Windows 7 is the latest version in a series of computer operating systems, produced by Microsoft for personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptop computers, notebooks, netbooks, tablet PCs, and media centers. This new version was released on July 22, 2009 and became available in the market on October 22, 2009, which is less than three years after the release of Windows Vista.
The server counterpart of Windows 7, which is Windows Server 2008 R2 was also released approximately around the same time. The successor of Windows 7 will be Windows 8, to be launched in the near future. Along with new features, Windows 7 comes in many versions, customized for different user profiles.
About Windows 7
Microsoft had added a number of new features in Windows Vista, but Windows 7 is more focused on being an incremental upgrade to the Windows line. There are numerous advantages of Windows 7, which include multi-touch support, new taskbar, home networking system, and performance improvements. However, some of the applications, which were earlier offered with the previous version, are now offered separately, at no charge, and are a part of Windows Live Essentials suite.
Windows 7 Editions Explained
Windows 7 is available in six different editions, however, only Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate are widely available in retail. The remaining editions focus on other markets, including the developing world and enterprise users. Each of the versions includes all capabilities and features of the edition that precedes it. All editions support 32-bit processor architecture and all editions, apart from Starter, support 64-bit processor architecture. According to Microsoft, all editions of Windows 7 have all the features packed in them, regardless of which one you opt for. Users who want to upgrade to another version of Windows 7, with more features, will have to use the Windows Anytime Upgrade to get them. Purchase the upgrade and unlock the features of those editions.
Comparing the Versions
|Features Available with Different Versions of Windows 7||Available in Versions|
|Things that you do everyday are made easier with improved desktop navigation.||Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate|
|Programs start faster and more easily, and documents you use most often are found quickly.||Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate|
|Web Experience is made faster, simpler, and safer than before, with Internet Explorer.||Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate|
|TV can be watched, paused, and recorded on the PC.||Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate|
|A home network can be easily created, and the computer can be connected with a printer, within the Home Group.||Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate|
|Windows XP productivity programs can be run in Windows XP mode.||Professional,
|Connect your computer to a company network easily and securely with Domain Join.||Professional, Ultimate|
|Along with full-system backup and restore options found in all editions, you can back up to a home or business network.||Professional, Ultimate|
|Your data can be protected on your PC and portable storage devices can be made secure with BitLocker.||Ultimate|
|Choose to work in the language of your choice and switch between any of 35 languages.||Ultimate|
|End of Support||Home Premium till 2015,
Professional, till 2020,
Ultimate till 2015
Using the comparison table presented above, you will be able to decide which version would be best-suited to serve your requirements.