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.

Choose ... If you ... Features* 
Windows 7 Professional Use your PC to enjoy multimedia entertainment, personalize your photos and need the ability to create a home network.Create ad hoc wireless networks. Watch, pause, rewind and record TV on your PC
Are a small or medium organization looking to work from anywhere.Location-aware printing
Mobility center with presentation settings
Remote desktop host
Are concerned about safeguarding your organization.File system encryption
Advanced backup
Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate with XP Mode installed Want 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 enables 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 Ultimate Want 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™ 
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™*