Although I would love for our home to be a Mac-only home, the reality is that we bought a Dell laptop two and a half years ago so my wife could go to school and use the software she needed for her program. The laptop in question is an Inspiron E1505 with a fast Core 2 Duo processor, 2 GB of RAM, and a dedicated ATI graphics card. It came with Vista Home Premium which had been nothing but trouble since day one.

So, when reviews of Windows 7 started coming in and were positive, I was excited to finally rid our lives of Vista so my wife could have a more stable computer to do her photo editing. I figured that the computer more than met the requirements of Windows 7, and it couldn’t really get much worse.

Only one problem. Apparently, Dell feels our computer is obsolete already. Here is Dell’s list of computers that have compatible drivers for Windows 7. I especially like their suggestion of buying a new computer if your computer is not on their list.

So, if I’m reading this list correctly, Dell sold a computer to me two and a half years ago that is not officially supported by them on only the first Windows release since I bought the computer. This is just shocking to me. It’s not like I bought a piece of crap computer for $600 that I wouldn’t expect to last more than a year or two. I bought a computer that has enough horsepower to last.

The fact is that the computer more than meets the minimum requirements of Windows 7, and Microsoft’s utilities think the computer is ready to go for the new operating system. Needless to say, I have installed Windows 7 on the computer using the drivers that ship with the operating system. Microsoft even had a couple driver updates for some of the components available after the completion of the installation.

I am incredibly disappointed in Dell for not updating their drivers for all of their shipped computers that meet the minimum requirements of Windows 7. All PC makers should be required to maintain their drivers until the requirements of Windows exceeds the abilities of their computers as they were shipped. There is no other approach that makes sense.