What version of Windows should I purchase?

When purchasing a new PC, you will find there are many versions of the Microsoft operating system. Because of the nature of our software, many other agency management systems, and rating systems, we require an operating system that can handle the advanced security settings only available to higher versions (Business & Ultimate).

As the name implies, Home Basic and Home Premium are for the home user and focused around entertainment and media. Windows Business is geared more for the business network and focuses on security, reliability, and remote desktop applications. Agency Advantage recommends that their users purchase Windows Business or Windows Ultimate.

Windows Business and Vista Ultimate have the following features that are useful for your office networking environment. These are features that are not included with Vista Home Basic or Home Premium.

  • Advanced file sharing and security
  • Shadow copy
  • Windows fax & scan
  • Protection against hardware failure
  • Encrypting file system
  • Remote desktop connection

The advanced file sharing option is of particular importance to our users who are using peer to peer and server based networks. In order to properly run the application over a network, there must be proper sharing and security settings configured on the computer. Windows Home versions are very limited in their abilities to set file permissions.

In the past, some users reported that they were able to connect their Windows Home Premium computer to their network and run the Agency Advantage software without any problems. These same users reported that suddenly they were no longer able to connect to the database. This sometimes occurred after they did a Windows Update on the computer, but not always. When this happened, Agency Advantage could not connect to the database. The Windows Home version would sometimes leave many opened and duplicated files on the server. Sometimes restarting the server and workstation would correct the problem. Most of the time it would not, requiring an extensive and lengthy support call, only for the problem to return the following day.

If purchasing a computer from Dell, Gateway, or Best Buy, etc, make sure your salesman knows that you are purchasing a computer for an office networking environment. They should recommend that you purchase Windows Business or Ultimate. If you are ordering from a website, you may need to specify the operating system. It is much easier to buy the computer with the correct operating system on it, than to have to reformat, reinstall, or upgrade the operating system later.

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