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Will Vista Make Those Used
Reconditioned Computers Obsolete ?

For those who own or are looking at cheap or reconditioned computers, one question has been what will be the impact of the new Windows Vista ? New hardware makers are certainly hoping for a mass Vista upgrade, because so much new hardware will be sold to support it. But what about the secondary market in used PCs ?

 

Some are saying that a new era in PC software will begin, making quantum leaps over existing software and hardware capabilities. Are the XP-based reconditioned computers now obsolete ? What about that used laptop ? Or the bargain computer you've thought about buying ?

Remember ! Every new operating system comes with as much hype as benefits, as well as a higher price tag. And despite the manufacturer's ads, you'll be surprised how that cheap computer can handle XP.

So if you would like to stay with the reliable XP on your discount computer, or if you are looking to put it on a new laptop or desktop PC, take heart and forget the Vista hype

XP Support

Microsoft will eventually stop supporting XP, which means no new patches or security updates. But in the near term, there is no need to worry.

In mainstream support Microsoft sends out security updates, non-security fixes, adds new features, and offers paid telephone support. It makes no difference whether you have a used PC or a brand new one. Once mainstream support ends, people using the consumer version of the software are out of luck. But enterprise-level software gets extended support.

Mainstream support for XP Home Edition is scheduled to end two years after the release of Vista. Based on the 2007 release date for Vista, standard XP support will end around January 2009. Extended support will go on for five more years.

The Cost

For many, money is the big reason to stay with XP. Depending on your system, you can save a few hundred dollars on RAM and new graphics card by sticking with XP.

Depending on how much performance you need, there are plenty of XP-capable reconditioned computers. For as low as $250, you'll find used desktops with 256MB of RAM, a 1Gb processor, and a 40Gb hard disk, which is just fine for running XP. For a bit more, you can get 512Mb of memory, which is even better.

You can also get cheap computers that will run XP quite well. A discount Dell or HP can be had for around $500. A 3GHz processor, 512Mb of memory, and an 80Gb drive will run XP quite nicely. XP is even included in the price.

New Software

A good question is whether the new software written for Vista will also run under XP. The answer is "yes", at least for another few years. Software makers don't want to reduce their customer base. Even Microsoft follows the crowd: Office 2007, slated to ship about the same time as Vista, will run under XP.

And if you decide to get new hardware for your older XP machine, drivers will be easy to find for the next several years. Even high-end graphics cards and other devices include drivers for Win2000, an operating system that was introduced more than six years ago.

Since XP will remain the dominant OS for several years, you can be assured that most new hardware will support XP in that time frame.

Your Advantage

With the rush to upgrade to Vista, you can anticipate a gradual increase in the number of good used and refurbished laptop and desktop systems for sale. Many of these will have XP installed, or are fully capable of supporting it.

So use the Vista upgrade to your advantage. And watch great deals on reconditioned computers come your way.


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