Monday, October 12, 2009

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All You Want To Know About The Versions of Windows 7

With Windows Vista, Microsoft released multiple editions of its operating system with the intention of targeting different segments of its user base with different features at different price points.

However, this approach wasn’t well received, as it confused the market; many users urged Microsoft to come up with one simple, all-encompassing version of the operating system.

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With Windows 7, Microsoft still has many editions. However, Microsoft is expected to focus its marketing effort on just two editions—Home Premium and Professional— just as it did with Windows XP. Here is a list of the available editions, in ascending order, from least to most advanced:

Starter Edition
A lightweight edition for netbook computers. Netbooks are low-powered computers specifically designed for lightweight tasks such as web browsing and emailing. In this edition, Windows 7 will lack more advanced features such as Media Center, Aero Glass, fast user switching, multiple-monitor support, DVD playback, and multitouch support. This edition is geared toward replacing Windows XP on inexpensive computers such as netbooks, a market that is currently dominated by Windows XP. This edition will likely be available only as a preinstallation by OEMs.
Windows 7 Starter Edition Application Limits?
In the early beta days of Windows 7, Microsoft announced that Windows 7 Starter Edition would have a three-application limit. That is, no more than three applications could run at the same time. Apparently, this did not go over well with the public, and Microsoft reversed the decision.

Some restrictions remain. Microsoft has disabled the Personalize option in the context menu that is shown when you right-click the desktop. This means that you won’t be able to change your wallpaper. This limitation might be to allow OEMs to provide their own custom-branded wallpapers. At press time, it is unclear whether Microsoft will lift this limitation as well. To me, it makes perfect sense to lift this limitation—how can you call your computer a Personal Computer when you can’t even change your wallpaper?
Home Basic
This edition is designated for emerging markets only; it is for customers who are looking for an inexpensive entry-level Windows experience (limited Aero support, no features such as Windows Media Center or multitouch support).

Home Premium
This edition is designed for home users and will include features like Media Center, multitouch support, the Aero Glass UI, and so on.

Professional
This edition is designed for home workers and small businesses, and will include features like advanced network backup and the Encrypting File System.

Enterprise
Includes everything that Professional includes and adds BitLocker protection. It will have the option to encrypt USB flash drives and external hard disks. It also includes DirectAccess, which allows remote workers to access a company network securely without using a VPN, and federated search.

Ultimate
Includes all the features available in Windows 7. Windows 7 Ultimate edition is really the same as the Enterprise edition. The key difference is that the Enterprise edition will be sold through volume licensing to companies, as well as through the Software Assurance program. The Ultimate edition, however, will be available to retail customers.

One key thing to note about the different editions of Windows 7 is that each higher edition is a superset of its lower edition. That is, all the features available in Starter Edition will be available on the Home Basic edition, and the Home Premium edition will include all the features of Home Basic, and so on. This is different from Vista, where Media Center was included in the Home Premium edition but not available in the Business edition.

Though there are six different editions of Windows 7, Microsoft will focus its marketing effort on just the Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate editions. This is very similar to Windows XP, in which you have only two main editions—Home and Professional. As a quick rule of thumb, Windows 7 Home Premium is targeted at consumers and Professional is targeted at small businesses. 

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Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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