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What is the cheapest version of Windows 7, that allows to effectively learn software? I mean both software which exists only under Windows and that which seems easier to install than under Linux.

Visual Studio Express Edition has no support for compiling x64. Does it mean that I should choose 32 edition?

Is some OS version required for developing with .NET, C++, C#, ASP, MFC, ALT?

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Whatever you do, don't pick Starter edition! It doesn't support .Net at all. –  AndrejaKo Sep 7 '10 at 9:05
    
@AndrejaKo: Is this true? I'd agree that Home Premium is a decent minimum for development, but microsoft.com/express/Support does say that all editions of Win7 are supported for Visual Studio Express. –  ChrisA Sep 7 '10 at 11:50
    
@ChrisA Yeah, but Visual Studio != .Net. Also, check out this site: msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/8z6watww.aspx It clearly says under Starter ans Starter N - for .Net support. –  AndrejaKo Sep 7 '10 at 12:02
    
I don't think you can even buy Starter Edition at retail. I think it's just for some netbooks and developing countries. –  Tofystedeth Sep 8 '10 at 19:07
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4 Answers

I'm using Win 7 Professional 32bit and Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate on my netbook for .NET and I would suggest you to take Win 7 Home Premium for learning with Visual Studio Express, because you don't need any Win 7 Professional features.

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I understand that you want to learn how to write a program, and would like to decide on which operating system to purchase in order to facilitate your learning.

I cant speak for all the languages you have listed, but as far as C++ is concerned, you may write software in C++ with any version of windows and have it run. A 32 bit executable can still run on 64 bit Windows 7. You can even use a free distro of linux if cost is a problem. I believe gcc can compile a 64 bit executable (and its free!)

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Visual Studio 2010 Express OS requirements are given here.

For ASP.NET development, you'd normally also need IIS, for which you'd need Windows 7 Home Premium or higher. Home Basic and Starter Edition appear not to have it.

However, Visual Studio includes a development web server, so you might get away with not needing IIS just for local development.

To be on the safe side, if you want to try ASP.NET web development, you'd be better off with Home Premium or above.

If you're just starting out in software, I wouldn't worry too much about being able to compile for x64. It makes no practical difference to the code you'd write in the vast majority of situations, and indeed sometimes you're forced to compile for x86 because of the 32 bit dlls you depend on.

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Microsoft has 6 different versions of Windows 7 available:

Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise.

  • Starter and Home Basic versions are just for basic use.
  • Home Premium is lacks many of the key features such as security features , its just eye candy
  • Professional edition aims to include These Security features, but still; lacks features like BitLocker, DirectAccess and Branch Cache.
  • Ultimate edition offers a full range of features and capabilities

I recommend that you buy windows 7 ultimate rather than buying something else with limited functionality.

What is the cheapest version of Windows 7, that allows to effectively learn software?

I suggest you buy Windows Professional edition (as it is cheaper than windows 7 ultimate), it will allow to effectively learn software. Having said that remember Windows 7 ultimate offers more features and hence can teach you more. The price range goes up from the starter edition to enterprise edition, starter edition being the lowest and the ultimate edition being costly

Have a look at this site http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/compare

Windows and that which seems easier to install All windows 7 installation are almost similar in nature and easier than ever

For a step by step installation guide go to this site http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9139824/Windows_7_installation_how_to_step_by_step

Visual Studio Express Edition has no support for compiling x64. Does it mean that I should choose 32 edition?

Well its up to you to choose, if you choose 64 bit version you wont be able to get many of drivers. So as a suggestion it would be better if you choose 32 bit version as all software and programs run on 32 bit version perfectly, also many drivers are available for 32b bit version

Is some OS version required for developing with .NET, C++, C#, ASP, MFC, ALT?

I don't think you need any particular OS although I am not sure. I use Windows XP and i am able to code all sort of programs till now. Windows Starter Edition does not support .Net and C, C++ and C# works only in windows (i hope i am right)

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Actually in last couple of years the driver situation for 64bit windows has improved considerably. Most new devices do have 64bit drivers. –  AndrejaKo Sep 7 '10 at 9:02
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I disagree. If you are just interested in writing software, there is no reason to pay (far) more for BitLocker etc, which are essentially enterprise features which most users (or programmers) will ever know about, let alone need. I develop at work on an XP machine! –  Joel in Gö Sep 7 '10 at 9:24
    
I just mentioned them above so that I could give a little idea about which features are supported by which version and let him decide for himself. After all he knows better than us what he needs –  subanki Sep 7 '10 at 9:34
    
@subanki - indeed, but the OP states What is the cheapest version of Windows 7, that allows to effectively learn software? and you then recommend Ultimate, which clearly doesn't accurately fit this requirement. Also - rather than the other versions having "limited" functionality, have you considered that Ultimate may instead have "additional" functionality? –  DMA57361 Sep 7 '10 at 10:18
    
@DMA57361 No, I clearly state that I suggest Windows 7 Pro. I mentioned about Windows 7 ultimate because the price difference between windows professional and ultimate is relatively very low. As per the windows Windows 7 pro is $299.99 and Windows 7 ultimate is $319.99. –  subanki Sep 7 '10 at 10:46
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