Windows Vista Delayed
by Arie Slob
Hello Windows users,
Well, a few days after I wrote "One has to wonder if Vista will ship in 2006" in the last newsletter, Microsoft's Platforms & Services Division co-president Jim Allchin announced that Windows Vista will be available to business in November 2006 and broad consumer availability in January 2007.
According to Allchin, Vista is on target to go into broad consumer beta to approximately 2 million users in the second quarter of 2006 (from what I've heard the beta 2 release is now planned for May this year).
"Product quality and a great out-of-box experience have been two of our key drivers for Windows Vista, and we are on track to deliver on both," said Jim Allchin. "But the industry requires greater lead time to deliver Windows Vista on new PCs during holiday. We must optimize for the industry, so we've decided to separate business and consumer availability."
Windows Vista Capable PC Hardware Guidelines
Microsoft also released some guides on Windows Vista's hardware requirements. According to Microsoft, Windows Vista Capable PCs need to pass the current certification requirements for Designed for Windows XP logo. In addition, these PCs need the following combination of essential PC hardware for good overall Windows Vista performance:
- CPU: PC systems should have a "modern" Intel, AMD, or Via CPU
- GPU: PC systems should have a DirectX 9 class graphics processor. PC systems that use a GPU with Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) support would offer additional benefits such as enhanced graphics stability, multi-application performance and monitor hot-plugging. PC systems with GPUs that do not support WDDM will only provide a Windows XP-comparable desktop graphics experience, with regards to features, stability and performance.
- RAM: PC systems should have 512MB of memory or more.
According to Microsoft, Windows Vista will scale with PC hardware capabilities. One of the features that scales with hardware is the desktop graphics experience. Therefore, it is possible to support multiple tiers of graphics user experience on Windows Vista Capable PCs based on hardware configuration.
- Good: PC systems that meet the above requirements of a modern CPU, 512MB RAM and DirectX 9 class GPU should be able to offer a good experience, offering a Windows XP comparable desktop graphics experience with regards to features, stability and performance.
- Better: PCs that use a GPU with WDDM support would provide a better graphics experience - specifically enhanced graphics stability, multi-application performance and monitor hot-plugging - compared to Windows XP, when running any version of Windows Vista.
- Best: PCs with appropriately configured graphics hardware, as described below, would support Windows Aero user experience that offers additional benefits of enhanced visual quality (glitch-free window redrawing), improved productivity (which includes real-time thumbnail previews, new 3-D task switching, interface scaling, etc.) and visual style (which includes translucent window frames and taskbar, enhanced transitional effects, etc.) when running premium versions of Windows Vista.
To enable Windows Aero, PC systems must meet the following criteria for graphics hardware, with either discrete or UMA solutions:
- DirectX 9 class graphics hardware that supports WDDM and Pixel Shader 2.0
- A minimum of 32 bits per pixel
- Appropriate graphics memory for specified monitor resolutions:
Graphics memory bandwidth, as assessed by Windows Vista's built in system assessment tool WinSAT.EXE, of at least 1,800MB/s at following resolution:
- 64MB of graphics memory to support a single monitor at resolution equivalent to 1280 x 1024 or less
- 128MB of graphics memory to support a single monitor at resolutions less than or equal to 1920 x 1200
- 256MB of graphics memory to support a single monitor at resolutions higher than 1920 x 1200
- Desktop PC: at a monitor resolution equivalent to 1280 x 1024
- Mobile PC: at the native resolution of built-in display
More information can be found on the Microsoft TechNet Web site.
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