Are you Vista-ready?

By: Walter Vandenhoute

Windows Vista, Microsoft's new operating system, will be the successor to the current Windows XP, which was launched on Thursday, October 25, 2001. Microsoft is targeting Windows Vista availability for volume license customers in November 2006 and general availability in January 2007.

Windows Vista will have hundreds of new features. The graphical user interface will be updated and visual style dubbed Windows Aero, improved searching features, new 'multimedia creation tools,' such as the current Windows Movie Maker. Also completely redesigned networking, audio, print and display 'sub-systems' - methods of completing tasks will be incorporated in Windows Vista.

The hardware requirements for a Vista Capable PC are a modern processor with a speed of at least 800 MHz, 512MB of system memory, and a graphics processor that is DirectX 9 capable. But your Vista PC also needs a graphics processor that can run Windows Aero, which is a DirectX 9 class graphics processor that supports a Windows Display Driver Model Driver, Pixel Shader 2.0 in hardware, and 32 bits per pixel.

The question presents itself: Is your PC capable of running Windows Vista or should you buy a new one?

To give an answer to this question, Microsoft has created a beta application that will perform a scan of your computer to:
1) Determine if you can install and run the core experiences of Windows Vista;
2) Guide you in determining which edition of Windows Vista is right for you and whether your system is ready to take advantage of the advanced features that interest you;
3) Figure out whether the devices and software on your PC are ready to run with Windows Vista;

After downloading the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor BETA, you can install this Upgrade Advisor yourself, easily with a number of clicks.

An important notice:
Before you start the Upgrade Advisor, you have to plug in any USB or other attachable peripheral devices that are regularly used with your computer such as printers, scanners or external hard drives.

The Upgrade Advisor can do an optionally check for among others these features:
- Premium Photo, Music and Movie Experiences
- Watch and Record TV
- Work Anywhere

The Upgrade Advisor can be found on the Windows Vista Homepage:

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