Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system contains improvements to boost system performance, user productivity and interface efficiency. These improvements require a more powerful system than previous versions of Windows, such as Windows Vista Home Basic. Windows 7 Home Basic is specifically intended for computers in the developing world. Computers that meet the minimum system requirements will be able to run Windows 7 Home Basic, but computers that exceed the requirements will operate faster and have access to more features.
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Windows 7 Home Basic requires a processor with a clock speed of at least 1 gigahertz. Faster processors will result in smoother system performance. You can use the 32-bit version of Windows 7 Home Basic with a 32-bit processor or a 64-bit processor, but it will not exploit the maximum potential of a 64-bit processor. You can only run the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Basic with a 64-bit processor.
The 32-bit version of Windows 7 Home Basic requires at least 1 GB of RAM. The 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Basic requires a minimum of 2 GB of RAM. Additional RAM will allow your computer to run more programs simultaneously without slowing down.
Windows 7 Home Basic 32-bit requires a minimum of 16 GB of empty hard drive space to install. The 64-bit version needs 20 GB. Windows 7 will occupy nearly all of this space with its installation files so you will need a larger hard drive if you intend to install large programs or save large files on your computer.
Windows 7 requires a DirectX 9-ready graphics card with support for Windows Driver Display Model 1.0 or higher. More powerful graphics cards will enable more options in Windows 7 Home Basic, such as live previews of programs in the taskbar. Regardless of the quality of your graphics card, Windows 7 Home Basic does not have access to the Windows 7 Aero theme that provides transparency effects on desktop elements.
Microsoft designed Windows 7 Home Basic for developing countries. As such, Windows 7 Home Basic should only be activated and used in select countries in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and the Far East. Users in other countries can choose Windows 7 Home Premium for a similar operating system with more features, including Aero desktop effects. Alternately, users can choose Windows 7 Starter which has fewer features and is primarily intended for netbook computers.
Microsoft's Upgrade Advisor scans your computer for information about your hardware and software and tells you what versions of Windows you can use with your system. After downloading the software from Microsoft's website and running it, the program will tell you if your computer is compatible with Windows 7 and what components you need to upgrade if it is not.
Windows 7's anytime upgrade feature lets you upgrade any version of Windows to a new version without downloading new files or purchasing new discs. This allows you to unlock advanced Aero functionality and other features that are not included in Windows 7 Home Basic but your computer may be capable of running.
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