Visual Tour: 20 Things You Won't Like About Windows Vista

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If you're wondering whether your computer will run Aero, or Windows Vista at all, download the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor. When I ran this tool from my T43 ThinkPads, it told me that they would only support Vista Basic, although that isn't quite true in Beta 2.

If you're currently in the market to buy a new computer, check out the difference between Vista Capable and Premium Ready PCs.

19. Aero stratification will cause businesses woe.
The stratification of PCs based on whether they can display Aero will become a headache for IT managers. This problem is likely to grow over time, as more business-class PCs are equipped with 128MB or more of video memory. Most business people have little use for 128MB of video RAM. Although the cool video features in Vista Aero are nice, Apple was able to provide a lot of the same functionality working with my Power PC-based Mac Mini M9687LL/A, which has only 32MB of video RAM. And at this writing, well in advance of Vista's launch, few if any applications actually take any serious advantage of Vista's advanced graphics capabilities. The most likely apps to jump into this are games and entertainment programs -- hardly the stuff most businesses support. And yet, top-level execs, not to mention most other employees, are likely to be hot for this hardware.

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Adjusting Vista's user-interface modes.
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(Click image to see larger view)

It's important to note that Vista Basic isn't a horrible interface at all. But in my tests, it was actually more main-system RAM hungry than Vista Aero. Vista running in Vista Basic on an older PC is noticeably slower in constrained RAM systems than Windows XP. Take the 512MB RAM minimum system requirement seriously. In fact, my personal recommendation is that any machine running any flavor of Vista should have 1GB of RAM.

Bottom line: Aero is going to create a divide between the 128MB video RAM haves and have-nots.

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