Q. What are the versions of Windows Vista?

A. Vista will ship in seven different versions that center on home or
office use:

- Vista Starter Edition, which maps to Windows XP Starter Edition,
is for consumers in emerging markets with very low-end PCs. This
version is a subset of the Vista Home Basic Edition and will ship in a
32-bit version only. Only three concurrent applications can run, and no
inbound connections are supported. Fast user switching and account
passwords aren't included.
- Vista Home Basic Edition is designed for single-computer home
environments. It includes features such as firewall, Security Center,
antivirus, antispyware (Windows Defender), antispam, and phishing
protection. The new Aero UI will be included as well as updated Movie
Maker, Media Player, and Windows Mail (Outlook Express replacement).
This version also has a photo-library manager and peer-to-peer (P2P) ad
hoc meeting capabilities, and more.
- Vista Home Premium Edition builds on Home Basic and adds Media
Center and Media Center Extender functionality, DVD video authoring and
ripping (with Digital Rights Management--DRM--protection) and High
Definition (HD) support. It also features increased networking
capabilities, including WiFi configuration, Internet File Sharing, and
synchronization among PCs.
- Vista Professional Edition includes the ability to join domains,
Remote Desktop, Encrypting File System (EFS), and Microsoft IIS
(similar to XP Pro). It will also include Tablet PC capabilities.
- Vista Small Business Edition is designed for small companies that
don't have full IT teams. This version is built on Vista Pro and
includes additional client-side functions such as Volume Shadow Copy
Service (VSS) support, PC fax and scanning, and subscriptions to the
Windows and Office Live services. It also includes a network-backup
- Vista Enterprise Edition is available only to Software Assurance
(SA) customers and not for retail purchase. It builds on Vista Pro and
adds additional security features, such as full-volume encryption
(BitLocker Drive Encryption), and secure startup. Microsoft Virtual PC
and Multilingual User Interface are also included. It's designed for
high-end business users.
- Vista Ultimate Edition is a combination of Vista Pro and Vista
Home Premium with additional game-optimized technologies. It will
likely have additional access to online services.

There will be no corporate editions of the Vista Home and Ultimate
lines, which means they'll require activation.

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Last Modified: March 9, 2008