So I have the RC installed right now (build 7100) and its going to start shutting down every two hours come Monday. I'd like to get a full (non-upgrade) version of Windows 7 (meaning I'd like to do a clean install without upgrading from a WinXP Pro or Vista partition). For that, I assume I need the non-upgrade version, right?
1) Version. Basically I'm looking at Professional. Is there any good reason to go for Ultimate? Is BitLocker worth the 20 more dollars? How much would it be to upgrade to Ultimate from Professional, if I wanted to do that after the fact?
2) Price. Microsoft lists Professional full at $299.99 for either download or boxed. Amazon has the boxed version for thirty dollars less. Am I missing any better discounts anywhere, or anywhere I can buy it for download at a cheaper price than what Microsoft offers?
3) XP Mode/Virtualization. I admit I don't know much about this. Can anyone shed some light on what this is? From what I understand, I don't need XP for this. You can download the XP-related stuff for free from Microsoft.
4) My motherboard. I had heard that there were compatibility issues between XP Mode/Virtualization and EVGA motherboards. I have an EVGA motherboard. Is that still a problem?
5) Activations. How many activations, total, does a full-version get me? And what would cause me to need a new activation? I don't upgrade my PC *that* often but I might get a new motherboard/chip in the near future.
Thanks in advance.