I'm going to buy 3 lowest-cost possible pcs for new trainee starting in our company.

I found some HP notebooks with Windows 7 Home Premium installed.

Will users be able to access to company Windows domain (i.e. to log as MY_COMPANY\username)?

Or do I need Windows 7 Pro?

Which functionalities are missing in Home version? Remote Desktop?


about sharing folders I can, with my linux machine along with my domain user and password, join the samba shared folders and printers and this could be enough for our needs.

Everithing Users need is:

  • shared domain folders
  • shared domain printers
  • remote desktop to access server remotely
  • Windows 7 Home Premium does not support Remote Desktop. Home Premium also cannot join a windows active domain. All of these questions are documented on the Microsoft Windows 7 Product Page. If Linux can view those shared folders, Home Premium also can. What it cannot do out of the box is use be a host for remote desktop. I suggest just using the same version your company already uses. – Ramhound Mar 23 '12 at 14:19

Check out this feature comparison chart. You can see if you scroll to the bottom that joining a domain requires Pro, Enterprise or Ultimate. All versions can use Remote Desktop to connect to another machine, but only Pro, Ent & Ultimate will let you connect to that machine via Remote Desktop (Host).

You can still access company resources from a Home Premium edition. This would include using a VPN connection into your company domain and accessing shared folders using DOMAIN\username credentials. If you want to do some work at home, that's fine. If you want to put some employees "on the domain" using Home premium it's going to suck. Things like mailboxes, accessing the intranet and stuff will require entering your credentials all the time.

  • and what about logging into company domain? Please see my question updated – neurino Mar 23 '12 at 14:03
  • Only Pro/Ultimate/Enterprise can join and use a domain. In the feature comparison chart it is listed under the "Enterprise" section as "Domain Join". – Melikoth Mar 23 '12 at 16:13
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    It's a trust issue, I think. Because the computer cannot join the Domain and be configured to abide by the policies of the Domain, the security settings of the domain will need to be lowered generally to allow the untrusted computer to access the domain's resources. – music2myear Mar 23 '12 at 16:45

according to Microsoft, home edition does not join a domain http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-networking/can-windows-7-home-premium-join-domains-even/32db6241-4b0e-4fab-a10f-9e282efc6d87 so unless you are planning on upgrading to ultimate or pro (around $90), buying those new notebooks is not a good investment however, if it is a matter of just accessing resources like shared folders without joining the domain, it is possible


You will require Pro/Ultimate/Enterprise to use the features you require. All other windows 7 versions cannot join a domain.

Since you are going with HP, it may be worth checking that you get the ones with the 3 year warranty. They cost a little more up front, but if one stops working 2.5 years in you can usual get overnight repair options

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