That's not a high resolution by modern standards, but then its also more "square" than the widescreen monitors common today. The height (1024 pixels) actually isn't that much less than full HD monitors (1080 pixels).
Anyway, as long as both have the same resolution it should work fine in Windows. You'll end up with 2560x1024 split across two screens.
Resolution is used to refer to the number of pixels on the screen(s). LCD screens are divided into millions of little squares, each of which has a red, green and a blue element (sub-pixels). Each pixel lights up the R, G and B elements at different intensities to generate different colors. SO you can call each pixel a dot of a different color (several million total colors can be made).
You see two numbers given as the "resolution." The first tells the number of pixels across and the second the number of pixels high (you can also multiply them to get a total number of pixels, which is how cameras tend to be rated. A "megapixel" means 1 million total pixels).
That's separate from the physical size of the screen, which is measured in inches diagonally from corner to corner. As to quality, there are many other factors which go into that, so I can't say just by knowing the resolution.
Will a HDMI to VGA cable straight from the back of my pc to my vga monitor work or do i need converters because i'm picking up conflicting information as to whether its a simple as connecting 1 cable from hdmi to vga.
You'll need a converter. HDMI is a digital signal and VGA is analog, so you need a converter to do the digital-to-analog conversion. There are DVI to two VGA splitters but it's hard to find one that doesn't just show the same image on both outputs.