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Image: Vista's PC ratings revisited

Microsoft has tweaked how the next Windows OS will display its rating of a PC's performance. Here's how it used to look.
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1 of 1 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Detailed look

The Windows System Performance Rating tool aims to judge how well a PC is able to harness the new features in the Microsoft's upcoming Vista update. However, critics said that the "overall rating" displayed was misleading. They argue that people won't notice that the rating is based on the lowest-scoring component (here, the gaming graphics) rather than an average of scores for all five features assessed.

In response, Microsoft is renaming the "overall rating" as the "base score". It is also changing the overall rating to a decimal number--like the "3.6" given here to graphics--rather than a round number.

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