I received two questions today about Windows 7 and the subscriber downloads in TechNet and I thought it might be useful for others. I do have to agree with the customer that TechNet Subscriber downloads are much better than acquiring you test software from a torrent. Not that any of you would know anything about that… TechNet Subscriber downloads are also more convenient and safer!

Does Windows 7 have anything like Windows XP volume licensing?
Windows 7 does not have a volume licensing version like Win XP. There is no version of Windows 7 that doesn’t require activation. The closest thing to how it was in XP is the MAK key. (Multiple Activation Key) The same MAK key can be used in several installations on different PCs. Those PCs will need to individually connect to Microsoft and activate. Once they are activated they will not need to communicate with Microsoft again. A MAK key has a preset number of allowed activations, so once the limit has been reached the MAK key no longer activates.

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What are the N, K, and KN versions of Windows 7?
The N, K, and KN versions of Windows 7 are versions that have had components of the OS removed for legal reasons. You generally don’t want those versions. Here are the details of what is different:

  • Windows 7 N: Windows 7 N is meant for European market, and includes the same functionality as Windows 7, except that it does not include Windows Media Player and related technologies such as Windows Movie Maker.
  • Windows 7 K: Windows 7 K is meant for Korean market, and includes the same functionality as ordinary Windows 7, except that it includes links to a Media Player Center Web site and a Messenger Center Web site.
  • Windows 7 KN: Windows 7 KN is meant for Korean market, and includes the same functionality as Windows 7 K, except that it does not include Windows Media Player and related technologies such as Windows Movie Maker, links to download Windows Live Messenger, or links to a Media Player Center Web Site and a Messenger Center Web site.

I hope this helps clears up some of the questions you may have had.