One of the most irritating decisions that Microsoft ever made was to split Windows Vista, and its successors, into a multitude of different versions. With XP it was simple - Home and Professional. The Home version did everything that home users needed, while the professional version added the stuff that professionals needed, such as the ability to join a centrally-managed domain rather than a peer-to-peer workgroup.
But with Vista it changed. We got Home, Home Premium, Start, Professional, Enterprise, Professional N, Ultimate, and more. Lots of added confusion, with no benefit whatsoever for customers. And no longer do all home-based users get all the features that they need. Even the backup and encryption features, surely of use to everyone, aren't made available to all.
One of the most irritating features of Home Premium, probably the most widely used version of Windows 7 and Vista, is that you can't connect to it via Windows Remote Desktop. So if you're a technical wiz and you need to sort out a problem on grandma's PC via a remote internet connection, you can't. Well, not unless you can persuade grandma that she's actually a professional user and needs a Pro version of Windows.
But rather than paying Microsoft for a Windows upgrade if you need to connect remotely to a home version, there's a much cheaper alternative. Free, in fact. Team Viewer is an excellent remote control product that allows you to connect to any PC over the internet and drive it as if you were sitting in front of it. Assuming you have the permission of its owner, of course. The software, available from www.teamviewer.com, is said to have been downloaded more than 60 million times so far, and is widely praised by a number of users of Tech Support Alert. It's totally free for non-commercial use. Another handy feature is that your grandma won't need admin privileges to run the client application, so making the connection to her PC is going to be pretty easy.
Give Team Viewer a try. It runs on Windows XP and above, Mac and Linux, and the download of the full version (to connect to or from a PC) is only 3 MB. There's even an inbuilt demo. Run the software, enter an id of 12345 for the computer to connect to, and you'll find yourself connected to one of TeamViewer's test PCs where you can run basic apps like Notepad, Wordpad and Paint.
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