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Ready for Microsoft's Vista?

New chips, lower prices--maybe you can afford that Vista PC after all.

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This story appears in the November 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Microsoft's Vista promises to be the next big thing in Windows computing--literally. Will your PC be PC enough for Vista when it drops a few weeks from now? If not, AMD and Intel might be able to brighten your holidays. They've begun shipping a new generation of more powerful dual-core processors, forcing bone-deep price cuts on "old" dual-cores and Pentium-class chips.

Just about any new computer will run Vista Starter or Basic now. Less clear is how much PC you'll need to make the most of the new Windows. It depends on how graphical you want to be. Will you run the 3-D Aero "glass" interface? Make VoIP calls? Create a video blog? Watch TV on your PC? The extra vroom needed might still fit your budget.

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