Which Windows 7 version do I choose?

Celegorm

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If you do not need to join a domain (if you are using the computer at home 99% of the time you are not) then there is no reason to go for anything above home premium except for bragging right. All the programs you'll be using will not function any different.

64bit will allow you to use more RAM making it more future proof however there are some programs that will not function right with it.

For OEM, you need to buy some kind of hardware to get it (usually). Other than that there really is no huge difference.

Just enrolling in a college will not cut it. MS can and (and does) verify that you are activly taking classes. If you want to be fraudulent about it and do that, then you accept all risks with that.
 

Juan handed

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If you do not need to join a domain (if you are using the computer at home 99% of the time you are not) then there is..
Can you explain what domain is?

no reason to go for anything above home premium except for bragging right. All the programs you'll be using will not function any different..
So,who would need something like Ultimate? And what differences would the user notice?



64bit will allow you to use more RAM making it more future proof however there are some programs that will not function right with it..
How long before 64 bit becomes the norm? What types of programs are taking advantage of 64bit right now?

For OEM, you need to buy some kind of hardware to get it (usually). Other than that there really is no huge difference..
What is the OEM stuff that Newegg has?http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=368&page=1
 

Celegorm

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A domain is a network set up allowing one user to log onto any computer joined to the domain. It also has a bunch of advanced networking features that home-users do not need.

Ultimate simply combines the media center from home premium and the domain abilities of Business. as I mentioned before, users wouldn't notice a difference.

It's hard to say when 64-bit will become the norm. Most programs are working in it now and the rest are slowly becoming compatable.

The OEM stuff newegg (or any other site) has is designed to be bought with hardware as part of a computer build.
 

Shadowmoose

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Anything above home premium is for people who need VPN and the windows xp simulator.

99% of home users just need premium. Get 64bit if you for some reason need more then 4gb of ram.
 

eyeCpc

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With 7 you have three main desktop editions of Home Premium, Professional, and the Ultimate edition. The Enterprise edition is strictly geared for corporate application there.

The main difference between an OEM disk and retail is the licensing agreement where an OEM disk is used on one machine only while the retail disk allows for 3 consecutive activations or two newer builds following the present you have now.

For more then 4gb of ram on a system the 64bit is the must there. Programs like CAD can get quite involved in chewing ram up rather fast with large projects. For simply running a good machine even gaming 4gb is plenty however. There's performance boost for that when going from 4gb to 8gb.

The Professional and Ultimate offer more featurs like the BitLocker tool first seen in Vista's higher editions there as well as the support for the new XP Mode Shadowmoose was pointing to there. This allows you to run old XP programs that won't install even on the 32bit 7 in a virtual environment.

Surprizingly 7 has shown itself far more backward compatible to older XP apps however then seen with Vista. The troubleshoot compatibility tool is a help there at times! And no the Ultimate edition isn't simply for bragging rights but offers another new feature called the AppLocker to restrict what programs can be run in secondary user accounts.
 
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