IT Business Edge contributor Paul Mah specializes in small businesses, and in his latest blog, he discusses two useful tips for SMBs evaluating the Windows 7 operating system.
1) Extend trial period up to 120 days. Mah suggests drawing out the default 30-day trial period to 120 days, which is allowed without a purchase. To extend the trial, basically wait until the initial installation is approaching the end of the default 30-day trial before firing up a Command Prompt window with Administrator rights. Type in "slmgr -rearm" without the double quotes at the command prompt, and restart Windows. You will now see the trial period reset back to 30 days; this trick can be repeated another two times to reach 120 days of trial in total. After 120 days, you must purchase the software if you wish to continue using Windows 7.
2) Install any version from a Windows 7 Ultimate media. There is no way to switch the edition of Windows once it is installed. What is possible, though, is to get a DVD with Windows 7 Ultimate, yet be able to install any version of Windows using it. This can be useful to reduce the amount of installation media that needs to be kept.
For more information on these steps, Mah suggests checking out Windows Secrets.
Don't forget about the Windows 7 Pocket Guide in the Knowledge Network, either. This document can help SMBs customize and organize the Windows 7 OS for their own purposes.