Windows 11 Versions and general software queries.

We are at the point of purchasing a new home PC and pretty much decided on a Dell Inspiron model.
The configuration requires us to choose between the Windows 11 Home or Windows 11 Pro versions.  There is a £63 price difference.
The comparison between the two versions on both the Dell and the Microsoft website seems to indicate very little difference but I assume there must be more to differentiate than is obvious.
It would be great to save the money, but I don't want it to be a false economy.

In the past, we had installed versions of software, but it seems as though we will be most sensible to have Microsoft 365 to give us Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Teams and Outlook.

I also run MS Money, which it seems we will be able to use suitably (assuming I can get the programme into the new machine from the CD):

The other package I am looking to be able to run is Project and it is not obvious that I can migrate my current (aged) licence (Project 2010 first installed 2011) or get to a current version at sensible price point.  Getting an up to date version would overcome some of the compatibility issues experienced with document transfer with business Clients.

Does anyone have any insight to the difference between the two versions of Windows 11 and the best software approach to take forwards?

As an added complexity, I have one business Client at present who uses Google Chrome OS / Google Drive / GMail / Docs / Sheets / Suite rather than Windows / Office software and this creates some horrendous compatibility issues on the current laptop.  I wonder whether the way to take that forward is to retain the current laptop for only that purpose or a specific ChromeBook.
Any comments or suggestions in this regard will be appreciated.

Finally, I never had a good solution on back-up.  I have an external drive which is large enough, but seem to end up doing things manually when I remember (which is not frequently enough).  Is there a good, automated solution?  I can connect the drive via ethernet so it is just another  network location, but the remote dial in is now disabled (which I am happy about).


  • Olinda99
    Olinda99 Posts: 1,195
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    edited 17 November 2023 at 4:53PM
    I have had both Windows 11 home and Windows 11 Pro

    for me they both do pretty much the same thing and the only thing that Pro adds that I use is bit locker encryption i.e you can encrypt your drives

    if you don't want this then Windows 11 home is perfectly ok

    like you I'm manually copy my data from the PC to external drives using alway sync. others may be able to recommend an automated solution

  • Neil_Jones
    Neil_Jones Posts: 8,809
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    edited 17 November 2023 at 6:50PM
    Pro is aimed more at business users with a bunch of other things you probably haven't heard of,let alone have or even need in a home environment.

    Your Office 365 will work, just download it again from your Office account.

    Word can open Google Docs files. and Google Docs can open Word files, and both should be able to save as the other.
  • Tiexen
    Tiexen Posts: 719
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    365 gives you OneDrive cloud storage, you can auto backup files/folders to that as well as copying to your external drive
  • PHK
    PHK Posts: 1,144
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    As a business user, you should definitely choose Pro . If only for the security aspect.

    Regarding 365, if using a business licence you can add the Web version of Project at low cost or use Planner at no extra cost by setting up a Team for  each client or project.

    Google Docs and 365 will read each others files. So you shouldn't have any issues.

    Believe me once you get used to using 365 (or Google Docs) in a business environment it makes things so much easier. 

  • Le_Kirk
    Le_Kirk Posts: 21,951
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    I can confirm that M$ Money works in Windows 11 and it loaded for me from the original DVD from 2004! Why would you use Office 365, assuming it is the subscription version?
  • 400ixl
    400ixl Posts: 2,648
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    Sounds like Home will more that suffice. Pro is for when you want to connect it to a work domain and do central administration which it does not sound like you need.
  • Olinda99 said:
    I have had both Windows 11 home and Windows 11 Pro

    for me they both do pretty much the same thing and the only thing that Pro adds that I use is bit locker encryption i.e you can encrypt your drives

    It also adds access to group policy even when not connected to a domain, which gives greater control over what Windows does, particularly Windows update.  For me that's worth it on its own.
    Proud member of the wokerati, though I don't eat tofu.Home is where my books are.Solar PV 5.2kWp system, SE facing, >1% shading, installed March 2019.Mortgage free July 2023
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,437
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    Thanks for the comments everybody.

    It seems like we'll probably get the Windows 11 Home version.  The only two things mentioned here that Pro has on top are "bitlocker encryption" and "group policy".  I don't even know what either of those are.
    PLUS - with Black Friday pricing, the difference is £236!

    Rather than buying the Office suite like last time, it seems as though Microsoft 365 Family is the way to go.

    I will investigate options for MS Project subsequently - there does not seem to be any easy way to get that now in any case.

    I will need to look at how the Google Docs / MS Office files integrate once we have them. 
    I have checked again in the current software and all the "save as" options (which there are many) do not include Google Docs from Office or vice-versa. 
    There is a clunky thing that if a file is downloaded from Google Drive, it converts into Office equivalent, but with a poor conversion (layout inconsistent) and uploading to Google drive does the same substandard swap in reverse.
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,437
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    Just placed the order for the new computer.

    It was £1,248 when we first saw the model / spec in August.
    It then moved up to £1,298, then £1,342.
    Price today £1,029 so very pleased with that.

    Prompted by the notes upthread, we also added an external USB DVD RW drive for an extra £40.  There were cheaper ones from other sellers but it just seemed simpler to buy from Dell at the same time as placing the order for the computer.  It also means if the two don't work together, all the consumer rights are in one place.

    Also been to Microsoft and taken out a Microsoft 365 Family subscription.

    Looking forward to receiving everything and hope that the friendly people in this forum will provide comment if the migration from the old laptop to the new raises challenges.

    I just looked up the paperwork and the old laptop was £822 in 2011, so the price today is quite competitive after allowing for inflation.
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,437
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    In a bit of a surprise, I have now got a further 5% off the price.

    When placing the order yesterday, I signed up to Dell Rewards.
    This morning, Dell Rewards sent me a welcome e-mail with 5% off my next purchase of a computer.
    Obviously, I bought a computer yesterday and (based on the last computer) it will be many years before the next one.
    I checked the price on the website was still the same, then cancelled the order from yesterday and placed the order for exactly the same with the 5% discount applied.

    For anyone else buying a Dell in the future, if you can, it seems worth signing up for the Rewards, then waiting for the welcome e-mail before confirming the order.
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