Windows 7 is all the rage recently, and rightly so. The soon to be released operating system is considered to be what Windows Vista should have been.
However, Microsoft admittedly has done a lot of listening as of late, paying a good deal of attention to users across the board. One of the biggest concerns for Windows 7 isn't whether or not it'll solve Vista's problems, but also whether or not it'll run on existing systems efficiently. Chances are that if you bought or built a computer within the last five years, you'll be ready. If you're running Vista right now, you'll be ready.
If you're not sure though, fear not; Microsoft has released its Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. The small utility can be download and run to check your hardware, drivers and installed software for compatibility. The utility will also check attached devices, so make sure you connect things like printers, scanners, and other accessories you regularly use.
According to the Windows Experience Blog:
Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor examines a PC’s processor, memory, storage, and graphics capabilities, identifies known compatibility issues with installed software and devices and finally provides guidance on how to resolve those issues if possible. Please also note: as previously stated on the E7 blog, Windows XP users are required to do a clean install of the Windows 7 RC as well as the final product. Only PCs with Windows Vista can be upgraded to Windows 7.