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Upgrade Advisor Tests Your PC's Windows-7 Readiness

Windows Vista was designed not for the computer people already had, but for the computer Microsoft expected they would soon own. (Surely everyone would rush out to buy a new Vista-equipped system, right?) So what's the story with Windows 7? Well, you can find out if your current PC will run Windows 7 with Microsoft's free Upgrade Advisor.

The Upgrade Advisor is a small download from Microsoft's Web site, and it takes just a few minutes to run. The program tells you in plain English if your system meets the minimum specifications for processor speed, memory, free hard drive space, and graphics ability.

It also checks all of your attached devices -- printers, scanners, graphics and sound cards, you name it -- and lets you know of any issues with Windows 7 compatibility.

I ran the Upgrade Advisor on my year-old Dell XPS, and it reported only one issue among all my various devices and peripherals -- I'd have to update the sound card driver after installing Windows 7.

If your system doesn't make the cut, it might be time to start plotting an unfortunate "accident." Right around the time Windows 7 starts shipping. "Gosh, I don't know what happened, boss. Sucker slipped right out of my hands and landed on the pavement. Butter-fingers!"

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