Evaluating Compatibility for New Programs
In the case of retail software, you should be able to tell whether it’s compatible with Windows Vista by looking on the box for the software’s system requirements. Web sites that offer software should have similar information available, either on the page that features the program you want or via a link. Because Vista’s new, not all software that works with it may be listed as such in the system requirements.
If a program that interests you indicates that it works only with Windows XP, use the categories offered earlier in this lesson as a guide. Also check the support area of the software developers’ Web pages. If they’re doing their job, they should have information about Vista compatibility and available upgrades.
One benefit of acquiring software online is that many developers offer trial versions of their programs. You can try out these titles for a specified period before you have to pay for them. In some cases, advanced features are disabled until you pay for the full version, or the trial version may be full featured but time out after a fixed number of days or uses. Rarely, trial versions are offered on the honor system—fully functional, with no time-outs and only a request that you pay for the software after a certain amount of time.
This scenario is perfect when you’re using a new operating system for which developers may not have updated their programs. If you install a trial version, and it doesn’t work, you haven’t lost anything but your time.