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Windows 7 Ultimate… Sort of.

by Neil MacDonald  |  October 28, 2009  |  1 Comment

In my previous post, I stated this:

One important note: Because many of the more popular security features such as BitLocker, BitLocker To Go, AppLocker, DirectAccess and so on require EA/SA, the cost of EA/SA must be factored into any cost-benefit analysis of migration. If you don’t already have EA/SA, this can be a significant expense.

Since the “Ultimate” version of Windows 7 is intended to be a superset of all Windows 7 features (including all of the security features of Windows 7) why not just buy machines with Windows Ultimate as an alternative to purchasing an EA/SA?

At least four reasons:

  1. Windows Ultimate is officially a consumer version and has no volume license activation which means that each machine must be activated individually.
  2. As a consumer version, Ultimate only gets 5 years of support and security fixes (versus 10 for the enterprise versions).
  3. If you buy Ultimate preinstalled with a new machine, you don’t get reimaging rights which makes it harder to configure, deploy and manage in an enterprise setting.
  4. You can’t buy the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Package (MDOP) which provides enterprises technologies like App-V and MED-V.

If you are considering this strategy, be aware of the limitations. Microsoft really, really wants you to buy EA/SA. Big time.

Category: endpoint-protection-platform  microsoft-security  

Tags: endpoint-protection-platform  microsoft  microsoft-security  

Neil MacDonald
VP & Gartner Fellow
15 years at Gartner
25 years IT industry

Neil MacDonald is a vice president, distinguished analyst and Gartner Fellow in Gartner Research. Mr. MacDonald is a member of Gartner's information security and privacy research team, focusing on operating system and application-level security strategies. Specific research areas include Windows security…Read Full Bio


Thoughts on Windows 7 Ultimate… Sort of.


  1. […] MacDonald explores the possibility of using Windows 7 Ultimate instead of buying SA on his blog: http://blogs.gartner.com/neil_macdonald/2009/10/28/windows-7-ultimate-sort-of/ […]



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