So this one might be true, but I truly doubt it. If your running hardware that wouldn't benefit from upgrading to Windows Vista, I really feal for you as your daily computer experience must truly be nightmarish.
Here are the minimum system requirements for Windows XP Professional:
- 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
- CD-ROM or DVD drive
- Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device
Is Windows Vista going to run on this sort of a machine? Of course not. However, are YOU running this sort of machine today?
Here are the minimum supported system requirements for Windows Vista:
- Processor: 800 MHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64)
- System Memory: 512 MB
- GPU: SVGA (800x600)
- HDD: 20 GB
- HDD Free Space: 15 GB
However, for a premium Windows Vista experience, the following specs are required:
- Processor: 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64)
- System Memory: 1 GB
- GPU: DirectX 9 capable, available WDDM driver, 128 MB graphics memory, Pixel Shader 2.0 support and 32 bits per pixel.
- HDD: 40 GB
- HDD Free Space: 15 GB
- Additional: DVD-ROM drive, audio output capability and internet access capability
Like I said, if you have a machine that isn't capable of running Windows Vista, I don't know what to tell you other than to say that you might want to hit up your boss (or spouse) about getting a new machine. The only questionable component that you might be missing and is only required if you wish to have some of the advanced graphical features - Aero ("Glass"), Flip-3D and true preview in the task switcher and task bar is your video card. If you don't have a newer video card, then you still gain all of the other benefits that Windows Vista has to offer. And to get these features, all you need to do is get a new video card that costs less than $50 at most retailers.
As for additional hardware, Windows Vista contains something like 3-4 times the in the box drivers that Windows XP contained. This, of course, doesn't mean it will have a driver for all of your hardware, but I will say that I've had a very good experience in this regard thus far. As the January 30th date approaches, hardware manufacturers are working very quickly to get their products compatible, so you'll probably have little problems in this area unless the hardware you have is discontinued. For what it's worth, it might be possible that your existing Windows XP driver might work; but I'm not sure what the requirements or limitations regardng this feature is - so mileage may vary.
For what it's worth, I'm including a link to the the system requirements for Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows 2000 (unable to find on Microsoft's website) just so you can see the progression across releases.