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Is Windows 7 more similar to Windows XP or Windows Vista? I'm trying to create a Virtual Machine for Windows 7 in VMWare Server and it doesn't show Windows 7 as an option. It only has Windows XP and Windows Vista.

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So basically you've never used 7 at all? As the answers suggest, under the hood it's very close to Vista...but ABOVE THE HOOD it's also very close to Vista. I don't see how you'd think otherwise if you had used it...and you should use it because it's pretty awesome. Give it a shot sometime! – Shinrai Aug 10 '10 at 22:33
I already used it. Ubuntu is better. – Phenom Aug 11 '10 at 8:11
up vote 5 down vote accepted

This depends on what you mean by "most similar to", but your best bet is probably Windows Vista (if, as CPlumley recommends, you can't choose a later version of Windows Server, such as 2008) for these reasons, to name a few:

  1. Windows Vista and Windows 7 are actually under the same major release numeber (Vista being 6.0 and 7 being 6.1)

  2. Windows Vista and Windows 7 share the same Desktop Window Manager (aero)

  3. Both environments share hardware and software compatibility (Windows 7 drivers usually work with Windows Vista, where they may not with Windows XP or earlier)

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I will just add that while Windows Vista and Windows 7 share the same Desktop Manager, Windows Vista is version WDDM 1 and Windows 7 is WDDM 1.1. Source: – James Watt Aug 5 '10 at 5:15

It's closer to Vista. Here's a guide I found but while targeted at the beta version of Windows 7 it should still be relevant. The guide suggests selecting Server 2008, which is built off of Vista.

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