Enterprise users with Microsoft Software Assurance subscription licensing can now download and install Windows 7 Enterprise Edition.
This follows on from the availability of the release candidate code of Windows 7 for users of MSDN and the TechNet developer programs.
However, businesses in the UK and the rest of Europe running Windows Vista will need to perform a clean installation, wiping over the previous Vista settings. Windows XP users will need to run a clean installation.
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Businesses outside the EU that upgrade from Windows Vista may find they need to run a clean installation.
Wherever they reside, businesses will need to assess whether it is worth buying the more expensive Enterprise Edition of Windows 7, over the Professional Edition, which lacks certain features like BranchCache and BitLocker to Go (see panel below).
Windows XP users can use Windows XP Mode software for Windows 7, which allows XP applications to run in a virtual desktop environment on Windows 7.
Only users with Software Assurance can install the release candidate version of Windows 7. On the Microsoft Windows team blog, Microsoft said: "While you may evaluate Windows 7 Enterprise for 90 days from the Volume License Web site, in order to deploy it into production now, you need to have an active Windows Client licenses covered by Software Assurance."
|Software in Windows 7 Enterprise unavailable in Windows 7 Professional Edition|