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Scott Dorman Microsoft MVP, Software Architect, Developer, Author

Win7

Microsoft today announced the new product line for Windows 7. In some ways the new Windows 7 product line follows the same ideas of Windows Vista, but the big differences are that each Windows 7 edition is a superset of the previous edition (which means that each higher edition will have every feature of all lower editions) and they will be focusing primarily on two editions of Windows 7: Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Professional.

The breakdown on the different editions is:

Windows 7 Starter

This is for price-sensitive customers with small notebooks PCs.

Key Feature list:

  • Broad app and device compatibility with up to 3 concurrent applications
  • Safe, reliable, and supported
  • Ability to join a Home Group
  • Improved taskbar and JumpLists

Windows 7 Home Basic

This is for customers in emerging markets only.

Key Feature list:

  • Starter features
  • Unlimited applications
  • Live Thumbnail Previews & enhanced visual experience
  • Advanced networking support (ad-hoc wireless networks and internet connection sharing)
  • Mobility Center

Windows 7 Home Premium

This is recommended for most customers (home consumers).

Key Feature list:

  • Home Basic features
  • Unlimited applications
  • Aero Glass & advanced windows navigation
  • Easy networking & sharing across all your PCs & devices
  • Improved media format support, enhancements to Windows Media Center and media streaming, including Play To
  • Multi-touch and improved handwriting recognition

Windows 7 Professional

This is recommended for small businesses and those customers (home consumers) who want additional features and functionality useful for small business activities.

Key Feature list:

  • Home Premium features
  • Unlimited applications
  • Ability to join a managed network with Domain Join
  • Protect  data with advanced network backup and Encrypting File System
  • Print to the right printer at home or work with Location Aware Printing

Windows 7 Enterprise

This is recommended for medium-to-large business and enterprise customers that choose to license Windows through Software Assurance and is available only through Microsoft Volume Licensing.

Key Feature list:

  • Professional features
  • Unlimited applications
  • BitLocker data protection on internal and external drives
  • DirectAccess provides seamless connectivity to your corporate network (requires Windows Server 2008 R2)
  • Decrease time branch office workers wait to open file across the network with BranchCache (requires Windows Server 2008 R2)
  • Prevent unauthorized software from running with AppLocker

Windows 7 Ultimate

Key Feature list:

  • Enterprise features
  • Unlimited applications
  • Multi-language packs
  • I know that looks like there are still a lot of different editions, but the key points are:

    • For Consumers: Microsoft recommends Windows 7 Home Premium for most customers and Windows 7 Professional for customers who want additional features and functionality useful for small business activities.
    • For Businesses: Microsoft recommends Windows 7 Professional for most customers and Windows 7 Enterprise for medium-to-large business and enterprise customers that choose to license Windows through Software Assurance.
    • The features in each version of Windows 7 build upon the one before it. As customers move up from one edition to the next, from Windows 7 Starter through Windows 7 Ultimate, they gain additional features and lose none.
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    Posted on Tuesday, February 3, 2009 3:01 PM General , Windows 7 | Back to top

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