Friday, May 19, 2006

Beefy Sytem to Run Microsoft Vista

Want to run all of Vista's features once Microsoft finally releases it? Better have a beafy system!

Microsoft, for the first time, is telling PC owners exactly what it'll take for them to run its forthcoming Windows Vista operating system.

As expected, the software giant on May 18 unveiled its Windows Vista Get Ready Web site, along with a set of minimum PC hardware guidelines for Vista Capable PCs — which call for at least an 800MHz processor, 512MB of RAM and a DirectX 9-capable graphics processor, but ask for more for those who seek to use all of Vista's features — and an Windows Upgrade Advisor application as part of a campaign to prepare people.

Vista, Microsoft's first major overhaul of Windows since 2001, promises numerous updates for performance, security and productivity.

Given that it's long been expected to require more powerful PC hardware than Windows XP, consumers and business IT managers have been awaiting Microsoft's recommendations as they plan for upgrading to the OS, due in early 2007, or as they evaluate the purchase of new systems.

But even though the minimum hardware specs for the OS show that Vista will run on just about any PC sold over the last few years, its most advanced features — including the three-dimensional Aero user interface — will require additional performance, causing at least some consumers and corporate IT departments to take a look under the hood before upgrading.
To that end, Microsoft released two sets of minimum hardware recommendations. In addition to delivering the Get Ready Web site and upgrade advisor application, now in beta, it issued a second set of recommendations it calls Windows Vista Premium Ready.

The software maker's Windows Vista Premium Ready PC specifications call for a 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and 128MB of dedicated graphics memory, along with a fairly recent graphics processor that meets several additional specifications, so as to ensure a PC can run Aero. The machines must also have at least a 40GB hard drive or 15GB of free space and an internal or external DVD-ROM drive.

Microsoft, assuming that most consumers and even IT managers aren't going to want to take the time to dig into their PCs' hardware to determine their Vista readiness, will lend a hand with its Get Ready campaign.

The Get Ready site, a part of the Microsoft's site for providing information about the OS and its various versions of Vista, now offers the Upgrade Advisor beta.

The application, which site visitors can download and run on a Windows XP PC, will render advice on what a given machine might need to be ready for Vista when it arrives.