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Microsoft announces requirements for Windows Vista Capable" and "Windows Vista Premium Ready" PCs

Microsoft today laid out the groundwork for what constitutes a "Windows Vista Capable" and "Windows Vista Premium Ready" PC. The actual final specifications for Microsoft's next generation operating system have been speculated on for the past few months, but as we inch closer to the Beta 2 build of Vista, things are starting to become clear.

Vista will run on just about any modern computer released in the past few years. An 800MHz processor coupled with 512MB of RAM is the bare minimum for running Vista. You won't get all of the fancy graphical enhancements and you most likely won't have a very pleasant experience performance wise either. For me, it's bad enough running a Windows XP system with a lot of windows open that is "crippled" with just 512MB of RAM (between Photoshop, FireFox and its memory leaks and the countless other programs I run), so I couldn't imagine limping around on Vista with only 512MB.

To be qualified as a Vista Premium Ready PC, a 1GHz x86 or x86-64 processor is required along with at least 1GB of RAM. In order to run the Aero Glass user interface in all its glory, you'll need a DirectX 9-class graphics card which supports the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM). Microsoft goes further and stipulates these requirements for running Aero Glass on Vista:

  • Pixel Shader 2.0 in hardware
  • 32 bits per pixel
  • 64 MB of graphics memory to support a single monitor less than 1,310,720 pixels
  • 128 MB of graphics memory to support a single monitor at resolutions from 1,310,720 to 2,304,000 pixels
  • 256 MB of graphics memory to support a single monitor at resolutions higher than 2,304,000 pixels
  • Meets graphics memory bandwidth requirements, as assessed by Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor running on Windows XP

Representatives from Dell, Gateway, Lenovo and Toshiba have all made statements in regards to their overwhelming support for Windows Vista and their steadfast commitment to delivering Windows Vista Premium Ready PCs to consumers. Here's a statement from Dell:

“Dell is focused on designing systems today that will enhance the effectiveness of the features of Microsoft® Windows Vista tomorrow,” said John Medica, senior vice president of the Product Group at Dell. “We are working closely with Microsoft to ensure the best user experience on currently shipping performance desktops, workstations and notebooks, and customers can be confident that their high-performance Dell configuration can make the most of the next-generation capabilities of Microsoft Windows Vista.”

For consumers who would like to know if their current system has what it takes to run Windows Vista, you can go to Microsoft's Windows Vista “Get Ready” website and run the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor. And also keep in mind that these are Microsoft's minimum requirements for compliance with Windows Vista. Running a system with the bare minimum is far from optimum for such a new operating system. I wouldn't be surprised if a 2.0GHz and 2GB of RAM is the true “sweet spot" for Vista, as industry insiders have already claimed.

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By AppaYipYip on 5/18/2006 4:32:39 PM , Rating: 0
OS X has blown Microsloth out of the water for years, and Vista is already getting owned by Tiger. Microsloth excells at releasing outdated, inferior products that somehow become the defacto standard. uggghhhh

By CU on 5/18/2006 4:52:31 PM , Rating: 1
Actually I think XP is far better than Tiger. My Powerbook is way less stable than my overclocked PC. I would love to have Vista when it comes out, but I suspect I will wait awhile.

By smilingcrow on 5/18/2006 4:53:34 PM , Rating: 2
YippaClapTrap stated: 'OS X has blown Microsloth out of the water for years, and Vista is already getting owned by Tiger. Microsloth excells at releasing outdated, inferior products that somehow become the defacto standard. uggghhhh'

AppaYipYip by name, YappaYawnYawn by nature.

By Garreye on 5/19/2006 11:44:44 AM , Rating: 2
Part of the reason windows become the "defacto standard" is because it works all hardware . I bet if OSX had to support all the hardware that windows does it would be just as buggy, if not more and it would take Apple a lot longer to release there OS each time.

By Nekrik on 5/18/2006 4:54:10 PM , Rating: 2
What a Joke. To some the OSX you tout so loudly is just as crappy as you percieve Windows to be. Some think OS X is a joke, basically an OS made for inepts and those easily decieved by marketing hype. I can't say I agree %100, but I think there some considerable value there everytime I think of the slashdot posts made the day before the Intel announcements.

By mpeny on 5/18/2006 5:03:54 PM , Rating: 1
Right.... since you know OS X is so innovative using a kernel from an established OS. Next thing you know they will add right click function. O h wait, they just did last year.
So innovative.

By Snuffalufagus on 5/18/2006 6:38:20 PM , Rating: 1
nothing original, but I thought it fit.

Steve: "what's that?"
apple dev: "a mouse"
Steve "why's it got that extra button?"
dev: "it opens up this menu so I can do more than click, drag, and drop"
Steve "hmmm, seems pretty confusing to me. I don't think our uers would get it... what's that?"
dev: "it's a three button mouse..."

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
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