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Choosing a desktop operating system

Schools often make the mistake of buying desktops and notebooks with “non-Pro” versions of Windows 7. Buyers need to be aware of the limitations of Windows 7 Home & Home Premium. The real “catch” is that the “Home” version of the Windows 7 operating system will not let the desktop or notebook connect to a domain. School districts in particular have to have their computers on a network domain, so making this mistake can be costly, as the “domain connect” feature cannot be added to the “Home” version of the OS without totally upgrading the operating system to Windows 7 Pro. Doing so costs more than the price of buying the Windows 7 Pro version as part of the initial purchase.

There is one exception however. Some school districts do take part in what is called the Microsoft EES educational program however. That means they pay a set fee to have all of their systems in the district yearly licensed by Microsoft to run the latest versions of the operating system in particular. Schools involved in that program CAN buy the Windows Home OS on their systems and upgrade to Windows 7 Pro with the licensing Microsoft provides as part of their yearly fee for the EES program. Otherwise, districts should always buy the “Pro” version of the Windows desktop OS.

– Scott Hemphill, Procurement Coordinator

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