Now that Windows Vista has officially launched and is available to consumers, everybody's talking about it. Unfortunately, a lot of what I'm hearing-\-from both Windows fans and the ABM (Anybody But Microsoft) crowd-\-needs to be taken with a grain of salt. In many cases, what the information lacks in accuracy, it makes up for in sensationalism. But how do you sort through all the hype and get a real picture of what the new OS will and won't do for you?\n\nIn this article, I'll take a look at some of the exaggerations, distortions, and out-and-out untruths I've heard floating around about Vista.<H2>Myth #1: You'll have to buy a new, high-end PC to run Vista</H2>\n\nMany in the mainstream media are claiming that to run Vista, you'll almost certainly have to buy a new computer. This myth is undoubtedly being encouraged by hardware vendors, but it's not true. I was able to install Vista on my existing Dell Dimension mid-priced system with no problems, and the existing video card, an ATI x600, runs Aero Glass.\n\nIf your computer is older or a low-end machine, you can still probably install and use Vista but you may not get the Aero Glass interface. Although Glass adds a lot of "wow" factor, it's not something that's essential to getting work done. You'll still benefit from Vista's security enhancements, search functionality, and added features. If you do want the Glass look, you still may not need to buy a new system. Instead, you can add RAM to bring your system up to the 1 GB recommended for Glass and install a new video card that supports it.\n\nAnother myth I've heard is that only PCI Express (PCIe) video cards support Aero Glass, so if your computer doesn't have a PCIe slot, you're out of luck. That's not true either. Video card vendors have regular PCI cards that will run Glass. I'm running it on a system with a relatively inexpensive GeForce 5200 card with 256 MB of memory in a regular PCI slot.\n\nIf you do choose to buy a new PC, you don't need a high-end one that costs thousands of dollars to run Vista. Just a couple of days after the launch, retailers began offering machines preloaded with Vista Home Premium, complete with LCD monitors, for as low as 0.<H2>Myth #2: Vista will solve all your security problems</H2>\n\nMicrosoft is touting Vista's improved security, but no operating system is perfectly secure (and no OS ever will be). Running Vista doesn't mean you don't still need perimeter firewalls, antivirus protection, and other third-party security mechanisms.\n\nBecause much of operating system, including its networking technologies, has been redesigned and new code written, Vista is likely to present some vulnerabilities that weren't in older versions of the OS even as it fixes many that were. This is true of any new software and Vista, despite its focus on security and Microsoft's best efforts, is no exception.\n\nIn fact, Microsoft shipped the first critical security update for Vista over a year ago, when it was still in the beta testing stage. It will be just as important with Vista as with any other operating system to ensure that updates are installed regularly. The danger is that novice users, hearing that Vista is more secure, may let their guard down and fail to take the protective measures necessary to prevent attacks, virus infestations, etc.<HR align=center width="100%" SIZE=2></SPAN><H3></H3><H2>Myth #3: Vista is no more secure than XP SP2</H2>\n\nOn the other hand, some of Vista's detractors have been claiming that the new operating system offers no security advantage at all. I've heard computer "experts" on the radio say that Vista is no more secure than Windows XP with Service Pack 2, and an eWeek article last summer went so far as to report that Symantec security researchers were contending that Vista "could harbor a range of vulnerabilities that will make it less secure than previous iterations of Windows."\n\nIt's true that, properly updated, Windows XP is a pretty secure OS. But Vista includes a number of new security enhancements that XP doesn't have.