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What Does Vista-Ready Actually Mean?

By Doug Barney

Last week angry PC users filed a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft Corp. (Redmond, WA) claiming that many machines advertised as Vista compatible can only run the lowest end version of the OS, Vista Home Basic. Meanwhile, the premium versions have the features that actually distinguish Vista from XP, including the Aero interface. And to run Aero you need the kind of horsepower that used to be only the realm of a high-end graphics workstation.

In terms of machine compatibility, this is less of an issue for engineers. Chances are your workstation has high-end graphics processing, loads of RAM, and a honkin’ hard drive. But there are still two concerns. Not all GPUs, especially older ones, support Vista Aero. More crucial, if Aero is sucking all your GPU cycles, less processing is available to your apps.

Check here to see if your machine is up to snuff.

Check here to see if your apps work with Vista.

Here you can see what add-on hardware works with Vista.

Are you using Vista? Aero? How’s that working out for you? Share your thoughts in our next newsletter by writing barney@deskeng.com.

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