The Windows 7 editions are conceived so that every superior version is some kind of superset of suplimentary options over the previous ones. Which means that when the user decides to cross over from a version to another, all the characteristics of the previous version are kept and they are added to others according to the version bought through upgrade. Besides this, all the editions can run on different scale systems, from notebooks to high-performance systems for games, Windows 7 has 6 versions to produce.
Windows 7 starter
Key characteristics: the new task bar, the drop-down lists on the task bar, Windows Media Player, Backup and Restore, Action Center, Device Stage, Play To, Fax and Scan, simple games.
Limitations: It doesn’t have a transparent interface Aero Glass, there are a lot of improvements brought by Aero for desktop, it doesn’t have Windows Touch, or Windows Media Center, or previews of the windows on the task bar, Windows 7 Mobility Center is missing , and options for creating the Home Group.
Windows 7 Home Basic
Key characteristics: All of the functions of the Windows 7 Starter, along side the advanced characteristics for networks, previews of the windows on the task bar and the Windows 7 Mobility Center.
Windows 7 Home Premium
Availability: It is the main version of Windows 7, designed for the general public around the world.
Limitations: It can’t acces complex networks like Domain, it doesn’t have the host program Remote Desktop, it doesn’t have advanced back-up.
Windows 7 Professional
Availability: Designed especially for the small business environement, globally available.
Limitations: It dosen’t have BitLocker, BitLocker To Go, AppLocker, Direct Access, Branche Cache.
Windows 7 Enterprise
Key characteristics: : BitLocker, BitLocker To Go, AppLocker, Direct Access, Branche Cache, the possibility to install language packs for interface and boot from VHD- practicly this is the most complete version of Windows 7.
Windows 7 Ultimate
The target market : Retail or upgrade from Windows 7 Home Premium or Professional.
Key characteristics: BitLocker, BitLocker To Go, AppLocker, Direct Access, Branche Cache, the possibility to install language packs for interface and boot from VHD.
It easy to see that the group of Windows 7 versions are very much like the one of Windows Vista, except for some changes like introducing Media Center in Windows 7 Professional (Windows Vista Bussines doesn’t have Windows Media Center), or that Windows 7 Starter was for cheep computers of emergent markets.
Just like in the case of Windows Vista, the installing DVD for Windows 7 will contain the installing files for the Ultimate version and implicitly for all the previous versions.
There are a series of special versions, like Windows 7 N, Windows 7 K, Windows 7 KN and Windows 7 E. Each of them has something that sets it apart from the standard ones.
Windows 7 N: Designed for markets from Europe and includes the standard functions from Windows 7, just that it doesn’t include Windows Media Player or other related tehnologies like Windows Movie Maker.
Windows 7 K: Designed for the market in Koreea, except the fact that it has connections to a site Media Player Web and o another site Messenger Web Center.
Windows 7 KN: Designed for the market in Koreea, it has the same functions like Windows 7 K, except the fact that it doesn’t include Windows Media Player or other related technologies like Windows Movie Maker, download links foe Windows Live Messenger, or links to a site Media Player Web or to another site Messenger Web Center.
Windows 7 E: Designed for the countries under the European Comision, including the UK, and it has the same characteristics like the regular Windows 7 versions but it doesn’t have Internet Explorer 8. Windows 7 E will sell at an upgrade promo price for the full version, retail by 31 december 2009, because there is no version that allows an upgrade from Vista or XP without Explorer.