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 8.1, Windows 10 offers exciting new features such as your own digital assistant, and free cloud storage.
Choose Windows 10 if you want to:...Features
Do things confidently.
  • It’s the familiar feel of Windows - only better

It all begins at start. The Start menu is back and better than ever so you can expand and customize it.

Fast and responsive. Technologies like InstantGo let you boot up and resume quickly.
Do things naturally.
  • Windows 10 is designed to fit who you are and how you do things

Your own digital assistant. Cortana is the personal assistant who learns over time to become more useful to you.

Touch, type, pen. Choose what works best for what you’re doing.

Start and Live Tiles. Reach your favorite things fast with customizable Start screen and Live Tiles.
Do things simply.
  • Lots of great features for keeping things easy and simple across your devices.

More ways to play. Stream and play your Xbox One games to any Windows 10 PC in your home.

Great built-in apps. Windows 10 comes with apps – Photos, Maps, Music Video and more – that work across your devices.

Free cloud storage. 15GB of free OneDrive storage: easy, anywhere access to your files and photos.
Do things easily.
  • Windows 10 gives you great ways to start fast and stay focused.

A web you can write on. Write directly on web pages and easily share the mark-ups with friends.

Get organized. Snap up to four apps on the screen and create new desktops for more space.
Choose ...If you ...Features*
Windows 8.1 Plan to use a touch-enabled device
  • Windows UI designed for touch input
Want to take advantage of the wide range of new Windows apps designed for Windows 8.1
  • Windows Store (wireless connectivity is required to access the Store)
Want real-time updates to the information you care about
  • Live Tiles
Want assurance that you always have the latest version of your Windows app
  • Windows Store always has the latest software available (wireless connectivity is required to access the Store)
Want secure boot-up
  • Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) BIOS that intercepts and notifies you of threats early in the boot process
Want to use cloud services to the fullestWindows Store — purchased apps are available on multiple devices
Windows Store — pick up where you left off in a game or app; from anywhere you can access your app (wireless connectivity is required to access the Store)
OneDrive — Windows Apps are more easily integrated with OneDrive (internet connection required)
New Windows 8.1 FeaturesWant more personalization optionsSet the lock screen to your favorite photo, or turn the lock screen display into a slide show of your pictures. Pin tiles to your Start screen for the people, sites, and apps that matter to you, and arrange them the way you want.
Would like Improved AppsApps that you love have been redesigned with better features :
  • Photos app allows user to open pictures from other apps – Mail, OneDrive, Camera
  • Camera App allows you to record video and take a picture at the same time. Also there is new Panorama functionality
  • xBox Music and Video app has been completely redesigned to simplify user experience
  • Mail app has a new print function in the app bar, gives notifications while in other apps
Like to SkypeNothing beats Skype when you want to catch up with your best friend, see your kids when you’re on the road, or reconnect with far-away family.

What is Windows 7?
The Windows 7 OS is designed to be reliable and responsive, making it easy for you to do the things you want to do.
  • Simplify everyday tasks — With less clicking, fast searching, easy browsing and simple ways to connect, there’s less between you and what you want to do.
  • Work the way you want — Windows 7 is designed to improve the performance of your PC, so it’s fast, secure and reliable.
  • Make new things possible — With Windows 7, you’ll discover easy and exciting new ways to have fun and get things done with your PC.
Which edition is right for you?
Each edition of Windows 7 includes refinements — both large and small — to help simplify your PC experience.
  • Windows 7 Home Basic — Combines the latest in reliability and responsiveness with the familiarity and compatibility of Windows.
  • Windows 7 Home Premium — Get an incredible entertainment experience on your PC. Windows 7 Home Premium can make it easy to enjoy, and share your favorite TV shows, photos, videos and music.
  • Windows 7 Professional — Get everything you need for work and home. Windows 7 Professional offers the features you need for business along with the great media and entertainment features of Home Premium.
  • Windows 7 Ultimate — Designed for people who want it all. Windows 7 Ultimate delivers all the entertainment features of Home Premium and the business features of Professional — with added security and the flexibility to work in multiple languages.
With the different editions of Windows 7, you can move up and do more with your Dell PC. Here’s how to choose the one that’s right for you.

Note: The system you are configuring may or may not include all of the options listed here.
If you want to ...Choose ...
Use your PC for web surfing.Windows 7 Home Basic
Use your PC primarily for entertainment, in addition to web surfing,
gaming and productivity. (Enjoy and share your favorite TV shows, photos,
videos and music.)
Windows 7 Home Premium
Use your PC both at home and at work. (Enjoy all the multimedia and
entertainment features of Windows 7 Home Premium, plus business
relevant features, such as Location Aware Printing and Windows Mobility
Center Presentation Mode.)
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.
Windows 7 Professional
Have it all — the multimedia benefits of Windows 7 Home Premium,
plus the business features of Windows 7 Professional. (Get added
security features and the flexibility to work in multiple languages.)
* 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
Android is a leading mobile operating system developed by Google primarily for touch screen mobile devices like phones and tablets. Android devices are thin, light, highly mobile with outstanding battery life. Android has large selection of applications available through the Google Play Store.

What are the benefits?


  • Designed and optimized for touch
  • Preloaded with a full suite of Google apps including Gmail, Maps, Google+ and YouTube
  • Sandboxed application to help prevent malware and viruses
  • Access to over 1 million+ apps, including entertainment, productivity and games
  • Access to the Android ecosystem of devices, peripherals and accessories


Ubuntu is an open-source operating system built for linux enthusiasts. Dell offers the Ubuntu OS on select products as an alternative to Windows or Chrome.

Which should you choose?

You might prefer Ubuntu if:

You are comfortable with open-source software.
You want to customize your operating system.
You want to save money by using one of the most popular alternative operating systems in the market and be free from licensing fees.

Features & Design

Ubuntu can have a low total cost of ownership over the life of your computer and there are thousands of free applications available through the Ubuntu Software Center.
An office productivity suite, LibreOffice, also comes bundled with Ubuntu and is compatible with Microsoft Office Suite.
Ubuntu is safe and secure. With a trusted application software repository, data encryption and built-in protection from malware and viruses, you can be protected.
Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Release) brings 5 years of free security and maintenance updates.