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Hope this question is not too Absolute Begginer! What is the real difference between XP and Windows. Let's say I have a copy of Access 2000 or FileMaker Pro 5. And let's say I can get it to run on XP, would I be able to make it run on Vista? What about a game like Caesar III?
If I rather want to stay with XP will that cause major problems in future?
If I load XP on my computer (laptop) and later want to get an external drive and put Vista on it and choose to boot from either, would I be able to do that?
Hope you can help!
 Not for a long time.
 Yes, if the BIOS supports external boot devices.
I had a quick look through there and I don't even understand most of the questions, let alone the answers. I am just looking for really basic stuff.
Thanks Kemistri - on number three - would that depend on the make of the computer? How could I find out if it supports external boot devices?
1. Before migrating to Windows Vista it will be best to check with the relevant software companies about program compatibility. The information should be on their websites.
2. As time goes on software writers will cease to write programs which will run in Windows XP, but as Kemistri has already said, it will be a long time before that happens - you'll have made the move before then.
3. Kemistri's answer is the right one. Check with your laptop maker to find out if the BIOS supports external boot devices.
Personally i much prefer XP, i think that maybe Vista will be more appealing when Microsoft launch a Service Pack.
I did read somewhere that Microsoft were going to release a Service Pack 3, because quite a lot of people were reverting back to XP.
I had to buy a new computer as my old one had 'died.' So I went to PC World and purchased a XP machine but with the bonus of getting the Vista premium disc for a little over £12. Great I thought!
But as of yet I haven't even so much as looked at the disc. Why? Because I'm frightened of converting to Vista, then not being able to run things like my printer, camera, and perhaps half the things on my computer! Why should it be so difficult for us non-tech people?
You specifically mention a laptop and theres one thing perhaps that should be mentioned. The same holds true for desktops as well to a lesser degree perhaps.
All computers use motherboard drivers for their various bits and pieces, sound, graphics and the parts of the motherboard. Now if you have an XP computer and then install Vista on it Vista will install its own drivers to get it up and working but particularly with a laptop they may not be correct for the computer. It will work but not perhaps as well as it should. My concern, particularly with a laptop would be whether you can get the motherboard drivers for the computer assumming you change the operating system.
What has been said by the others is correct but there have been quite a few people that have Vista as an example and want to revert to XP and find that there are no XP drivers for the laptop and if that the case then they cannot go back as some parts of the laptop might not work correctly. Same goes if you have XP and want to go on to Vista, if the laptop manufacturer decides not to create Vista drivers then you might find parts of the laptop might not work properly.
So from my point of view I would get the operating system you want to start with. If you want Vista get a laptop with Vista, same goes for XP. If you do want to change operating system or think you might then make sure the drivers exist for the other operating system before trying it.
And if you choose Vista I would look for a dual core processor and at least 2 gig of memory.
This is my opinion on the subject of course and others may completely disagree its just I have been following some threads, particularly in the Vista Forum where people either want to change operating system or have changed operating system and have had problems.
Should have mentioned as well that upgrading from XP to Vista shouldn't be as problematic as going from Vista to XP as Microsoft have an online advisor program which will scan your PC for the requirements for Vista and should tell you if theres a problem with a driver. I say should tell you because I'm unsure if it can be 100% all the time bearing in mind all the differences in PCs.
If you check out a particular laptop beforehand and check that there are both Vista and Xp drivers available for download for all the parts then there shouldn't be a problem.
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