Although Microsoft has already published a set of minimum system requirements for Windows 7, actually comparing those specs to the hardware inside a computer can be a daunting task for the less tech-savvy users. In general, if you bought a computer in the last couple of years or are already running Windows Vista smoothly then you are probably all set. If you don't fall in either category or are not sure, though, Microsoft has released a simple tool to help you out.

The Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor examines a PC's components, including chip, memory, storage, and graphics processor, to automatically determine whether said system can run the company's new operating system. It will also check attached devices and offer upgrade suggestions, such as which drivers to replace, in case of any potential compatibility issues. The utility is available only as pre-release beta version for now and should work with both Windows XP and Vista systems. You can download the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor Beta here.