Thursday, June 21, 2018

4 Features of Windows Versions to Know Before Buying - Part 1

When shopping for a new computer, laptop or other device, there are many components to think about. The processing speed of the CPU, the amount and speed of the memory, the case size, the feel of the keyboard, the warranty and the video graphics are just a partial list. Yet there is more to consider than the hardware alone. Before making this big purchase, be sure you also consider which version of Windows will best meet your needs.

The three main versions of Windows 10 are:
  • Home
  • Pro
  • Enterprise
This post covers a few of the major differences between these versions so you can purchase accordingly.

4 Features of Windows Versions to Know Before Buying

The Home Version - no ability to add to a network

The Home version of Windows has the least amount of features of the 3 main versions and the Enterprise version has the most. Not surprisingly, with more features comes a higher price tag. One of the biggest differences between the Home and Pro versions, the most common versions available in consumer devices, is that devices running Windows Home cannot be added to a network. 

While the Home version allows computers to connect in a workgroup format, it is far different than a traditional business network using a server. With a workgroup multiple computers in an office can connect to access and share resources. On a traditional business network, a server provides centralized management of users, devices and resources. This makes user changes, user access and resources far more efficient to implement and manage when compared to a workgroup.

Still, in limited situations a workgroup is better than nothing. One thing to keep in mind is that the same user accounts with the same credentials have to be created on each machine in a workgroup to be able to authenticate and access resources. In a larger environment with a server, the server manages users and their credentials in one centralized location so that a change only needs to be made once.

32 versus 64-bit versions and their memory limitations

When shopping new devices, check to see if the operating system is a 32 or 64-bit version. If neither is listed it usually means it is only a 32-bit operating system. A 64-bit operating system will always list this out somewhere in the tech specs if it is not listed in the title of the device. 

So what do 32 and 64-bit operating systems mean and why do we care? In simple terms a 64-bit system can handle larger amounts of memory more efficiently than the older 32-bit version. The most important thing you need to know is that a 32-bit operating system only supports a maximum of 4GB of memory. This means a device running a 32-bit operating system with 4GB of memory cannot be easily sped up by simply adding more memory.  

Standard computer memory sticks.

Buying a new computer, laptop or other device only happens about every 4-6 years for most people. As such, your decision should be an informed one so you are satisfied with its functionality for the lifetime of the device. Considering processing power, drive storage and the need for a touchscreen is not enough. It is also important to investigate which operating system version and type is best for your unique situation.

As always when it comes to tech, there is never too much information! Also, please check back next week when we discuss two more important features of the different Windows versions!

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