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Main editions[ edit ] Since October 31, , Windows 7 is no longer available in retail except for the Professional edition preinstalled which was discontinued on October 31, It is only available in a bit version and does not include the Windows Aero theme. The desktop wallpaper and visual styles Windows 7 Basic are not user-changeable. In the release candidate versions of Windows 7, Microsoft intended to restrict users of this edition to running three simultaneous programs, but this limitation was dropped in the final release.
This edition was available pre-installed on computers, especially netbooks or Windows Tablets, through system integrators or computer manufacturers using OEM licenses. Home Basic, along with other editions sold in emerging markets, include geographical activation restriction , which requires users to activate Windows within a certain region or country. It was available in both bit and bit versions.
Volume license keys can be used to activate multiple installations of the software without any mechanism such as a product activation mechanism checking the total number of installations.
The license for the software will place restrictions on the use of the key. Typically, the license will limit the key to a fixed number of installations which must only be within the licensee's organization and also place the licensee under an obligation to keep a record of the number of installations, keep the key confidential and possibly even require that the licensee organization makes itself available for a software licensing audit to verify that its use of the key is within the terms of the license.
Upgrade editions[ edit ] In-place upgrade from Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 to Windows 7 is supported if the processor architecture and the language are the same and their editions match see below. Windows Easy Transfer can assist in this process. The difference between these SKUs and full SKUs of Windows 7 is their lower price and proof of license ownership of a qualifying previous version of Windows. Same restrictions on in-place upgrading applies to these SKUs as well. These are not full versions, so each machine to be upgraded must have one of these qualifying previous versions of Windows for them to work.
An in-place install labelled "Upgrade" in the installer , where settings and programs are preserved from an older version of Windows. This option is only sometimes available, depending on the editions of Windows being used, and is not available at all unless upgrading from Windows Vista.
This option is always available and is required for all versions of Windows XP. Note that in-place upgrades can only be performed when the previous version of Windows is of the same architecture. If upgrading from a bit installation to a bit installation or downgrading from bit installation to bit installation, a clean install is mandatory regardless of the editions being used.
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