Microsoft Finally Spells Out Vista's Hardware Specs - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

02:31 PM

Microsoft Finally Spells Out Vista's Hardware Specs

A new section of the Vista Web site, dubbed "Get Ready," outlines two programs that spell out what it will take to really run the new operating system.

Microsoft on Thursday released details of the hardware requirements for its upcoming Windows Vista, ending months of speculation about what it will take to really run the new operating system.

A new section of the Vista Web site, dubbed "Get Ready," outlines two separate programs -- a first for Microsoft with an operating system -- that spell out what's needed for a computer to handle Vista.

Dubbed "Vista Capable" and "Vista Premium Ready," the pair flesh out requirements for machine components needed to minimally run the OS and to handle Vista's advanced features, respectively.

Vista Capable PCs will require a "modern" processor running at 800MHz or faster, 512MB of memory, and a graphics processor capable of handling DirectX 9. Last month, Microsoft unveiled the Vista Capable details, and launched a marketing program complete with stickers to be slapped on PCs sold this year.

Vista Premium Ready, however, compiles a much more ambitious shopping list. According to Get Ready, a Premium Ready machine must have a 32- or 64-bit processor running at least as fast as 1GHz, 1GB of RAM, 128MB of graphics memory, a 40GB hard drive (with 15GB free), and a DVD-ROM drive. Additional RAM on the graphics card may be necessary to run the Vista Aero interface in high resolutions and/or on multiple monitors.

These requirements are in line with earlier analysts' estimates. In a report where Gartner claimed half of corporate PCs won't be able to run Vista as-is, its researchers said 1GB would be required.

Clearly, one of the drivers for releasing Vista's system requirements -- even before the OS goes into mass beta testing next week -- is its delay into January 2007. The hold-up, analyst have said, will cut into anticipated PC sales in the fourth quarter, a time when hardware makers were hoping to capitalize on Vista's release.

"Customers now have the information they need to get a great Windows XP-based PC today that will deliver rich Windows Vista experiences tomorrow," said Mike Sievert, vice president of Windows product management, in a statement.

Microsoft also released a beta version of a new tool called "Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor" that when run on a Windows XP system scans the PC, cranks out a report on its current components and how they stack up against Vista's needs, and recommends which Vista you should buy.

Michael Cherry, an analyst with Kirkland, Wash.-based Directions on Microsoft, ran the tool on several systems and was disappointed in the results.

"I'm no more comfortable today after running it than before that these machines will run the versions of Vista that I want to run," said Cherry.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
1 of 2
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
10 Ways to Transition Traditional IT Talent to Cloud Talent
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  11/23/2020
What Comes Next for the COVID-19 Computing Consortium
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/24/2020
Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends for 2021
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/13/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Why Chatbots Are So Popular Right Now
In this IT Trend Report, you will learn more about why chatbots are gaining traction within businesses, particularly while a pandemic is impacting the world.
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll