Thanks for the replies, took the new toy out of the box today and office 97 went on and ran perfectly.
I guessed that it ought to, but I remember so many launch date stories about Vista having compatibility probems with some older applications, so I thought I'd ask for peace of mind!
Looking around on forums like this has been a bit of an eye opener, very few complaints about Vista and lots of happy users, I guess the scare stories were over done a bit (as with XP I seem to remember!)
All things considered Vista looks really nice, and seems to be easier to navigate than XP, only had a couple of hours playing with the new pc today, but allready thinking about replacing this old laptop top I'm on with a new Vista machine!
Further research shows that Office 97 is really not compatible with Vista. Update sr2bof97.exe can not be applied but more fundamentally Office 97 macros (which are a major feature of most of ny Word and Excel documents) will not run.
My immediate next step is to acquire and load onto my new PC a copy of Windows XP Home and stick with that for the moment.