The new year will bring a new version of Windows, and Penn officials promise any students with the new software continued compatibility with campus technology.

Microsoft is expected to release Windows Vista, the newest Windows operating system, in January.

Vista "is the next generation of Windows operating systems and a replacement for Windows XP," said Mark Aseltine, executive director of technology support services at Penn.

The University is not planning to upgrade its current system en masse. Still, most new PCs will carry the Vista operating system.

Should students buy computers with Vista, most applications on University-owned computers will be compatible. Compatibility is not an issue for "most of what students want to do," Aseltine said.

"We expect that [Vista] will have some kind of enhanced security and a new graphic interface. There are various things from the user perspective that could potentially make it easier and more fun to use," he said.

There will be six different versions of Vista, including those designed for business, enterprise and home use.

Microsoft has already tested over 800 applications to ensure compatibility with the new operating system.

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