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Microsoft Windows 7 Professional review

Verdict

The most disappointing of the new versions, Windows 7 Professional omits what we consider to be key encryption features - most businesses should choose Windows 7 Ultimate or Enterprise if they can. Extra features such as Windows XP Mode do lift it above Home Premium, however

Review Date: 22 Oct 2009

Reviewed By: PC Pro

Price when reviewed: £139 (£160 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
4 stars out of 6

Features & Design
4 stars out of 6

Value for Money
3 stars out of 6

Ease of Use
6 stars out of 6

Details
Part Code Windows 7 Professional
Review Date 22 Oct 2009
Price ex VAT £139
Price inc VAT £160
Overall rating 4 stars out of 6
Ease of Use rating 6 stars out of 6
Features & Design 4 stars out of 6
Value for Money 3 stars out of 6
Software subcategory Operating system
Requirements
Processor requirement 1GHz Pentium or equivalent
Operating system support
Other operating system support N/A
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User comments

Win 7RC

I have been running Win7RC for some while now. All comment is for upgrading from XP. Which is the best way to preserve both XP and new stuff on RC? I am planning a complete clean installation by reformatting but I also have alll my original XP system on a hidden partition (Sony VAIO)
Colin@richardson1396.plus.com

By colin19 on 22 Oct 2009

have a look at this Windows XP to Windows 7 Migration process

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/ee15043
0.aspx

By robert1969 on 23 Oct 2009

Please improve your reviews!

So, because it lacks, what three or four features of Ultimate, it is disappointing? Pehaps you could quantify your opinion with what Ultimate should have as a key differentiator?

This is odd for me, defending MS, but I think they have done the right thing. Unlike yourselves, I actually support small businesses. From 1 man bands to small companies with a couple of dozen employees. None of them actually /need/ bitlock. For for plumber and gasfitter out on a job, its not necessary. For office staff, it is not necessary. Sure, it is an /additional/ layer of protection /if/ you get broken in, or lose a device. But it wont stop you losing them and is no replacement for a backup copy. And how do you protect the backup. Or what happens if you lose the laptop, but still have the encrypted device...

The saving is small, £10-£20 quid, but as Asda note, every penny counts.

Access to the company network.. what, no one has yet done this in a company that needs it? So VPNs and remote working havent existed for the last decade? Presumably these are the same small business that run SBS server, which comes with a remote access client already.

Adn XP Mode comes with a licence. Right, and thats a key advantage over VMWare? How??? If one needs XP mode to run existing software, one already has XP and a licence. Its only an advantage if your Win7 has been purchased as an uprgade from XP, othewise your existing licence is fine. And if Win7Pro was supplied on a laptop... your previous PC has a licence...

Please, I get the feeling 7 Pro is a sacrificial lamb here.

By alan_lj on 23 Oct 2009

The problem with Professional

@alan_lj

You make many good points, but I'm afraid that we stick with our conclusion. I can't cover everything here, but this should clarify a couple of things:

1. Most new business laptops will come with Professional. That means they won't support full-disk encryption out of the box, and that adds one more unnecessary barrier between businesses and secure data. With hundreds of laptops lost/stolen each week, that should - in our opinion - be a standard feature in a business-targeted OS.

2. You're right that it's no replacement for a backed up copy, but the growing problem for businesses (including the micro businesses you mention) is data protection. Every company has a duty to their customers not to make their details public.

3. "If one needs XP Mode to run existing software, one already has XP and a licence." Unless you happened to buy a full retail version of Windows XP to run on an existing computer, you probably have an OEM copy of Windows XP, which is tied to a specific machine. You can't, by the terms of that licence, use the version of Windows XP on another machine.

I do take your point about VPNs, but the difference in price won't really be £10/£20. If you buy a Windows 7 Professional laptop, it will cost you £85 to upgrade it to Ultimate via Anytime Upgrade, and that's the real problem with this OS: it will come as standard with business laptops, when really they should be benefiting from the features that come as standard with Ultimate/Enterprise.

By TimDanton on 23 Oct 2009

Lack of offline files in Windows 7 Home

Whilst "offline files" has been in "professional" editions of both XP and Vista I'm surprised that with the proliferation of NAS devices that this feature hasn't rolled down to the "home" edition of Windows 7. Oh well, looks like I'll be forking out for "professional" again!

By StoneLion on 25 Oct 2009

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