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Matt McSpirit on Virtualisation, Management and Core Infrastructure


Windows Vista: Editions and Prices

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With the release of Windows Vista RC1, Microsoft has also announced pricing for the various editions of Vista:

For the home user, the editions and prices are as follows:

And for the Businesses, the editions and prices are as follows:

So let's take a look at these editions in a little more detail.

Windows Vista Home Basic is the operating system for homes with basic computing needs. It is easy to set up, it helps you use your PC more securely and reliably, and like all of the editions of Windows Vista, it is compatible with the widest range of software, devices, and services that you use and trust. If you simply want to use your PC for tasks such as surfing the Internet, corresponding with friends and family using e-mail, or performing basic document creation and editing tasks, then Windows Vista Home Basic will deliver a safer, more reliable, and more productive computing environment.  The features in Windows Vista Home Basic also form the foundation of all of the other editions of Windows Vista, including Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate.

Windows Vista Home Premium is the operating system 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.  Whatever you choose to do with your home PC, Windows Vista Home Premium will deliver a more complete and satisfying computing experience.

Windows Vista Ultimate is the most comprehensive edition of Windows Vista. It is the first operating system that combines all of the advanced infrastructure features of a business-focused operating system, all of the management and efficiency features of a mobility-focused operating system, and all of the digital entertainment features of a consumer-focused operating system. For the person who wants one operating system that is great for working from home, working on the road, and for entertainment, Windows Vista Ultimate is the operating system that lets you have it all.

The Windows Vista Business operating system is designed to meet the needs of business organisations of all sizes. For small businesses, Windows Vista Business will help keep PCs running smoothly and more securely so you will be less reliant on dedicated IT support. For larger organisations, Windows Vista Business provides dramatic new infrastructure improvements, enabling your IT staff to spend less time focused on the day-to-day maintenance of PCs and more time adding strategic value to your organization. Windows Vista Business also offers powerful new ways to organise, find, and share information while staying better connected whether you are in the office or on the road. This helps your business to run more efficiently than ever before.

To better address the needs of large, global organisations and those with highly complex IT infrastructures, Microsoft will introduce a new version of Windows - Windows Vista Enterprise - designed to significantly lower IT costs and risk. In addition to all of the features available in Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista 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 organisations to standardize by using a single worldwide deployment image. Windows Vista Enterprise will only be available to customers who have PCs covered by Microsoft Software Assurance or a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement.

This information, and more, can be found over at the Vista Editions page, on

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  • Hi,

    I'm looking at going to 64 bit Vista; currently have 32 bit Vista on one machine and XP Pro on the other.

    I'm looking at buying the full version of Vista Ultimate on E-Bay.  The seller states they have full version of Ultimate 32/64 bit.  I've reference MS' website but I'm only finding either 64 or 32 bit not a combination.  

    My question; does this product offer either the combination of installating 32 or 64 or is it just one type of OS?  

  • Hi George,

    Be careful with buying on eBay, as they aren't always geniune versions, and eBay isn't an authorised channel for selling Windows software.

    In terms of Vista Ultimate - this is the only version of Windows Vista that ships with both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions in the box, on separate DVDs.  If you want to install x64, use the x64 DVD, and vice-versa for 32 bit.

    Rather than invest now though, you may want to wait a few months and buy Windows 7?  It's going to be a more performant and powerful Windows OS, and there should be a Release Candidate you can download fairly soon to tide you over until the final release.

    Hope that helps,


  • Vista runs on both 32 and 64 bit OS so there is no separate CD for a 32bit system or 64. Like Matt said your better of going to a retail store like Best Buy, Micro Center etc. to buy your version of Windows Vista knowing some ebay sellers may have a fake version or some sort that won't work and also be a waste of your precious dollars.

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