Monday, 2 August 2010
Most Windows computers and laptops that have been made in the last year are now being brought out with Windows 7 not Windows vista or Windows XP, which is the older version of Windows.The most common version of Windows 7 is Windows 7 Starter, which is found on laptops particularly notebooks or netbooks.Windows 7 is great software and has many advanced features over the old Windows XP or Vista. Among these is that Windows 7 is much quicker to start up than Vista or XP and has additional features not seen in the older versions.
But Windows 7 Starter is very basic,compared to the other editions of Windows 7. For example in the Starter edition you cannot download themes or desktop wallpapers from the Internet like you can in other editions,although you can change the desktop color using the color wheel. Also you cannot watch movies or live television or create home groups as you can in the other editions. If you are luck you can find a laptop with Windows 7 Home Premium already installed,but if you want anything above that,you have to upgrade your laptop or computer.
But it is quite easy to do this,first let me tell you about the other editions.Windows 7 Home Premium is the next edition up from Windows 7 Starter and here you will find more choice of features. In this edition you can download desktop themes from the Internet and you can change the color screen the same as in Starter. Only now in this edition you can now save your color theme and you can do this with each theme you create. This means for example if you create a pink desktop screen,with blue text and want to change it to a yellow one with red text.Instead of having to go into the color settings again,you just click on that yellow theme you have saved before and you have your other theme on your desktop screen.
But in Windows 7 Starter you can not do this and also in Home Premium,you can watch and record live television or burn CDs and create home groups. But you could not in Starter and this is the reason why a lot of people,who have Windows 7 upgrade to a higher edition. At the moment a most laptops and computers with Windows 7 have only the Starter edition,but the good news is you can upgrade to a higher edition, and it is easy to do this.
There are two ways to do this,you can upgrade in the store where you bought your laptop or computer or online,but the disadvantage is you do have to pay for an upgrade. The price depends on which country you are in,but the cheapest and easiest way is to upgrade online. Type in "anytime Upgrade" in settings menu and you will then be take to the Microsoft website showing you the features and prices of the other editions of Windows 7. From Windows 7 Starter there are three options,Windows 7 Home Premium,Windows 7 Professional, and Windows 7 Ultimate.
But before you go ahead with the upgrade it is advisable to download a tool called Windows Upgrade Adviser. Which is also available from the Microsoft website and is free to use and this tool will scan your computer and tell you if your computer or laptop is able to upgrade to another edition of Windows 7 and also what editions you can upgrade to. On my laptop Windows Upgrade Adviser told me I could upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium edition,Professional or Ultimate.
Once you have scanned your computer with Windows Upgrade Adviser if it tells you that you can upgrade,you can then go online by clicking "anytime upgrade" again and than choose the edition you want to upgrade to. After you have filled in the online form and made the payment,your computer will then start to upgrade all of your software to the Windows 7 edition you have chosen.
You will also be sent an upgrade key which will be emailed to you at the email address you provided when you filled out the online form and you should keep a record of this. After the upgrade is complete,you must then activate Windows in order to make it valid. You do this by going to settings and type in "activate Windows",this will then bring up the activate Windows menu with two options,"activate now" or "do not activate."
Click on the activate Windows now option and you should get a message saying Windows activation successful,your new edition of Windows 7 is now active.It is important to activate Windows right away after you have upgraded your computer to make your new edition of Windows 7 valid. As well as Windows 7 Home Premium there are two other editions,Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate and these have even more features.
There is not much difference between Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate. Again in Professional and Ultimate editions you can change your desktop theme and save your color theme as you can in Home Premium,and you have all of the other features you had in Home Premium. But what is different in Professional is that you can now control the settings on other computers,which is useful if you have more than one laptop or computer and you have even more storage space for your files.
If you are a company you can now connect to other networks or if you are using your home computer you can connect to your own computers on another network,in this edition. Also you can now run programs in Windows XP mode,although you do have to download this feature. In Windows 7 Ultimate the only difference between this and Professional is that in this edition,you can lock the disks on your computer,with a feature called Bit Locker.
Although I do not advise this on a home computer because if you forget the password and you need to access your recovery and other disks,you will not be able to. Also if your computer detects a security threat to your software,it will not allow you to unlock the disks,even with a password and your computer is out of action.This disk locking feature is more suited to public computers,such as in offices or Internet cafes,where if you are a manager, you do not want other users to go into the disks to change the settings.
The other feature in Windows 7 Ultimate is that you can work in other languages,but apart from these two extra features,there is not much difference between these two editions. If you are going to upgrade to a higher edition from Windows 7 Starter or Home Premium,then go for Windows 7 Ultimate as then you will have all of the latest features Windows 7 has to offer. And when Microsoft bring out more features for Windows 7 later on,Ultimate will have all of these.
Also in England there is only a price difference of five pounds between the two editions, Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate,so you might as well buy the Ultimate edition anyway. If you have upgraded from windows 7 starter to Windows 7 Home Premium you can upgrade again to Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate if you wish to.But if you do this will have to pay again for another upgrade and you will have to do this every time you upgrade. As if you have purchased Home Premium,your upgrade key is not valid for another edition of Windows 7.
You can upgrade from Windows 7 Home Premium,to Professional, and then later on if you then decide you want to upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate,you can do.You will have to activate Windows again each time you upgrade. But it can get expensive,going from Windows 7 starter to home Premium,then from there to Professional, and then pay again to get Windows 7 Ultimate! I myself upgraded my laptop from Windows 7 starter to Home Premium and then I decided I wanted Windows 7 Ultimate.So I had to pay for another upgrade. But it is well worth upgrading,particularly if you have Windows 7 Starter,which has very limited features.