Vista Home Basic Badge One of the most requests in Windows 7 blog is to eliminate the least popular version – less features version. In the past, I had used Windows XP Home all the time and I had no single issue with it. No remote connection? No sort of professional utilities? Not an issue for me. It’s probably I didn’t play with network or things much. However, in Vista, Home Basic version is cut off the most eye-candy feature—Aero interface—out. What else has been cut off? Remote connection, Windows Media Center, tablet PC feature, domain network, Virtualization, encryption, and bla bla bla are not what regular folks use (or even know if they are existed) anyway.

To see what Vista Home Basic has; pretty basic interface, system restore (w/o shadow copy service) and backup and restore center (w/o network capability). Missing Windows Media Center can be easily fixed by installing ffmpeg codec or using VLC. Therefore, only real missing feature is Aero!

Well, after talking of only what we miss, is there anything we gain using Vista Home Basic? Yes! there is at least one—energy-wise. The basic interface really shines when using on the battery. About at least a watt less than Aero interface. No gain, no pain, huh? My GF who has Vista Home Basic on her Thinkpad won’t allow me to install left over Vista Ultimate license on because she doesn’t think that she would get any better (performance-wise) She has all she needs; that’s what she claims.

If you don’t care much about transparent window border, Vista Home Basic is enough for you absolutely and so far I don’t see any reason cutting out affordable/cheap version. Just please make it cheap enough for 3rd world countries, hey! $100 in Thailand is almost 4-week paycheck for non-degree folks, if you like to know.

Reference: Below is what Home Basic misses. [Full comparison matrix at mydigitallife.info]

Feature Home Basic Home Premium Business Enterprise Ultimate
Themed Slide Shows   Yes     Yes
Windows Media Center with CableCard support   Yes     Yes
Windows DVD Maker   Yes     Yes
Windows Movie Maker HD   Yes     Yes
Scheduled Backup of User Files   Yes Yes Yes Yes
Backup User Files to Network Device   Yes Yes Yes Yes
Network Projection   Yes Yes Yes Yes
Presentation Settings   Yes Yes Yes Yes
PC to PC Sync   Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Aero User Interface with Glass   Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows ShadowCopy   Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows SideShow   Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Tablet PC Features   Yes Yes Yes Yes
New Premium Games   Yes Yes* Yes* Yes
Administrator Control Over Installation of Device Drivers     Yes Yes Yes
Centralized Power Management through Group Policy     Yes Yes Yes
Client-Side Caching     Yes Yes Yes
Complete System Image-based Backup and Recovery     Yes Yes Yes
Dual (2) Processors (Sockets) Support     Yes Yes Yes
Desktop Deployment Tools for Managed Networks     Yes Yes Yes
Domain Join for Windows Server     Yes Yes Yes
Encrypting File System     Yes Yes Yes
Folder Redirection     Yes Yes Yes
Group Policy Support     Yes Yes Yes
Integrated Smart Card management     Yes Yes Yes
Network Access Protection Client Agent     Yes Yes Yes
Offline Files and Folder Support     Yes Yes Yes
Pluggable Logon Authentication Architecture     Yes Yes Yes
Policy-based Quality of Service (QoS) for Networking     Yes Yes Yes
Previous Versions     Yes Yes Yes
Roaming User Profiles     Yes Yes Yes
Virtual PC Express     Yes Yes Yes
Windows Rights Management Services (RMS) Client     Yes Yes Yes
Wireless network provisioning     Yes Yes Yes
Windows Fax and Scan     Yes Yes* Yes*
Internet Information Server     Yes* Yes* Yes*
All 35 Worldwide User Interface Languages Available       Yes Yes
Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications       Yes Yes
Support for Simultaneous Installation of Multiple User Interface Languages       Yes Yes
Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption       Yes Yes
Windows Ultimate Extras         Yes
Windows Anytime Upgrade Yes Yes Yes   Yes
Remote Desktop Client Only Client Only Host & Client Host & Client Host & Client
Simultaneous SMB peer network connections 5 10 10 10 10
Maximum RAM supported with 32-bit processor-based system 4GB 4GB 4GB 4GB 4GB
Maximum RAM supported with 64-bit processor-based system 8GB 16GB 128+GB 128+GB 128+GB