Chapter I.3. Which Version? Pick a 7, Any 7

In This Chapter

  • The five flavors of Windows 7

  • Versions you don't want — and features you do want

  • 32-bit versus 64-bit

  • The right version for you

If you haven't yet bought a copy of Windows 7, you can save yourself some headaches and more than a few bucks by buying the right version the first time. And, if you're struggling with the 32-bit versus 64-bit debate, illumination — and possibly some help — is at hand. It's hard to keep track of all the various versions without a scorecard. That's where this chapter comes in.

Pick a 7 — Any 7

Windows 7 appears in five — count 'em, five — different versions. Four of those versions are available in 32-bit and 64-bit incarnations. That makes nine different versions of Windows 7 to choose from. Fortunately, most people need to concern themselves with only three versions, and you can probably quickly winnow the list to one. Contemplating the 32-bit conundrum may exercise a few extra gray cells, but with a little help you can probably figure it out easily.

In a nutshell, the five Windows 7 versions (and targeted customer bases) look like this:

  • Windows 7 Starter Edition, a stunted version that's available only preinstalled on netbooks. It doesn't support the Aero Glass interface (see Book I, Chapter 2). It doesn't let you change your desktop background. Starter can't run automatic backups to another computer on your network. There's no Media Center, no Sticky Notes, and the Snipping Tool got, uh, cut. But it will ...

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