The Active Network
ActiveWin: Reviews Active Network | New Reviews | Old Reviews | Interviews |Mailing List | Forums


Product: Windows 7
Company: Microsoft
See Pricing  Purchase at
Review By: Andre Da Costa

with Byron Hinson, Robert Stein & Fernando Fhualpa contributing


Improved Look, Windows 7 is about building on the fundamentals of Windows Vista while introducing new experiences that will make using Windows simpler, faster and friendlier.

Table Of Contents (70 Pages)
1: Introduction & Executive Summary
2: Pricing, Editions & System
Installation, Setup & Upgrading
4: Initial Impressions
5: Daily Usage
6: Connectivity & Networking
7: Windows Internet Explorer 8
8: IE 8 - Developer, Compatibility & Security
9: Accessories (Search, Applets, etc.)

10: Windows Media Player 12 & Media Center
11: Enterprise & Security Improvements
12: Windows Virtual XP Mode
13: Device Stage & Printing
14: Remote Assistance - Easy Connect
15: Customizing Windows 7
16: Maintenance & Power Management
17: Gaming & Desktop Graphics Performance
18: USB Transfer Tests

19: Desktop & Personalization
20: Support Tools
21: System Restore & Recovery Options
22: Tablet PC & Windows Touch
23: Windows Update & Other Enhancements
24: Windows 7 Developer Support
25: Competition
26: Conclusion & Online Resources

Windows 7 will be available in 6 editions, but primary emphasis is being put towards Home Premium and Professional for mainstream markets.




Broad app and device compatibility, unlimited application support, Safe, reliable, and supported. Ability to join a Home Group, Improved taskbar and Jump Lists.

Home Basic

Starter features, Unlimited applications, Live Thumbnail Previews & enhanced visual experience, Advanced networking support (ad-hoc wireless networks and internet connection sharing), Mobility Center

Home Premium

Home Basic features, Unlimited applications  Aero Glass & advanced windows navigation, Easy networking & sharing across all your PCs & devices, Improved media format support, enhancements to Windows Media Center and media streaming, including Play To, Multi-touch and improved handwriting recognition.


Professional features, Unlimited applications , Ability to join a managed network with Domain Join, Protect  data with advanced network backup and Encrypting File System, Print to the right printer at home or work with Location Aware Printing.


Windows 7 Enterprise is available only through Microsoft Volume Licensing.


Professional and Consumer, Unlimited applications,  BitLocker data protection on internal and external drives, DirectAccess provides seamless connectivity to your corporate network.  (requires Windows Server 2008 R2), Decrease time branch office workers wait to open file across the network with BranchCache. (requires Windows Server 2008 R2), Prevent unauthorized software from running with AppLocker

Note: Ultimate includes all Enterprise and all Home Premium features, including multi-language packs.

Windows 7 Ultimate which is the edition Microsoft made available for testing incorporates all the features from the consumer and business editions. Some of the features users will find in this edition include Media Center, integration with devices such as the XBOX 360, Media Extenders, Complete PC Backup (now System Image), business networking, Group Policy support, BitLocker to Go, Windows Touch, Tablet PC and advanced window management features.



Full Package

Upgrade Package

*Windows 7 Starter

OEM only

OEM only

*Windows 7 Home Basic

OEM only

OEM only

Windows 7 Home Premium



Windows 7 Professional



Windows 7 Enterprise

Volume License Only

Volume License Only

Windows 7 Ultimate




Windows Anytime Upgrade From:


Windows 7 Starter to Windows 7 Home Premium


Windows 7 Starter to Windows 7 Professional


Windows 7 Starter to Windows 7 Ultimate


Windows 7 Home Basic to Windows 7 Home Premium


Windows 7 Home Basic to Windows 7 Ultimate


Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional


Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Ultimate


Windows 7 Professional to Windows 7 Ultimate



Windows Family Pack licensing


Windows 7 Home Premium Family License for 3 PCs


  • Windows 7 Starter Entry-level OEM SKU in all markets for cost conscious consumers.

  • Windows 7 Home Basic Value SKU in emerging markets for cost conscious consumers on value PCs.

    System Requirements

    Minimum system requirements for Windows 7 call for a 1 GHz PC 32/64 bit or better, 1 GB RAM (2 GBs for 64-bit), DirectX 9 compliant video card with 128 MBs of Video RAM, 18 GBs free hard disk space, Plug and Play monitor, keyboard, mouse, a DVD-ROM drive, a network or wireless adapter for networking capabilities and Internet Access. What is particularly interesting about the system requirements this time around, they are about the same as Vista while being realistic where minimum recommendations are concerned. Many consumers will be pleased to know, they wont have to do any significant upgrades to run Windows 7. I was quite surprised to discover how much performance has improved over Windows Vista running Windows 7 on the same hardware. For instance, I have Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit running on an AMD Sempron 1.6 GHz with 512 MBs of RAM and a nVidia Geforce FX 5200 128 MB AGP card, a very bare bones system I built back in February of 2006. Boot time is significantly faster in addition to the time it takes to load the desktop with Gadgets and invoke the Start menu.


      Introduction & Executive Summary Installation, Setup & Upgrading


  *   *