Windows 7 is Microsoft’s latest version of its Windows operating system. Unlike its predecessor, Vista, Windows 7 offers incremental upgrades and is aimed at ensuring maximum compatibility with applications and hardware already supported in Vista. As mentioned in the Preface, Microsoft’s key agenda regarding Windows 7 is to lure back many of the Windows XP users who skipped Vista. Windows 7 offers significant performance improvements over its predecessors—most notably Windows Vista and Windows XP. It is still based on the Vista kernel, but comes
with substantial performance improvements and a redesigned Windows shell, a new taskbar, and a less-annoying User Account Control (UAC) system.
There are also improvements in networking, in particular the introduction of a home network system known as HomeGroup. This chapter walks you through the different versions of Windows 7 available, followed by an overview of the installation process. We will then take a look at some of the new features in Windows 7 before we get into them in detail in subsequent
Versions of Windows 7
With Windows Vista, Microsoft released multiple editions of its operating system with the intention of targeting different segments of its user base with different features at different price points. However, this approach wasn’t well received, as it confused the market; many users urged Microsoft to come up with one simple, all-encompassing version of the operating system.
With Windows 7, Microsoft still has many editions. However, Microsoft is expected to focus its marketing effort on just two editions—Home Premium and Professional— just as it did with Windows XP. Here is a list of the available editions, in ascending order, from least to most advanced:
A lightweight edition for netbook computers. Netbooks are low-powered computers specifically designed for lightweight tasks such as web browsing and emailing. In this edition, Windows 7 will lack more advanced features such as Media Center, Aero Glass, fast user switching, multiple-monitor support, DVD playback, and multitouch support. This edition is geared toward replacing Windows XP on inexpensive computers such as netbooks, a market that is currently dominated by Windows XP. This edition will likely be available only as a preinstallation by OEMs.
This edition is designated for emerging markets only; it is for customers who are looking for an inexpensive entry-level Windows experience (limited Aero support, no features such as Windows Media Center or multitouch support).
This edition is designed for home users and will include features like Media Center, multitouch support, the Aero Glass UI, and so on.
This edition is designed for home workers and small businesses, and will include features like advanced network backup and the Encrypting File System.
Includes everything that Professional includes and adds BitLocker protection. It will have the option to encrypt USB flash drives and external hard disks. It also includes DirectAccess, which allows remote workers to access a company network securely without using a VPN, and federated search.
Includes all the features available in Windows 7.
See the Pics Below for Full Comparison of Windows 7 Version
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