Microsoft Corp has posted a beta test version of a little utility that tests personal computers to see if they are capable of running windows NT. The Compatibility Tool, a free download at www.microsoft. com/windows/common/ntcompto.htm, displays red, yellow and green lights after checking out a system’s PCI, EISA, ISA, or MCA bus, and legacy devices and calculating the resources available. A red light, no surprise, means no way. A green light means a system should be able to install and run NT Workstation. Yellow could mean something relatively trivial, like a hard drive without the 120MB of free space it takes to install NT, needs to be altered. Nothing, though, is perfect and Redmond’s little routine can’t recognize NTFS NT File System or FAT 32 file allocaton table partitions, nor does it power up PCMCIA slots, so it can’t identify any personal computer cards installed on the system. It also won’t work with some Compaq systems because of a BIOS incompatibility. Microsoft says it wrote the routine because of oft-repeated customer requests for help in figuring out if their desktops can run NT – three years of customer requests if we heard it right.