Microsoft's replacement for Windows XP is out and being sold on new PCs. You can also purchase is as an upgrade for existing systems. Microsoft has a Vista upgrade advisor program that tests your existing PCs capability to run Vista. This program can be found at:
In reality systems less than a year old are candidates for Vista. After that you may have to do so much upgrading that you may as well buy a whole new PC.
To be sure I have run Vista on a three year old PC that is a 1.4 GHZ Pentium system. (Most new PCs run at between 2.2GHz to 3.4 Ghz.) To make Vista install and run, I changed to a newer graphics card, added more memory (Random Access Memory or RAM), and changed to a newer DVD drive (Vista would not install properly from the old DVD drive). It ran with acceptable speed, but I did not work on this Vista system anywhere near as much as I do on my current XP machine. To know a PC well, you must work on it exclusively. At St Jerome School in Hyattsvile I support some 3-year old PCs that need similar upgrades for them to run Vista.
With Vista the menus are changed from Windows XP. For an old Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me (ugh), Windows 2000, And Windows XP person these new menus are more difficult to use. The options that I need to facilitate software configuration changes are more hidden. Ordinary users would find the new menus changed, but should readily adapt in a few days or weeks.
Office 2007 that was also released with Vista has simpler document formatting controls. These controls show you immediately what the change you are doing does to your document. Office 2007 runs on Windows XP systems just fine. Similarly, Internet Explorer 7 runs on XP systems and provides similar capabilities to IE7 on Vista Systems.
Vista was written from the from the ground up. This was done to provide greater security. When you reconfigure Vista you are asked for permission to make the changes. This is annoying at first, but as Vista get used to your usage patterns this becomes much less intrusive. It is similar to wearing a path in your lawn by walking the same route across the lawn from the front door to the car every day.
Because Vista is new, older software is likely to need to be rewritten to perhaps run but most assuredly to make most effective use of Vista's features. You would need to check with the software manufacturer or developer to see if there are any problems or issues. Alternatively, just run the old program and hope for the best. Often you get lucky. The software design philosophy is you can move forward, but you cannot go back. So you will find that IE7 which runs on XP and Vista does not run on Windows 2000.
So a good Vista strategy is:
1.Stick with your old XP PC do not upgrade. XP is good for 3 or more years. If you wish get Microsoft Office 2007.
2.If you must get a new PC and Vista, check to see what software upgrades you will need. Stay with the basic system delivered (minimal changes) for the next 3 to 12 months.
Please remember that Vista is here to stay, so there is no going back once you move up to it. However, you can pick the time of your choosing to buy a new PC and upgrade to Vista.
Link to "Microsoft's Renewed Vista Strategy"
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