anyone do LEEWS, and to what result?
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Windows Vista has already slipped to 4th quarter 2006 ( http://www.networkworld.com/news/2005/072805-vista.html), and may very well slip further, based on Microsoft's history. Further, the only chips currently being produced that will run Vista are being built by AMD...meaning not a single Dell computer currently shipping will be satisfactory (since they only use Intel). More info: http://news.com.com/Could+HPs+AMD+laptop+sway+Dell/2100-1006_3-5760558.html. Even once Vista is out you'd have to wait for the school exam software to make the upgrade, which could take some time. To sum up, most current PCs are incompatible with Vista on a hardware level, so upgrades won't work for most users, even those with "current" systems. You mentioned some good reasons to put off the purchase, but waiting for Vista isn't one of them. FYI, if you're looking for Vista-compatible hardware, make sure you have a 64-bit processor in your system (such as the AMD Turion listed in the article).