Windows Vista is released!!!! Earlier Gina submitted an article from ZDnet.com about the need of Windows Vista. Most people are wondering if their computers are compatible with Vista. Heck most of the PC's you see at computer stores say it is Vista compatible. Let's look into the features with Vista and see what upgrades you need from your Windows XP operating system. So this article is assuming you have Windows XP, if you have an earlier version of XP, I would recommend checking this out first.
Just like Windows XP Home Edition, Windows ME, XP Professional and etc, Vista also has multiple versions, they are:
- Ultimate features everything you would want and can get out of Vista including: Hardware security, HD video creation, glass like menu bars, media center, DVD creation, and more.
- The Business theme is the same as Ultimate, but without all the entertainment features. Which makes sense for employers who don't want their employee's "wasting" company time on the computer pursuing their personal endeavors.
- Home Premium is similar to Windows Media Center. Home Premium does NOT have: the secure features of your hardware, the ability to create HD videos, and connect to the network as easy as Ultimate.
- Home Basic is basically a new upgrade from XP. The Home basic features have the most secured Windows ever, a faster search, IE (Internet Explorer) 7, and doesn't come with the new cool interface glass menu bar (Only Premium & Ultimate).
The entire Vista family are the most secured operating system of Windows ever!! This was just a brief overview of the features of the new Vista. If you want to see more, check out the comparison chart here. Cnet.com has even a better comparison chart.
Next let’s talk about the hardware or the specs of what your PC should have in order to run Vista. First off I would like to say Windows has an awesome feature on the Internet to help you out. You can download the Windows Vista Advisor here and it will help you determine if your XP is ready for the power upgrade to Vista. Pretty sweet feature. The gossip on the Internet mentions that there are a lot of computers that are just a year old or more do not have the video graphics card that can handle the awesome features. In that case I recommend going to Radeon or Nvida to check out some new graphics cards. I would get a graphics card with a TV turner. Then you can use Ultimate or Home Premium Windows operating system on your PC just like a Tivo/DVR. Sweeet!!! Warning: If you have bought a laptop or PC within the last year and your computer does not have Windows Media center, you probably don't have a TV turner. Therefore you must by a new video graphic card in order to use the cool features in Ultimate and Premium. See Below.
Here are the minimum requirements that Microsoft says you need: (my comments in red):
- 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor-Basically these computers are NOT really out in the real world anymore (old news). So I would recommend having a computer with at least 2 GHz because you want your computer to be fast right? Especially with this new software.
- 1 GB of system memory- System Memory means RAM. A lot of computers out there do not have 1GB of RAM. I concur with this requirement.
- 40 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space- So Vista file size is at least 15GB. I would make sure you have plenty of storage on your computer.
- Support for DirectX 9 graphics with:-This is where I was talking about graphic cards. You may want to check out your graphics card to see if it has these functions. Here is a link about DirectX 9. Download it on your computer if you don't already have it.
- WDDM Driver
- 128 MB of graphics memory (minimum)
- Pixel Shader 2.0 in hardware
- 32 bits per pixel
- DVD-ROM drive-All computers have these now, unless your computer is more than 5 years old, you may have a problem.
- Audio Output-All computers have this too. Basically the output for your speakers.
- Internet access (fees may apply)---DUH!!
All these new requirements are the bare essentials for Vista to work. So basically this is what you need in order for Vista Home Basic to work. The more advanced features you want out of Vista, the more requirements more advanced technology. Therefore to use Premium and Ultimate you are required to have a TV tuner card for TV functionality. Again from my previous comment, you need to check out your graphics video card.
Finally, here is a step by step of what you should do before buying Vista:
1. Download the Window Vista Advisor and run that software to see what the results suggest for you to do.
2. Check your RAM. Make sure it is at least 1 GB, if not buy some new RAM.
3. Check the size of your hard drive. Make sure it has at least 20GB of space.
5. Save up the money and buy Vista. Prices from Circuit City. Home Basic ($ 199.99), Home Premium ($239.99), Business ($299.99), Ultimate ($399.99).