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After a ton of guesswork and rumors flying around, Microsoft has finally confirmed what much of the evidence was pointing to: there will indeed be six editions of Windows 7, just like there were for Windows XP and Windows Vista. Customers will be able to choose from Windows 7 Starter Edition, Windows 7 Home Basic Edition, Windows 7 Home Premium Edition, Windows 7 Professional Edition, Windows 7 Ultimate Edition, and Windows 7 Enterprise Edition. The news comes hot on the heels of the Windows 7 Ecosystem Readiness Program announced yesterday. All editions will be available in worldwide markets except for Home Basic, which will be offered in emerging markets. Starter will be also available worldwide but only via OEMs. Here is how the different versions differ from each other:* Windows 7 Starter (worldwide via OEM only): up to three concurrent applications, ability to join a Home Group, improved taskbar and JumpLists* Windows 7 Home Basic (emerging markets): unlimited applications, live thumbnail previews and enhanced visual experience, advanced networking support (ad-hoc wireless networks and Internet connection sharing), and Mobility Center* Windows 7 Home Premium (worldwide): Aero Glass and advanced windows navigation, improved media format support, enhancements to Windows Media Center and media streaming, including Play To, multi-touch and improved handwriting recognition* Windows 7 Professional (worldwide): ability to join a managed network with Domain Join, data protection with advanced network backup and Encrypting File System, and print to the right printer at home or work with Location Aware Printing* Windows 7 Ultimate (worldwide): BitLocker data protection on internal and external drives, DirectAccess for seamless connectivity to corporate networks based on Windows Server 2008 R2, BranchCache support when on networks based on Windows Server 2008 R2, and lock unauthorized software from running with AppLocker* Windows 7 Enterprise (volume licenses): same as Ultimate, includes the following improvements: DirectAccess, BranchCache, Search, BitLocker, AppLocker, Virtualization Enhancements, Management, as well as Compatibility and Deployment.