Consumers who purchase computers from local and online retail stores don't have to think too much about what's included in the operating system. On a basic level, Windows is the software that is necessary to use other third-party programs and hardware devices. However, for each version of Windows, there are a few editions that offer varying types and numbers of functions and features. For example, in Windows 7, PC owners might have a choice of Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate, with the latter being the full and all-inclusive edition.
Some components are available throughout all editions of Windows. The Windows Media Player application is available in all editions, and this software goes back across several versions of the operating system, including Windows XP and Windows Vista.
Microsoft has evolved and upgraded some native programs to compete with more popular third-party programs as well. The Windows Photo Gallery application is now called the Windows "Live" Photo Gallery. It is actually a part of a suite of applications called Windows Live Essentials, which includes Windows Live Mail and Windows Live Messenger, which might be somewhat familiar to long time PC users in some form.
The full version, Windows 7 Ultimate, includes advanced features and applications that many professionals have a use for, such as security features. Obtaining the full version is easier than it sounds.
Verify your current version of the installed operating system before you spend money on an upgrade to the full version of Windows. If you are currently using Windows 7, click on the Start button in the bottom left hand corner of the desktop to see the Start Menu. Type "operating system version" in the search box at the bottom of the Start Menu and then press Enter.
Look in the Windows Edition section to learn if you already have full Windows Ultimate. If you have the Starter, Home Premium or Professional editions, then you might want to consider going forward with the upgrade.
Click on the Start button again. Type "new edition" in the search box at the bottom of the Start Menu. Press Enter to open the Windows Anytime Upgrade dialog box. This is one way to obtain the full version of windows, but you can also buy the installation disc at a local store.
Click the "Go Online to Choose the Edition of Windows 7 That's Best For You" button in the dialog. The page will advance to a comparison of all the editions of Windows, including the full Ultimate edition.
Click the "Buy" button under the full Ultimate edition when you decide that you want to upgrade. After purchase, the software downloads and installs to your PC.
The Professional edition of Windows is just as robust as the full Ultimate edition.
Sources and Citations
- " Compare Windows - Microsoft Windows." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2012. <http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/products/compare?T1=tab09>.
- " Understanding hardware and software for 64-bit versions of Windows." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2012. <http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/understanding-hardware-and-software-for-64-bit-windows>.
- " Upgrading to Windows 7: frequently asked questions." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2012. <http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/upgrading-to-windows-7-frequently-asked-questions>.
- " Why buy Windows 7 Ultimate? - Microsoft Windows." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2012. <http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/why-buy-windows-7-ultimate>.
- " Windows Anytime Upgrade: frequently asked questions." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2012. <http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/windows-anytime-upgrade-frequently-asked-questions>.
- "From Starter to Ultimate: What's really in each Windows 7 Edition? | ZDNet ." Technology News, Analysis, Comments and Product Reviews for IT Professionals | ZDNet. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2012. <http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/from-starter-to-ultimate-whats-really-in-each-windows-7-edition/1031>.
- "The ultimate 'God Mode' list: 39 secret Windows 7 shortcuts | ZDNet ." Technology News, Analysis, Comments and Product Reviews for IT Professionals | ZDNet. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2012. <http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/the-ultimate-god-mode-list-39-secret-windows-7-shortcuts/1615>.
- "Why is Microsoft even offering Windows 7 Ultimate? | The Digital Home - CNET News." Technology News - CNET News. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2012. <http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-10280251-17.html>.
- "Windows 8 to Have Nine Different Versions [REPORT]." Social Media News and Web Tips – Mashable – The Social Media Guide. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2012. <http://mashable.com/2012/03/02/windows-8-nine-editions/>