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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Windows 7 Editions


Windows 7 editions

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Windows 7, a major release of the Microsoft Windows operating system, was available in six different editions: Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate. Only Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate were widely available at retailers. The other editions focus on other markets, such as the software development world or enterprise use. All editions support 32-bit IA-32 CPUs and all editions except Starter support 64-bit x64 CPUs. 64-bit installation media is not included in Home-Basic edition packages, but can be obtained separately from Microsoft.
According to Microsoft, the features for all editions of Windows 7 are stored on the machine, regardless of which edition is in use. Users who wish to upgrade to an edition of Windows 7 with more features can then use Windows Anytime Upgrade to purchase the upgrade and to unlock the features of those editions.

Main editions

Windows 7 Starter

Windows 7 Starter is the edition of Windows 7 that contains the fewest features. It is only available in a 32-bit version and does not include the Windows Aero theme. The desktop wallpaper and visual styles (Windows 7 Basic) are not user-changeable. Microsoft originally intended to restrict users of this edition to running three simultaneous applications but this limitation was dropped.
This edition was available pre-installed on computers, especially netbooks or Windows Tablets, through system integrators or computer manufacturers using OEM licenses.

Windows 7 Home Basic

Windows 7 Home Basic was available in "emerging markets", in 141 different countries. Some Windows Aero options are excluded along with several new features. Home Basic, along with other editions sold in emerging markets, include geographical activation restriction, which requires users to activate Windows within a certain region or country.

Windows 7 Home Premium

This edition contains features aimed at the home market segment, such as Windows Media Center, Windows Aero and multi-touch support. It was available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

Windows 7 Professional

This edition is targeted towards enthusiasts, small-business users and schools. It includes all the features of Windows 7 Home Premium, and adds the ability to participate in a Windows Server domain. Additional features include support for up to 192 GB of random-access memory (increased from 16 GB), operating as a Remote Desktop server, location aware printing, backup to a network location, Encrypting File System, Presentation Mode, Software Restriction Policies (but not the extra management features of AppLocker) and Windows XP Mode. It, too, was available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

Windows 7 Enterprise

This edition targeted the enterprise segment of the market and was sold through volume licensing to companies which have a Software Assurance contract with Microsoft. Additional features include support for Multilingual User Interface (MUI) packages, BitLocker Drive Encryption, and UNIX application support. Not available through retail or OEM channels, this edition is distributed through Microsoft Software Assurance (SA). As a result it includes several SA-only benefits, including a license allowing the operating of diskless nodes (diskless PCs) and activation via VLK.

Windows 7 Ultimate

Windows 7 Ultimate contains the same features as Windows 7 Enterprise, but unlike the Enterprise edition, it was available to home users on an individual license basis. Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Professional users are able to upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate for a fee using Windows Anytime Upgrade if they wish to do so. Unlike Windows Vista Ultimate, the Windows 7 Ultimate edition does not include the Windows Ultimate Extras feature or any exclusive features as Microsoft had stated.

Special-purpose editions

The main editions also can take the form of one of the following special editions:

N and KN editions

The features in the N and KN Editions are the same as their equivalent full versions, but do not include Windows Media Player or other Windows Media-related technologies, such as Windows Media Centerand Windows DVD Maker due to limitations set by the European Union and South Korea, respectively. The cost of the N and KN Editions are the same as the full versions, as the Media Feature Pack for Windows 7 N or Windows 7 KN can be downloaded without charge from Microsoft.

VL builds

VL builds work with VLKs (volume license keys). Volume license keys can be used to activate multiple installations of the software without any mechanism (such as a product activation mechanism) checking the total number of installations. The license for the software will place restrictions on the use of the key. Typically, the license will limit the key to a fixed number of installations which must only be within the licensee's organization and also place the licensee under an obligation to keep a record of the number of installations, keep the key confidential and possibly even require that the license organization makes itself available for a software licensing audit to verify that its use of the key is within the terms of the license.

Upgrade editions

In-place upgrade from Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 to Windows 7 with is supported if the processor architecture and the language are the same and their editions match. In-place upgrade is not supported for earlier versions of Windows; moving to Windows 7 on these machines requires a clean installation, i.e. removal of the old operating system, installing Windows 7 and reinstalling all previously installed programs. Windows Easy Transfer can assist in this process. Microsoft made upgrade SKUs of Windows 7 for selected editions of Windows XP and Windows Vista. The difference between these SKUs and full SKUs of Windows 7 is their lower price and proof of license ownership of a qualifying previous version of Windows. Same restrictions on in-place upgrading applies to these SKUs as well. In addition, Windows 7 is available as a Family Pack upgrade edition in certain markets, to upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium only. It gives licenses to upgrade three machines from Vista or Windows XP to the Windows 7 Home Premium edition. These are not full versions, so each machine to be upgraded must have one of these qualifying previous versions of Windows for them to work.

Upgrade compatibility

There are two possible ways to upgrade to Windows 7 from an earlier version of Windows:
• An in-place install (labelled "Upgrade" in the installer), where settings and programs are preserved from an older version of Windows. This option is only sometimes available, depending on the editions of Windows being used, and is not available at all unless upgrading from Windows Vista.
• A clean install (labelled "Custom" in the installer), where all settings including but not limited to user accounts, applications, user settings, music, photos, and programs are erased entirely and the current operating system is erased and replaced with Windows 7. This option is always available and is required for all versions of Windows XP.
• The table below lists which upgrade paths allow for an in-place install. Note that in-place upgrades can only be performed when the previous version of Windows is of the same architecture. If upgrading from a 32-bit installation to a 64-bit installation or downgrading from 64-bit installation to 32-bit installation, a clean install is mandatory regardless of the editions being used.

Version and its
specific edition of
Windows to
upgrade from
Edition of Windows 7 to upgrade to
Home
Basic
Home
Premium
Professional
Enterprise
Ultimate
Vista Home Basic
In-place
In-place
Clean
Clean
In-place
Vista Home Premium
Clean
In-place
Clean
Clean
In-place
Vista Business
Clean
Clean
In-place
In-place
In-place
Vista Enterprise
Clean
Clean
Clean
In-place
Clean
Vista Ultimate
Clean
Clean
Clean
Clean
In-place
XP
Clean
Clean
Clean
Clean
Clean

Anytime Upgrade editions

Windows 7 also supports in-place upgrades from a lower edition of Windows 7 to a higher one using the Windows Anytime Upgrade tool. There are currently three retail options available (though it is currently unclear whether they can be used with previous installations of the N versions). Currently, there are no plans for family pack versions of the Anytime Upgrade editions. It is possible to use the Product Key from a Standard upgrade edition to accomplish an in-place upgrade (e.g. Home Premium to Ultimate).
• Starter to Home Premium
• Starter to Professional
• Starter to Ultimate
• Home Premium to Professional
• Home Premium to Ultimate
• Professional to Ultimate