What Should I Do About Windows Vista?
The "I Really Don't Want to Upgrade"
Computer User's Guide to Windows Vista Decisions

What are Vista's Hardware Requirements?
What Versions of Vista would I Choose?
copyright 2006 by Tracy Marks

Windows Vista Decisionmaking: Introduction
Why Should I Upgrade to Windows Vista?
Why Should I NOT Upgrade?
What are Vista's Hardware Requirements?
What Version of Vista and at What Price?
What are my Installation Chioces?

What are Windows Vista's
Hardware Requirements?

continued from page three

All right, enough cuteness. We’re going to get serious again. But you better take a break and eat a nutritional protein bar because you’re going to need all your reserves in order to face the hard-ware reality ahead…….

 Your best bet really is upgrading to Vista when you buy a PC that is not just Vista-capable but Vista-premium ready. These are official Microsoft terms for computers capable of handling Vista, but Vista-capable computers will not be able to utilize many of the best features of Vista.

But if that is not an option, this is what you need for the 32 bit Windows Vista….. (Do NOT attempt to upgrade to the 64 bit Vista which is causing even the most experienced computer geeks to purchase their gravestones decades in advance. As of November 2006, it is not known to be anywhere near reliable or user-friendly).

Requirements for a Vista Premium-ready computer:

 A PC computer with an Athlon 64x2, Core Duo or Core Duo 2
processor 9, at least 1.0 GHz (preferably 2.0 or more GHz)

1 GB of ram, minimum (2gb for heavy duty game and video fun)

A graphics card that is DirectX9 capable with at least 128mb graphics/video memory (not an XGI graphics card, which isn’t supported). PCI cards are recommended but not essential.

A 40gb or more hard drive

At least 15gb free hard drive space

A dvd-rom drive (at least, for installation!)


What Version of Windows Vista
Should I Buy and At What Price?

I am not going to consider all the versions of Windows Vista here. The least expensive Home Basic Version does not support the Aero interface of Windows Vista and some of its best features, and therefore is really not a viable option. The Enterprise version is likely to be of interest only a certain business environments.

You will probably choose between the Home Premium version, the Business version and the Ultimate version. All of these versions include these features:


Windows Vista BASIC UI

Windows Defender

Windows AERO UI

Windows Firewall

Windows Flip and Flip 3D

Internet Explorer 7 Protected Mode

Live Taskbar Thumbnails

Phishing Filter (IE7 and Windows Mail)

User Account Control (UAC)

Windows Security Center

Maximum RAM (32-bit version, 4gb)

Windows Update ( Microsoft Update)

64-bit processor support

Windows Ready Boost

Instant search

Windows Welcome Center

Live content organization in Explorer windows

Accessibility and Ease of Access

Windows SideShow (auxiliary display support)

Windows Mobility Center

Windows Contacts

Speech recognition support

Windows Sidebar

Tablet PC functionality

Windows Ready Drive

Touch screen support

Windows Calendar


Games Explorer

XPS document support

Premium games


NEXT: Versions and Pricing continued

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copyright 2006 by Tracy Marks, Arlington, Massachusetts
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Last updated November 19, 2006