What About Vista Anyway? How About Office?

A number of people have asked me “what do I need to run Vista?” over the last few days… in some ways, it’s a trick question. After all there’s a bunch of different versions of Vista. It runs fine without Aero – the glassy styled Windows – and there’s a boatload of features between the versions… so, simply put: it depends.

And now for Part 4 of a trilogy of Vista/Office posts.

First and foremost: run the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor. I know that sounds lame, but it’s a pretty good tool and it will tell you what you can expect your machine to do. Run Aero? Run Media Center? Stuff like that.

Having said that, another good rule of thumb is when you last bought a new PC. Last six months? You should be able to run it all. I mean, true, if you bought a new Pentium II system with 64MB of RAM last week, this doesn’t apply, but if you bought a decent machine recently, you should be OK – the Advisor will tell you for sure.

No new machine in the last six months? It’s a crap shoot, but I’d say a number of features will still run – you just might not get the “nifty shiny” stuff. As with most things in computing that is nifty and shiny, it takes a pretty solid machine to get to them.

Run the Advisor – it can tell you all.

Worst case scenario? When you buy a new machine, you get a Vista machine. That is the best answer I can give someone, given the wide variety of PC’s that are out there… for example, my Home PC is one I built myself in late 2002. I’ve added some memory to it and I upgraded the video card in 2004, but the core of the system is still over four years old. I could run Vista. All parts of it. My point? It’s hard to answer the question.

Office 2007, on the other hand… that is the biggest news from yesterday’s launch. Runs on your existing computer. The new UI has been talked about a lot, so I don’t need to get into that, but if you think about all of the people that are clinging to Office 95, 97, XP, 2003… this is a great version to upgrade to. Yeah, I think it’s that good, be it Ultimate or Standard – the SKU’s are very specific for what you want/need – but really… it’s a pretty exciting release.

Really. It is.

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