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Microsoft Windows 7 Starter Computer Repair Guide
This edition is available pre-installed on computers, especially netbooks, through system integrators or computer manufacturers using OEM licenses.
Windows 7 Home Basic is 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.
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Computer Repair Guide
This edition contains features aimed at the home market segment, such as Windows Media Center, Windows Aero and multi-touch support.
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional Computer Repair Guide
Microsoft Windows 7 Enterprise Computer Repair Guide
This edition targets the enterprise segment of the market and is 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), the running of multiple virtual machines, and activation via VLK.
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Computer Repair Guide
Windows 7 Ultimate contains the same features as Windows 7 Enterprise, but unlike the Enterprise edition, it is 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
All editions will receive Mainstream Support (new features and bug fixes) until January 2015 and Extended Support (security updates) until January 2020
Microsoft Windows 7 Special Purpose Editions
The main editions also can take the form of one of the following special editions:
Microsoft Windows 7 N Edition
Microsoft Windows 7 KN Edition
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 Center and Windows DVD Maker.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.
Microsoft Windows 7 Volume License Keys & 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 licensee organization makes itself available for a software licensing audit to verify that its use of the key is within the terms of the license.
Microsoft Windows 7 Upgrade Editions
Windows Vista Service Pack 1 can be upgraded to Windows 7 with an in-place upgrade if the processor architecture, comparable edition, and language version are the same.Earlier versions than Windows Vista Service Pack 1 can only be upgraded to Windows 7 via a clean install. However, in some countries, Microsoft has recommended a clean install regardless of whether going from XP or Vista, with reasoning that has not been made clear.
Microsoft Windows 7 Standard Upgrade Editions
Windows 7 supports upgrading from an applicable version of XP and Vista to an applicable version of Windows 7 via Upgrade Editions, however there is no direct way to upgrade earlier than Windows Vista Service Pack 1. Users can upgrade to Vista first then to Windows 7 or use Windows Easy Transfer to collect data and settings from installed programs, install Windows 7 then install their program data and settings from Windows Easy Transfer, then re-install all their programs.
Not all programs will install if they don't support Windows 7. The latter method does a fresh install of Windows 7 so all software needs to be re-installed. If the original hardware is kept, suitable drivers will need to be found. The options mean that users can update freely from any previous version to any of the new three retail editions of Windows 7: Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate (plus in Europe, and possibly South Korea, these Upgrade Editions also come in optional N versions). Discounted upgrade pricing is only available to current users of genuine copies XP or Vista.
Microsoft Windows 7 Standard upgrade editions (Family Packs)
Windows 7 is available as an Upgrade Family Pack 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.
In the United States, this offer was discontinued in early December 2009. Microsoft has since announced it will resume availability of Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack which will be available starting October 3, 2010 for a limited time while supplies last.