There are six Windows 7 editions. Two editions for mainstream consumers and business users and four specialized editions for enterprise customers, technical enthusiasts, emerging markets, and entry level PCs. The design of each edition matches the demands of particular user types. You may need more than one edition in your environment; therefore, it is important to understand each edition’s features.
Each edition requires activation to verify that your copy of Windows is genuine and that it has not been used on more computers than the Microsoft Software License Terms allow. In this way, activation helps prevent software counterfeiting. With an activated copy of Windows, you can use every Windows feature for that specific edition.
You have 30 days after installing Windows to activate it online or by telephone. If this 30-day period expires before you complete activation, Windows will stop working. If this happens, you cannot create new files or save changes to existing ones. You can regain full use of your computer by activating your Windows copy.
Windows 7 Starter edition
Windows 7 Starter is targeted specifically for small form factor PCs in all markets. It is only available for the 32-bit platform. This edition features:
1. Improved Windows Taskbar and Jump Lists
2. Windows Search
3. Ability to join a HomeGroup
4. Action Center, Device StageTM, and Windows® Fax and Scan
5. Broad applications and device compatibility
6.Ability to run as many applications simultaneously
7.Secured, reliable, and supported operating system
Note: Microsoft also produces an N edition of Windows 7 Starter. Windows 7 Starter N includes all of the same features as Windows 7 Starter, but does not include Microsoft® Windows Media® Player and related technologies.
Windows 7 Home Basic edition
Windows 7 Home Basic is targeted for value PCs in emerging markets, meant for accessing the internet and running basic productivity applications. This edition includes all of the features available in Windows 7 Starter. Additionally, it includes:
1.No limit on the number of programs you can run
2.Live Thumbnail previews and enhanced visual experiences
3.Advanced networking support (ad hoc wireless networks and internet connection sharing)
Note: Similar to Windows 7 Starter N, Windows 7 Home Basic N excludes Windows Media player and related technologies.
Windows 7 Home Premium edition
Windows 7 Home Premium is the standard edition for customers. It provides full functionality on the latest hardware, simple ways to connect, and a visually rich environment. This edition includes all features available in Windows 7 Home Basic in addition to the following:
1. Windows® Aero®, advanced Windows navigation and Aero background
2. Windows® Touch (Multi-touch and handwriting support)
3. Ability to create a HomeGroup, which eases sharing across all PCs and devices
4. DVD Video playback and authoring
5. Windows® Media Center, Snipping Tool, Sticky Notes, Windows Journal, and Windows® SideshowTM
Windows 7 Professional edition
Windows 7 Professional is the business-focused edition for small and lower mid-market companies and users who have networking, backup, and security needs and multiple PCs or servers. It includes all features available in Windows 7 Home Premium in addition to the following:
1. Core business features, such as Domain Join and Group Policy
2. Data protection with advanced network backup and Encrypted File System
3. Ability to print to the correct printer at home or work with Location Aware Printing
4. Remote Desktop host and Offline folders
5. Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode
Note: Similar to Windows 7 Starter N, Windows 7 Professional N excludes Windows Media player and related technologies.
Windows 7 Enterprise edition
Windows 7 Enterprise provides advanced data protection and information access for businesses that use IT as a strategy asset. It is a business-focused edition, targeted for managed environments, mainly large enterprises. This edition includes all features available in Windows 7 Professional in addition to the following:
1. BitLocker and BitLocker To Go data protection for internal and external drives
2. AppLocker to prevent unauthorized software installation and execution
3. DirectAccess, which provides seamless connectivity to a corporate network
4. BranchCache, which decreases the amount of time for branch office workers to access files across the corporate network
5. All worldwide interface languages
6. Enterprise Search Scopes
7. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) enhancements and the ability to start from a VHD
Note: Windows 7 Enterprise is available exclusively to Microsoft Software Assurance customers.
Windows 7 Ultimate edition
Windows 7 Ultimate is targeted for technical enthusiasts who want all Windows 7 features without a Volume License agreement. It includes all of the same features as the Windows 7 Enterprise. Windows 7 Ultimate is not licensed for VDI scenarios.
Note: All editions of Windows 7, with the exception of Windows 7 Starter, are available for 32 and 64-bit platforms. Windows 7 Starter is only available as a 32-bit operating system.