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After five long years, Microsoft ships a new version of Windows ...

Windows Vista Upgrade Guide:

To Upgrade, Or Not...

by Lynn Eriksen 

After a long, difficult journey Windows Vista is finally finding it's way to store shelves on January 30th, 2007. Is your computer ready, or even capable of an upgrade? What does Vista have that makes it so special? Where is Vista lacking? What is the future of Windows? We'll cover these issues in a four part series.

Upgrade Considerations

Upgrade considerations cover your hardware and what version you'll want to run. Here are a few basic hardware consideration:

  • If you have a budget computer more than 2 years old, you should not upgrade to Vista.
    Your best bet is to buy a new computer with Vista pre installed.
  • If you have a budget or mid range computer 1-2 years old then it's a definite maybe. You will want to check to see if you meet the Vista Premium PC hardware recommendations? If you computer is only Vista Capable you be wishing for Windows XP back after about an hour. You'll also want to download and run the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor.
  • If you have a mid-range or high-performance computer about a year only or less then it's a qualified yes. You will want to double check the hardware recommendations as well as run the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor before you upgrade.

Even more perplexing are the various versions of Windows Vista available. There are really only two the average home user should consider: Home Premium and Ultimate. Both of these should run you computer just fine, with the Ultimate version having the most features of any Windows Vista sku. For business users the Business version is targeted right at you, but you can always upgrade to Ultimate if you need the features. Click here to find out more about Windows Vista versions.

How does upgrading to Windows Vista compare to the upgrade to Windows XP? First of all, once your done answering questions for the installer you are DONE. There is no stopping for more mind boggling questions mid way. Once the upgrade gets going you can walk away and most likely comeback to a finished, working install. Installing an upgrade over Windows XP is somewhat slow, but Windows Vista does a great job of preserving your old Window installation. Like Windows XP, Vista will get updates from the internet if your online during the install process. If your installing on Windows XP, the Upgrade Advisor will run and may make strong suggestions about removing certain software. I suggest you follow it so that the install goes smoothly.

> Next: The Features that Matter


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