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Windows 7 Versions and Requirement Facts

There are six different editions of Windows 7:

  • Starter
  • Home Basic
  • Home Premium
  • Professional
  • Enterprise
  • Ultimate

The following table describes several features found in Windows 7:

Feature Description
Windows Firewall Windows Firewall provides real-time network traffic filtering. It controls traffic through the network interface using a set of inbound and outbound rules that can filter traffic on the port and IP address.
Action Center Action Center is a central location for dealing with messages about your system and the starting point for diagnosing and solving issues about your system. It consolidates all the Windows 7 security related tools into one location, which simplifies your ability to access and use the specific tool that you need.
Power Management Power Management provides ways to conserve battery power on a laptop. You can use the built-in power plans or can customize a power plan to fit your individual circumstances.
User Account Control User Account Control (UAC) alerts you whenever the task or operation you are trying to do on the computer requires administrator privileges. Instead of receiving an access denied prompt, you will receive a UAC prompt that will provide a way to elevate your status from a standard user to an administrator account without having to log off the computer or switch users.
Internet Explorer 8 Internet Explorer 8 is the default browser for Windows 7 and provides tools to help protect privacy and computer security while browsing the Internet.
Improved Backup and Restore Improved backup and restore tools let you back up files based on user configuration, including which files to backup and when the backup should occur.
HomeGroup HomeGroups are a simple way of sharing resources and managing authentication to resources on a home or small business network. HomeGroup actions include:
  • Creating a HomeGroup (Available in the Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions)
  • Joining a HomeGroup (Available in all editions)
Windows Media Center Windows Media Center provides online entertainment, and offers a number of media features, including:
  • TV record and playback (as long as the PC has a TV tuner car).
  • Internet TV
  • Create a slide show on your PC and play it on an HD TV
  • Play music
Windows Aero Windows Aero is a set of features aimed at helping users view, find, and organize information. Features to manage desktop clutter include:
  • Shake keeps a single window open while minimizing the remaining windows from the desktop
  • Peek keeps a single window visible while making the remaining windows transparent
  • Taskbar icons which display previews of all windows
Encrypting File System Encrypting File System (EFS) provides the ability to encrypt individual files and folders using a public encryption key tied to a specific user account.
Remote Desktop Host Remote Desktop Connection allows you to remotely access files and network resources from another computer's desktop.
Windows XP Mode Windows XP mode enables an application to run in a virtualized XP operating system. It takes advantage of Microsoft Virtual PC allowing you to run an installation of Windows XP as a virtual machine under Windows 7.
  • All applications installed on the Windows XP mode virtual machines are made available to the Windows 7 host computer.
  • Windows XP Mode is a free downloadable compatibility option.
Domain Join Domain Join allows Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate editions to quickly and securely join a domain (i.e., enterprise network of computers).
Group Polices Group policies set configuration values for multiple users or computers. Settings can apply to the entire domain, a subset of users or computers in the domain, or single, stand-alone computers.
AppLocker AppLocker is a software restriction feature that has the ability to apply restrictions to specific users and groups or to be applied to all future version of the software. AppLocker helps administrators control how users access and use files, such as:
  • .exe files
  • scripts
  • Windows Installer files
  • .dll files
DirectAccess DirectAccess provides an always-on connection to a private network that becomes active as soon as the computer detects an Internet connection. DirectAccess allows authorized users to access corporate file servers and view intranet Web sites without establishing and going through a VPN connection.
BranchCache BranchCache caches frequently accessed content from remote file and Web servers so that users in branch offices can quickly access information, instead of having to retrieve it across the WAN link.
BitLocker and BitLocker To Go Windows BitLocker encrypts an entire hard drive to protect all the data on that drive from theft. BitLocker to Go allows you to protect data by encrypting data on portable storage devices.
Boot from VHD Boot from VHD allows you to boot the computer from a backed-up system image.
Back up to a Network The Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions of Windows 7 provide the option of backing up files to a network.

The following table illustrates the included features for each Windows 7 edition:

Feature Starter Home Basic Home Premium Professional Enterprise Ultimate
Windows Firewall Available Available Available Available Available Available
Windows Defender Available Available Available Available Available Available
Action Center Available Available Available Available Available Available
Power Management Available Available Available Available Available Available
User Account Control Available Available Available Available Available Available
Internet Explorer 8 Available Available Available Available Available Available
Improved Backup and Restore Available Available Available Available Available Available
Join a HomeGroup Available Available Available Available Available Available
Create a HomeGroup N/A N/A Available Available Available Available
Windows Media Center N/A N/A Available Available Available Available
Windows Aero N/A N/A Available Available Available Available
Encrypting File System N/A N/A N/A Available Available Available
Remote Desktop Host N/A N/A N/A Available Available Available
Windows XP Mode N/A N/A N/A Available Available Available
Domain Join N/A N/A N/A Available Available Available
Group Polices N/A N/A N/A Available Available Available
Back up to a Network N/A N/A N/A Available Available Available
AppLocker N/A N/A N/A N/A Available Available
DirectAccess N/A N/A N/A N/A Available Available
BranchCache N/A N/A N/A N/A Available Available
BitLocker and BitLocker To Go N/A N/A N/A N/A Available Available
Boot from VHD N/A N/A N/A N/A Available Available

The following table lists the minimal requirements for the Windows 7 editions:

Component Requirement
CPU 1 GHz
RAM 1 GB (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
HDD 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit) of available space
GPU DirectX 9, WDDM capable, Pixel Shader 2.0 hardware
Video RAM 128 MB

Windows 7 N-editions include all the same features as the original editions, but do not include the Windows Media Player and other media-related features built into the operating system, including:

  • Media Sharing
  • Windows Media Center
  • Windows DVD Maker
  • Windows Media Device Manager
  • Windows Media Player User Experience