The PC Advisor staff have been going Windows Vista-loopy over the past few months. But you may have noticed a slew of recent surveys suggesting that the PC-buying public isn't necessarily as keen to just throw out Windows XP.

This article appears in the February 07 issue of PC Advisor, onsale now in all good newsagents.

Admittedly, as IT journalists, we'll all be hoping we can wangle free copies from Microsoft, so cost isn't the deterrent it might be for some home users. But money isn't necessarily the key here. Why should you upgrade? What is Vista going to do that XP can't? Recently we have seen glimpses of tomorrow's PC world. And it's Vista that's pulling all the strings.

Witness the entrance of the nVidia GeForce 8800 GTX. This chip is amazingly efficient. It has a huge array of features that strips away the boundaries of computer graphics. It's going to be a while before we see games and applications that explore the possibilities but, when they come, they'll be fantastic. A lot of this is down to the chip's support for DirectX 10.0.

But XP users won't get to see any of this, since DirectX 10.0 is for Vista only. We suspect this was a calculated effort to encourage Vista uptake, but it is a brave move on Microsoft's part. Vista is an operating system for the future, so the Redmond giant has resisted any urge to tone things down or compromise for the sake of backwards compatibility.

Quad-core technology – as seen in this month's Evesham Solar 8800 GTX – is another component for the future. With everyday applications, its ability to use multiple cores lies largely dormant. However, Vista should play host to a wide selection of applications and programs that only hit their true performance levels when given a Quad-core CPU to play with.

A future dominated by Quad-core technology and DirectX 10.0 is a potentially impressive one. Vista looks to be the best operating system to allow such a future to not only exist, but to thrive. Regardless of what users think of Vista come the end of January, the real glory days of this environment won't be seen until long after the hype has died down. A PC operating system that matures with age? Now that concept really is loopy.