Windows 7 Buyer's Guide: Which Edition is Right for You?

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bradysd4

I have not tried this myself (yet). Here is one option to do an upgrade from Vista Home Prem. to Win7 Pro I found out today:
http://zeroization.com/2009/10/29/in-place-upgrade-from-vista-home-premium-to-windows-7-professional/
It does involve a double installation of Win7, but if it works, it will preserve all those settings, etc. 

Be sure to make an image backup before you start in case anything goes wrong.

I am not sure you really have to do that version switcher thing mentioned.

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mldavis2

Win7 Pro looked like a "no brainer" with the XP emulator.  However going from Home Premium 64 to Win7 Pro 64 requires a clean install.  This is a nightmare for those of us with programs that involve dozens if not hundreds of add-on files, online registration validations and extensive customization such as Flight Simulator or X-Plane with all the after market planes and scenery each of which is a separate install, separate key, separate online validation.

A clean install is always theoretically superior, but when it involves weeks of work to rebuild a system, it's not exactly a 'no brainer.'  When I pre-purchased Win7 Pro, there was no upgrade chart and no one knew that it couldn't be done as an in-place upgrade.  Now I'm stuck buying a new 1T hard drive to install Win7 Pro (if I don't decide to send the damn thing back), and hoping it will install as an upgrade.  How the hell does it know I'm upgrading if my original boot drive is out of the system?

You can go from Home Premium to Ultimate but not Home Premium to Pro.  Go figure!!!

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Homer2029

Pre-ordered hp on the egg today!

Let's Go Redwings!

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jrocknyc

KZUU121:

 

assuming you have WinXP already, you'll be able to use THAT to run in Win7. (Professional costs more partially because you're paying for a license to use WinXP.)

 

So, if you already have a legit XP disc (and what MaximumPC user doesnt'?!, you can do XP Mode in Win7 Home Premium. Don't pay $50 more for somethig you've already got!

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Kzuu121

So will you be able to download XP mode for the home edition if you have older games that may not run on Win 7 or will you have to have the Pro version? For example, there is an older game called Zeus: Master of Olympus that I love playing but I don't know if it will work for Win 7. 

Thanks to any help.

 

 

 

Your what hurts??

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cppgeek

I think that what the previous poster was referring to was the fact that you can download and install Virtual PC onto Windows 7. Since you already (supposedly) have a legit copy of WinXP, you can install that in the virtual machine and achieve similar - if not identical - functionality.

However, I believe that the "XP mode" of Windows 7 includes additional integration that Virtual PC does not. That being said, you could still play your XP compatable game in a virtual machine and save yourself some money by only purchasing Home Premium.

Hope this clears things up....

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hiremenow

What about Ultimate? Can you pre-order that? Or will you have to wait until it comes out with the rest of them? Knowing MS it will probably be the latter option.

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alanmc76

 There is no option to select Ultimate for the pre-sale.

But honestly, what can Ultimate do for you that Pro can't?  Expanded language support and BitLocker.  How many languages do you know?  And BitLocker requires special hardware.  And the only real advantage of Pro is the XP emulation.  So, if you truly can't let go of XP just yet, get Pro, for everyone else HP will prolly work just fine.

 __________________________________________

-- "What am I, MacGyver? Fix it with what?"--

 

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Marcus_Soperus

There's no price break for ordering Ultimate now as opposed to later. Believe me, as a early adopter of Vista Ultimate, I wish we'd get a price break too.

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It's amazing how illogical a business built on binary logic can be.

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robotsneedhugs2

Does anyone know how much of a price difference between Retail and OEM there will be?

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alanmc76

 That information has not been released yet.  But I have a feeling they will be one and the same.

 __________________________________________

-- "What am I, MacGyver? Fix it with what?"--

 

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ejodoin2

I researched this extensively as you can read in teh Forum.  Home Premium does not come with Remote Desktop Host.  In  other words, you can sit at your Home Premium PC and remote log into a Win 7 Pro PC but the reverse is not possible.   However, someone found a hack in Vista which suffered from the same fate but there is no guarantee that a similar hack will work on Win 7.

 Your free alternative: Real VNC (www.realvnc.com/) or a host of other free remote desktop solutions each with their own quirks or drawbacks compared to M$ Remote desktop.

I really wish M$ would change their mind and offer remote desktop hosting on all versions, that is such a great tool,  it's just not worth an extra $50, let alone $80 once the "discount" price ends 11 July.

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jimnms

The free version of RealVNC does NOT support Vista or Win7.  If you want to use RealVNC in Vista/Win7 you need to buy the personal or enterprise edition which costs $30 or $50 and does not work as well as Windows' built in RDP.  Currently, the only free VNC server that supports Vista and Win7 is UltraVNC.

I currently use VNC on my XP notebook, and have MCE on another PC which has RDP since it's built on XP Pro.  The built in RDP runs circles around VNC.  I can use the Media Center through RDP, but not with VNC.

At first I thought that it wasn't worth paying an extra $50 for RDP, so I pre-ordered Win7 Home.  After considering the free and commercial alternatives, I'm now thinking that $50 for RDP is a pretty good deal.  I'm now thinking of changing at least one of my pre-orders to Pro since I have one computer that doesn't have a keyboard and mouse, so I must use remote desktop.

I don't understand why MS won't put RDP host services in the Home version though.

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ouch8s

does anyone know if home premium can act as a remote desktop server? 

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alanmc76

 No. It cannot.

However, there was a patch for Vista HP, so I'm hoping there will be one for 7 sometime down the line.

 _________________________________________

-- "What am I, MacGyver? Fix it with what?"--

 

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ETNPNYS

You say in the article "If you're currently running Windows Vista Ultimate (like I am) and decide you don't need BitLocker or multilanguage support, you can "upgrade" from Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Professional." 

1. ...What if I only want Win7 HP? Can I still "upgrade" from Vista Ultimate?

2. Will there be an option to do a clean install instead of an upgrade if you get the upgrade version? A clean install is always the better choice.

3. Can you "upgrade" a 32-bit OS (Vista Ult or XP HE - I have had both on my HTPC) to the 64 bit Win7? I understand that you can't do an in-place-upgrade; I think those are just about always a bad idea anyway. 

<><

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Tekzel

"2. Will there be an option to do a clean install instead of an upgrade
if you get the upgrade version? A clean install is always the better
choice."

What I don't understand is why people insist on saying ridiculous things, based entirely upon obiviously uninformed opinion, and try to pass them off as undeniable fact?  This is a false statement, much like saying "blue is always a better color than red".  There are many situations in which a clean install is not the better option.  There are situations when it would actually be the WRONG option.  You weigh every scenario vs the specific context and then choose the best option.  But, if you want to keep going around spouting nonsense, far be it from me to tell you not to.

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ETNPNYS

To the angry guy: You're right. I should have said something more like "If you have properly structured your backups and you don't want to run your computer with orphaned dependencies... ...a clean install is always the better choice."

I use my HTPC as a file/music/video server; it has two hard drives and weekly backups with SyncBack running very reliably. I installed the Win7 RC and had it completely working with all of my restored data on a clean install in less than two hours. I guess if I wanted to be lazy (or it was my grandma's computer) I would settle for the upgrade. 

Uninformed opinion? I was the leading PC tech in my region (west coast) for the company I worked for; I worked my way from the ground up to establish myself as the best person for the job, chosen by corporate to be the lead on special implementations, and I have countless references that are still in this industry that will speak to my ability. I've been doing this for many years; don't get me started on people with uninformed opinions. 

...But you were correct on other 'obivious' point: Blue is always better than red.

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horzo

I can't imagine an OS upgrade ever being the right option, but I can imagine it being the only option and/or the easiest option.

Frankly, if anyone's got themselves in a situation where they can't completely burn down their system and get everything back within a few hours, they need to re-examine their backup and software maintenance strategy.

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alanmc76

 Not everybody is as computer savvy as most readers here. There are also a lot of readers here who make a living fixing other peoples stupid mistakes.  Would you rather do an in-place upgrade, or spend hours upon hours backing up your great-aunt's pop-cap game scores and every possible recipe and quilt pattern found on the internet?  Not me. It's an in-place upgrade for her and BAM! you're cookin' like Emeril and done in 25 minutes.

Of course, I keep my own machines backed up and squeaky clean, but I simply do not have the time or patience to do it for every member of my extended family.

 _________________________________________

-- "What am I, MacGyver? Fix it with what?"--

 

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ETNPNYS

Agreed. Thank you for providing an example of when an upgrade would be best-served; Tekzel above clearly was unable to do so. 

<><

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Tekzel

Or utterly disinclined to paint you an unnecessary picture.  There is always that option.

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horzo

Exactly why I don't do free maintenance for anyone but my mother. :)

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alanmc76

In your situation, since you plan to do a clean install, the answer is yes.  However, there are other factors to consider.  Please refer to the following TechNet forum thread:

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itproinstall/thread/82df6697-99ec-4ae5-aa1d-802d294f84d9/

 _________________________________________

-- "What am I, MacGyver? Fix it with what?"--

 

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HHocker

"Microsoft's list leaves out some significant core features, though, including:

  • 32-bit and 64-bit editions provided in retail/upgrade versions
  • Windows Aero desktop (with supported graphics cards and drivers)
  • Improved wireless networking
  • Improved network management for mixed Windows 7/Vista/XP networks
  • Improved audio and video codec support
  • Improved digital TV support
  • Windows Backup for both files and system image
  • Devices and Printers management interface
  • Device Stage enhanced driver support for multifunction devices"

This is what was removed from the Release Candidate version before the final retail release version available to pre order?  Maybe I should have had the regular instead of the decaf this morning.  hmm?

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Marcus_Soperus

These features are common features of the three US SKUs of Windows 7 (HP, Pro, Ultimate). My point is that Microsoft's checklist of common features didn't list them. But, they're all present in Windows 7.

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It's amazing how illogical a business built on binary logic can be.

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HHocker

Well I read about the program on the Miscrosoft site and they really are not offering an upgrade path from Windows XP to Windows 7.  It's really not a direct upgrade and the requirements are very specific.  If a Windows XP computer you have to have bought the computer with a Vista authorization and then simply downgraded. Maybe I didn't understand and comeone could clarify it to me but please quote a source of info. so people can verify.  My WinXP to Win7 path info is straight from the Windows 7 Upgrade Program links in the article above.

 I use Windows XP Pro VLK and had hoped to upgrade from that but it.

On another issue, can a retail upgrade be used on more than 1 PC or would I need to buy a copy for every one of my PC's?  I do know OEM's are just for one computer...

 

If you know anything please comment to my post.

 TY

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alanmc76

 What theymean by no direct upgrade path is that you cannot do an in-place upgrade from XP to 7.  You can still use the upgrade software, but you will have to backup your data and do a clean install.  As far as the requirements for Win 7, I have not heard of a single machine that could not run it.  It has been installed on everything from brand new laptops to ancient desktops with a Pentium 2.

Each copy of the retail upgrades is for one machine each, so yes you will have to buy multiple copies. The good thing about that is you can get two copies of Win 7 HP right now for $100.  That's $20 less than you will be able to get a single license for in October.

___________________________________________

-- "What am I, MacGyver? Fix it with what?"--

 

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HHocker

 Alanmc76,

 Thank you. Does this mean that I would also need more than one original upgrade source or would my Windows XP Pro VLK work for all three?  I don't think I have enough to upgrade from, you see, and I never liked Vista (and I beta tested it as well as Winodws 7 Beta and RC - love the Win7, love it) so I don't own a copy of Vista.

 This is getting too individualized a question answer session for most probably but ..should I get a cheapo Vista to upgrade from and get the promo Win7 Upgrade ASAP?

 It would be killer if I could use the Windows XP VLK to upgrade all 3 of my PC's with.  Windows XP Pro possibly could be even a better option.  I'll list a Miscrosoft number here to help others with questions like mine ..if I find the right one and they are able to answer questions.

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mesiah

I pre-ordered a copy of HP for my wife and a copy of pro for me :D, honestly though, unless you are worried about xp compatibility I would just go with HP. Especially if you are already running a vista machine.

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alanr19

You need a hardware TPM module embedded in the motherboard to use BitLocker. Many people still dont know this and will upgrade thinking they can use it only to be told they can't.

 

It will require a hardware upgrade for many Windows upgraders. I just think people should know this.

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Marcus_Soperus

Windows 7 Ultimate (and Windows Vista Ultimate before it) don't make it easy to determine that you can use BitLocker even if your system lacks a TPM. The procedure's different in Windows 7 Ultimate than in Windows Vista because Windows 7 Ultimate supports removable-media drives. Both Windows 7 and Vista require you to make changes to the default Local Group Policy Editor changes configuration for BitLocker. For a step-by-step tutorial for Windows 7, see http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/4681-bitlocker-drive-encryption-windows-7-drive-turn-off-no-tpm.html. For links to tutorials on enabling BitLocker on Windows Vista Ultimate without a TPM, see http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windowsvista/archive/2007/07/26/10-things-using-bitlocker-even-without-a-tpm.aspx?PageIndex=2.

It's amazing how illogical a business built on binary logic can be.

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AirForceOne

I think the new functions of in Win7 would not persuade me to upgrade from Win xp! I would still use my XP until it would not supported by MS.
Air Jordans | Air Force Ones Online.

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rennhack

Home Premium (64 bit) limits the user to 16GB of Ram, if you have a computer with 24GB, you will need Win7 Pro 64bit or better.

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alanmc76

 

 That is true, but how many people have more than 16GB of memory in their home machines?  I would wager that the percentage is less than 1, probably much less.  If you are running that much, then you are either doing some high-performance computing or a very zealous PC enthusaist.  In either of those cases, you are probably running Pro or Ultimate anyway.  So, this is not an issue to the average home user.

__________________________________________

-- "What am I, MacGyver? Fix it with what?"--

 

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Vegan

Are there any sort of compatibility issues with XP Mode? Since I already have XP and I'll be taking the Upgrade path, I have to decide if the convenience of having XP *in* Win7 is worth an extra 50 bucks... or if I should just dual boot.

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Marcus_Soperus

If you need to run the occasiona Windows XP-compatible program that will not run properly under Windows 7, XP Mode's the way to go - if it's not a game. XP Mode, unlike dual-booting, enables you to run individual XP-compatible programs in the Windows XP environment right from the Windows 7 Start menu, rather than needing to run a full Windows XP desktop as you would with Virtual PC 2007 running a Windows XP virtual machine (VM).

However, if you're running Windows XP mainly for gaming, stick with dual-booting if you can't get the games to run properly in Windows 7 by using the Program Compatibility Wizard or Compatibility Tab. XP Mode doesn't support DirectX, so it's not designed for gaming.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's amazing how illogical a business built on binary logic can be.

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nhskier4life

I wonder how much the OEM single use copies will cost. I just built a new desktop and instead of buying a copy of Vista I just installed the latest Windows 7 RC. I don't want to buy the retail when I only need it for the one computer and OEM is cheaper.

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pastorbob

Well, maybe not quite that good. But the last time I paid $50.00 for a version of Windows was way back in 1998 when I bought Win 98 upgrade edition. And it didn't work nearly as well as Windows 7 RC has worked for me over the last couple of months. I have been running XP for seven years now and have never been even tempted to switch to Vista. But I downloaded the RC release of Win 7 and have been very pleased with the performance. It boots faster, is less resource hungry, seems more stable overall, and runs all of my current applcations without exception. I installed it on a second machine that is an old socket A runniing an Athlon Xp 2500+, 2 gig of RAM, and some other legacy hardware without any hiccups at all. I gladly preordered two copies of Win 7.

Obviously if you are happy with whatever you are running stay with it. But XP support will run out next year. And I imagine Vista will not enjoy as long a support life as XP enjoyed. So like it or not you will have to switch eventually. Personally I am ready now, without any reservations.

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reedaledddy

Why would I downgrade to windows pro from vista ultimate? I cannot believe people are acually excited to only pay 50 dollars to get less. I like vista ultimate. I have windows 7 dual booted on my pc and I never use it anymore. I tried it and think after they gave out the sevice pack 2 windows 7 is vista 2 but uglier. I was away from XP for a long time and when I got a pc again it had vista, I think it's way better than xp, After they fixed the problems they had on release what is the complaint now. Yeah let me PAY 50 bucks or more for less than I get now and my screen uglier. I guess I will throw out my 64 bit ultimate disc and pay to not get a 64 bit and stick to 32 bit. I don't need the extra 4gb of ram my computer will hold if I upgrade to 64 WTF people are goofy and drank the bill gates kool-aid

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gatorXXX

On the windows 7 DVD, both 32 and 64 bit versions are included. This includes all SKU's. So you will still be able to use your ram ;)

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alanmc76

 Please read the article and the comments before going on a rant, not doing so only makes you look silly.  It states fairly clearly above and several times in this thread that every package of Win 7 comes with 32 and 64bit bundled.  Nobody is asking you to go back to 32 bit if you don't want to.

Obviously, the upgrade is not for everyone.  However if you look at what is bing offered in the package, it is a pretty good buy for most people.  Compare Your Ultimate version to Win 7 HP and what are you missing?  Do you have a home domain with in-house DNS and AD?  I think not.  Are you one of the 12 people out there that actually use bit-locker?  Probably not.  But again, nobody is forcing you to switch.

 __________________________________________

-- "What am I, MacGyver? Fix it with what?"--

 

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horzo

Ermm...no. I've just been using Win7 for several months now, and think it's a better product than Vista. Much faster boot times, much better task bar, etc. You can certainly make an argument that Win7 should be free to Vista owners, but $50 is pretty cheap in my world. I have no use for or interest in the ultimate edition.

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LueZuve

Staples wants $125 bucks for the pro upgrade despite everybody else selling it for $99? Smart business practices.

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kowal

 I have already pre-ordered (yesterday) my upgrade copy of seven HP.

I have been running XP/vista 64/seven RC ....in a triple boot config.

will i be able to use the upgrade version of seven in the same way as a triple boot setup?

Reason i want to do this is......i am always helping friends and family with tech support and it makes it so much easier to instruct them when you can boot into the same OS they are using.

will using say... my copy of XP or Vista void the ability to run it on its own?......all OS's will be run on the same machine

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Sharkman6684

Are there discounted 64-bit upgrade versions available? Or do these upgrades include both 32 and 64-bit editions?

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horzo

32- and 64-bit apparently included in upgrade editions. Read above.

 

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Sharkman6684

That isn't really clear. It says retail/upgrade editions will be available in 64-bit. Not sure if that means these pre-orders include that support, or if a separate 64-bit upgrade will be released. Since the RC came in separate 32 and 64-bit editions, it seems possible that it will be separate. I wouldn't want to pre-order this and find out I only got it in 32-bit.

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horzo

Seems pretty clear to me that the pre-order will be the same as upgrade editions you buy 5 months from now, and that the upgrades will inbclude 32 and 64 bit. The RC release would be a very large file to download if not split into separate versions.

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linux_dork

Which version of Windows 7 is best for me?  Right now, it looks like the answer is... Windows Vista.

 

 

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