Choosing the Right Windows 7 Version

Just like any other previous Windows OS, Windows 7 will offer in many different flavors. For a mere mortal, choosing what version to use seems confusing. Don’t let the versioning scare you. Microsoft is a bit lazy this time.  They are releasing 12 versions for Windows 7 against 18 on its’ Vista (Microsoft orginally planned to release more versions for Vista like the Itanium vresion but they cancelled).

Below are the versions for Windows 7

  • Windows 7 Home Basic
  • Windows 7 Starter
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Windows 7 Home Premium (x64)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium N (European Union Only)
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows 7 Professional (x64)
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Windows 7 Enterprise (x64)
  • Windows 7 Ultimate
  • Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)

Which version are REALLY available to the consumers?

Let’s further shorten the list on what version are really available for the regular user.

  • Windows 7 Starter (32-bit or x64)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium (x64)
  • Windows 7 Professional (x64)
  • Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)

Windows 7 Home Basic is only for new PC purchase in emerging markets. This will be unheard in North America and Europe.
Windows 7 Starter this is primarily for low end, budget PCs like netbook which will be sold worldwide.
Window 7 with N and K were produced for European Union and Korea market. This is to appease the anti-trust rules and
regulations on those countries.
Windows 7 Enterprise is for corporate users, available through corporate volume licensing subscription programs.
Windows 7 Ultimate functions like Windows 7 Enterprise except it is available at retail for new PCs (out of the box) and as stand-alone.

32-bit or x64?

The difference between the two is a bit technical in nature. To simplify, I suggest leave 32-bit word behind and transport your virtual world to to 64-bit(x64).

Windows 7 are still fully compatible with most if not all 32-bit software EXCEPT for some netbook computers that come with a version of Intel’s Atom processor which are not compatible with x64 instruction set.

The no.1 reason to step into 64-bit is BIG Memory! Windows 7 can use up to 192GB of RAM (it depends on version), compared to 32-bit version which can access to less than 4GB.

Intel and AMD are now both producing x64 platform. 64-bit is now the mainstream PC platform. With the increase of memory capacity and decreasing price, there’s no other way but to embrace x64 version.

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