Nowadays anyone buying a new computer is faced with the prospect of having to choose which type of operating system they need. Even the Question: Vista or XP? ; is not so straightforward. For XP, there is Windows XP Home, XP Media Centre or XP Professional. For Vista, there’s Vista Ultimate, Home Premium, Home Basic, Or Vista Business.

So it’s not so simple, or is it? Let’s face it, XP is a safe bet. It’s been around for a while, it’s reliable (for the most part), proven, and pretty much every bit of software out there works on it.    

My personal venture into Vistaland was with great reluctance. I wasn’t buying a new computer so an upgrade was on the cards. The first thing to do is check how much RAM your computer has. Click on Start, then Run, and type winver and click ok. If you are running anything less than 2gb, forget about it. As a test I installed Vista on a machine running 512mb RAM and let’s just say I got sick of putting the kettle on.

So if this means that your budget has suddenly been affected I’d recommend holding off until you need a new computer and then make that decision (If it’s still available).After adding the 2GB more of RAM to the computer, it was a world of a difference and I was genuinely impressed with Vistaland. The upgrade was complete but the transfer had only just begun.

Most software products that had to be reinstalled surprisingly worked from the original CD and others were easily downloaded from the manufacturer’s website. Overall, upgrading or swapping over to a new computer is never easy; it’s never straightforward and should never be taken lightly.

Advice: If you are a business user, check that all the software products running on your computer are vista compatible. Your IT department will typically take care of this. For the home user, the same applies but make sure you backup everything before you upgrade. Vista is clever! It moves most important files to a ‘windows.old’ directory for safekeeping. But there are other folders or data that can be lost. For example, if you use ROS, or business online banking you’ll need to backup your certificates. Check everything once, then again and then a fifth time!

Do we all have to get busy upgrading or get busy being left behind? The main point however is not whether you like Vista or Not. The truth is; Regardless of whether you like it or not, we are all stuck with it!

 To help choose which version of Vista you need: Click Here  To help choose which version of xp you need: Click Here   

Microsoft recommended XP minimum requirements

  • PC with 300 megahertz or higher processor clock speed recommended; 233 MHz minimum required (single or dual processor system);* Intel Pentium/Celeron family, or AMD K6/Athlon/Duron family, or compatible processor recommended
  • 128 megabytes (MB) of RAM or higher recommended (64 MB minimum supported; may limit performance and some features)
  • 1.5 gigabytes (GB) of available hard disk space
  • Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor 

Microsoft recommended Vista minimum requirements (as hard as it is to believe) ·                    

  • 800 MHz processor and 512 MB of system memory
    I recommend to double the processor and quadruple the system memory
  • 20 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space                   
  • Support for Super VGA graphics