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows Vista editions. It offers features that are aimed at home users and contains all of the basic Windows 8.1 features including live tiles, Internet Explorer 10, Microsoft account integration, the Windows desktop, start screen with semantic zoom, connected standby, windows store and more.

Windows 8.1 Pro

Windows 8.1 Pro is directly comparable to Windows 7 Professional Ultimate and Windows Vista editions. This edition is mainly targeted at business users and enthusiasts. It comes with all the features included in Windows 8.1 with the addition to connect to a domain network, receive Remote Desktop Connections, Virtual Hard Disk booting, Hyper-V and file System Encryption.

Windows 10

Even though Windows 10’s Continuum feature enables it to adapt between PC and touch screen-focused modes, hence catering for laptops and convertible devices, Microsoft is still offering different editions or versions of its new operating system. Windows 10 has at least 7 different versions. These editions are tailored for different uses and device families. They are designed to address specific needs of various customers, from small businesses to consumers to large enterprises.

Windows 10 Editions

  • Windows 10 Home

    This is one of the basic versions of windows 10 and has proven to be ideal for all especially basic users. Most of the Windows 10 features most people have heard about are included. It also comes with a new range of integrated features and apps including Continuum, Edge (Microsoft’s new web browser replacing Internet Explorer), The Cortana digital assistant, Calendar, Photos and Mail.

  • Windows 10 Pro

    Windows 10 Pro is essentially Windows 10 Home with extra features that MIGHT BE USEFUL FOR business and advanced users. The main additional features include Windows Update for Business, cloud technologies, remote features and additional data protection. Windows Update for Business allows you to access advanced update features such as peer-to-peer delivery, which boosts update speeds.

  • Windows 10 Mobile

    Windows 10 Mobile mainly focuses on small tablets and smartphones while including many of the core features of the new Windows 10 OS. These features include universal apps such as Mail and Photo, Office (touch-optimized version) and Continuum.

  • Windows 10 Enterprise

    This version of Windows 10 is designed for large organizations where security is a big focus. It comes with advanced capabilities to protect organizations against the ever-evolving security threats. Windows 10 Enterprise also supports the widest variety of options for OS deployment and device and app management. It also offers volume licensing but volume licensing customers can only take advantage of the latest security and innovation updates on an on-going basis.

  • Windows 10 Education

    This version builds on Windows 10 Enterprise with its main target being schools and academic volume licensing. It offers teachers, students, system admins and staff tailor-made experiences based on their unique needs.

  • Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise

    Besides offering the built-in apps that come with Windows 10 Standard Mobile Version, Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise version adds additional update management tools and extra security features similar to those offered by Windows 10 Enterprise. It also provides early access to innovation and security features.

    Both Editions of Windows 10 Enterprise have been split down further in order to cater for devices such as handheld terminals, retail point of sale and ATMs. The final version of Windows 10 is known as Windows 10 IoT core which is designed to cater for smaller devices such as gateways.

    Therefore, most home users will probably go Windows 10 Home, while for others, Windows 10 Pro or even Windows 10 Enterprise might be the best because they offer more advanced update features that will benefit users who reinstall Windows Periodically.