Upgrade To 7 ....8, Not So Much.
7 (& 8) is rather forgiving in it's hardware requirements. Though, it should be said that even though the minimum hardware requirements to operate 7 (& the same for 8) are enough to make it work...the experience will definitely be an unpleasant one at times.
The processor isn't really the problem, however. It's the RAM. 1 GB will run 32 bit Windows, which is doable, but sluggish. 2 GB will run 64 bit, but it'll be even more sluggish. If you're going to 7 (or 8), and you have 3 GB or less in your system, you want to stick with 32 bit. If you have 4 or more GB, you'll want to do 64 bit. If you have a dual core processor, you'll do even better.
Now, once you've covered the hardware issues, let's talk about 7. 7's the easiest step up from XP, really. It can look like classic Windows, it can look like Vista, but has the hardware and software support of XP and then some. 8, it's pretty much 7 under the hood, but the eye candy is rather difficult to deal with if you're not used to it and don't have a touch screen device. (I know they say 8 can be used without a touch screen, but seriously...it needs touch to fully function. 8's pointless without it.)
And by the time support for 7 ends and you feel a need to upgrade to 8, your current hardware will still run 8, but by that point you should've upgraded and bought brand new computers. After a certain point, hardware will need to be fully upgraded to support new operating systems and the world they work in.
These life cycles on computers are a real pain in the neck anymore. I used to have an eMachine that came with ME, upgraded to XP and ran it for years and years before it could no longer be considered reliable due to it's specs. I used that desktop for almost a decade before I gave up on it. After spending $500.00+ on these things, I milk 'em for all they're worth. With these life cycles, not quite getting the worth anymore.
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