First thing you want to do is make sure you have the latest Service Pack installed on your computer. This means that if you're running Windows XP, you want to make sure Service Pack 3 (SP3) is installed. If you're running Vista, you want to make sure Service Pack 2 (SP2) is installed. When in doubt, run Windows Update until all important (or critical) updates are downloaded and installed.
What Service Pack Is Installed On Your Computer?
If you're running WinXP, you can check to see what service pack is installed by clicking the START button, then RIGHT CLICKING on MY COMPUTER and selecting PROPERTIES. A gray window will pop up on and you will see the service pack listed under the "system". The latest one is SP3.
If you're running Vista, you can check to see what service pack you're running by clicking the START button, then RIGHT CLICKING on COMPUTER and selecting PROPERTIES. If you look near the top of the window that pops up (under Windows Edition), you'll see which service pack is installed. The latest one released is SP2.
If you are not running SP3 on WinXP or SP2 on Vista, you need to run Windows Update to get them. Having these service packs are critical to getting continued to support from Microsoft for a little while longer.
Microsoft will eventually end support for WinXP and Vista ... which means that you won't be able to get Windows Updates that help protect the system. But there is no need to run out and buy Windows 7 yet.
Here's what we know:
- Vista will continue to be supported until April 2012 (2017 for Vista Business users)
- WinXP will continue to be supported until April 2014
For more information about WinXP Support, click here.
For more information about Vista Support, click here.
Should you Upgrade or Buy a New Computer?
Several factors are involved in deciding to upgrade versus buy a new computer. One of the first things you have to ask yourself is, are you happy with your current computer? If no, then you'd be better off buying a new computer.
If the answer is yes, then you have to determine if your current computer is compatible with Windows 7. You can download and run the Windows 7 Compatibility Advisor for help in determining if your computer is compatible with Win7.