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Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium review

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium

Verdict

Strikes the right balance between features most home users will want while keeping the price affordable

Review Date: 22 Oct 2009

Reviewed By: PC Pro

Price when reviewed: Free

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Ease of Use
6 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

Windows 7 Home Premium is the version consumers – as opposed to business users – are most likely to experience. As such, it contains new tools and options that will appeal most to home users and those who use their computers for entertainment.

Prime among these is the revamped Windows Media Center. This can still be used as a full-screen entertainment system, and can be controlled with a remote from the comfort of your sofa. It also works with Media Center Extenders, such as Logitech's Squeezebox Duet and the Xbox 360, so your PC can be your home's entertainment hub. Support has been added for DivX, XviD and H.264 file types to keep it up to date.

We’ve also been impressed by the much-improved Windows Media Player, now up to version 12. New streaming features allow you to share media not just over a home network, but over the internet. And the "Stream to" feature makes sending music to DLNA-certified players a doddle. With an intuitive interface it's a superb way to control a large MP3 and video collection.

Unlike the cut-down Starter Edition, the Windows Aero interface is fully installed, and it’s not just there to look pretty but to make using your computer more intuitive.

It’s the little touches like shaking a window to minimise all others, and the excellent desktop themes, that make it a superior environment to Vista. If you’re fortunate enough to have a touchscreen then things go a step further thanks to a full roster of multitouch features.

Biometric support is in place in Home Premium, so if your laptop has a fingerprint reader the OS can make use of it for logins and security.

More powerful features are missing, though: there's no BitLocker encryption, no remote desktop and no Windows XP Mode. Home Premium's Backup and Restore Center is restricted to local hard disk or DVD backups – more versatility is available with the Professional and Ultimate editions of Windows 7.

So power users and tweakers should consider paying the extra, but unless you explicitly need one or more of those advanced features, most home users will still be best-served by the excellent Windows 7 Home Premium.

Windows 7 versions

Author: PC Pro

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User comments

Almost perfect

Win 7 upgrade installed really well. But issues do exist. Not all Microsft's fault. HP didn't manage to get a full set of drivers for my all-in-one, just a basic print driver.
Partition management is the same lamentable quality as Vista, which is annoying because the new backup tools call for a bit of partition rearranging.
Google calendar sync doesn't work in 7 (yet).
On the other hand almost everything else works brilliantly well.

By Terryoflondon on 24 Oct 2009

Windows 7 Home Premium

Again no reference to the 32 bit and 64 bit versions and their differences, except in the comparison table.So any review ahould state which bit version we are talking about. Looking at the comparison table it is obvious that the Home Premium version should be avoided. It is too limited and if you do not benefit in the 64 bit version from the extra RAM compatability, then what is the point? Strange enough once again the computer manufacturers are trying to flog and Home Premium version to the general public with no choice to opt for the better versions. Of course one can upgrade later, but for most lay people this is an action they loath to make. Yes it is cheaper, but for the price difference, considering the substantial increases in prices for laptops and desk tops, it is a cost saving which makes no sense.

By gerko on 5 Aug 2010

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