Help Me Choose: Operating Systems

The operating system is one of the most important programs on your computer.

— Every PC must have an operating system to run other programs. 
— Operating systems perform basic tasks such as recognizing input from the keyboard, sending output to the monitor, keeping track of files and directories on the hard disk and controlling devices such as optical drives and printers. 
— Operating systems also manage how your computer accesses available networks.

In addition to the core features of Windows 7, Windows 8.1 offers exciting new features such as the Windows Store and touch support.
Choose ...If you ... Features*
Windows 8.1 Pro Want all the features in Windows 8.1 and:
Plan to take your personal device (PC, tablet) into a domain-joined environment
  • Domain Join
Have a volume license agreement with Microsoft
  • Volume Licensing option
Want to encrypt your entire hard drive to help protect you against loss and theft
  • Bitlocker® (Trusted Platform Module (TPM) required)
Work in a managed environment
  • Domain Join
  • Remote Desktop
  • Group Policy
  • Offline Files
Want to back up to network locations, DVD or another drive
  • Advanced Backup
     Want Improved IT controls
  • IT can control the layout of the Start screen on company-issued devices to ensure key apps are easily accessible.
  Use Wi-Fi Direct printing
  • Connect to Wi-Fi Direct™ printers without adding additional drivers or software on the Windows 8.1, forming a peer-to-peer network between the device and the printer.
  Use Native Miracast wireless display
  • Present your work wirelessly. Simply project your media to a Miracast-enabled projector or other device via a Wi-fi Direct using Near-Field Communication.
Choose ...If you ...Features*
Windows 7 Home Premium Plan to create a home network, enjoy multimedia entertainment on your PC or personalize it with photos and wallpapers
  • Create ad hoc wireless networks
  • Watch, pause, rewind and record TV on your PC
Windows 7 ProfessionalWant all the features in Windows 7 Home Premium and are:
— Need Windows 7 Professional today but may want to use Windows 8.1 Pro in the future
Want to enable your Downgrade Rights* as defined in the Windows 8.1 EULA**. What is it: This offering*** is a License of Windows 8.1 Pro, with the installation of Windows 7 Professional. This does not have a license of Windows 7 Professional.
  • A small or medium organization looking to work from anywhere
  • Location-aware printing
  • Mobility center with presentation settings
  • Remote desktop host
  • Concerned about safeguarding your organization
  • File system encryption
  • Advanced backup
Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate with XP Mode installedWant to move to Windows 7 but are concerned that your applications aren’t compatible
  • Windows 7 with XP Mode installed — Windows XP Mode is a new benefit of Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate with additional application compatibility. It allows you to install and run many of your productivity applications for Windows XP directly from your Windows 7-based PC. This option includes all the features and functions of Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate, with the added benefit of XP Mode.
Windows 7 UltimateWant all the features in Windows 7 Professional and:
  • Need to manage multiple languages and operating systems
  • Multilingual user interface (MUI) pack
  • Subsystem for UNIX®
  • Would like to encrypt data on your PC and portable storage devices to help protect against loss
  • BitLocker® and BitLocker to Go® (TPM required)
  • Have remote users who need seamless access to corporate networks without connecting to a virtual private network (VPN)
  • DirectAccess®*
  • Want to decrease the time branch-office users spend waiting to download files across the network
  • BranchCache®*
  • Prefer to centrally manage what software is allowed to run on users' PCs
  • AppLocker®*

* Downgrade Rights enable a customer who purchases a Windows 8.1 Pro license to utilize a different operating system in the place of the licensed OS. Specifically at Dell, we are enabling Windows 7 Professional in the place of Windows 8.1 Pro. The PC licensed for Windows 8.1 Pro may only have 1 Operating System installed at a time, so the customer may utilize a Windows 8.1 Pro Operating System or Windows 7 Professional. With this offering we are installing Windows 7 Professional in place of Windows 8.1, but providing the license to Windows 8.1 Pro in the BIOS so that when the customer chooses to upgrade to Windows 8.1, the customer will have a licensed and activated Operating System installed on the PC.

** The EULA is the End User License Agreement. This is an agreement between the PC Owner and Microsoft that enables the PC Owner’s right to use either Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8.1 Pro. For reference this document can be accessed from the following link: (Instructions: Choose Pre-Installed on your computer from the computer manufacturer, Product Name: Windows, Version: 8.1 Pro, Language: your choice)

*** To enable downgrade to Windows 7 on this system the BIOS settings on this system were changed to boot into legacy BIOS mode. If the BIOS setting is not changed to native UEFI mode boot prior to installing, Windows 8.1 Pro [update] Product or Windows 8.1 Pro will install; however, the following Windows 8.1 Pro [update] Product, Windows 8.1 Pro functionalities will not work as they rely on a native UEFI mode boot:
• Secure Boot
• Seamless Boot experience
• Network unlock for Bitlocker for systems with a Trusted Platform Module (TPM)
• eDrive support