Microsoft Announces Windows Vista Beta 2
by Arie Slob
Hello Windows users,
Last Tuesday, May 23rd, at the Microsoft Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2006, Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates announced the immediate availability of Windows Vista Beta 2, together with the Beta 2 versions of 2007 Microsoft Office system and the next version of Windows Server, code-named Windows Server "Longhorn." It is the first time that Microsoft has simultaneously released the test versions of all three of the company's flagship products.
"The release of these three betas is a significant milestone for Microsoft and a major step toward delivering the platforms that will drive the next decade of computing," Gates said. "The combination of these innovative platform technologies and the new hardware and software being developed by our partners will make PCs and other devices more powerful, more useful and more intelligent for businesses today and into the future."
Windows Vista Beta 2 and Windows Server "Longhorn" Beta 2 are available now to developers and IT professionals with MSDN and TechNet subscriptions, as well as to members of the Technology Adoption Program (TAP) and the TechBeta program. In coming weeks, Microsoft will start the Windows Vista Customer Preview Program (CPP) to allow developers and IT professionals who are not a part of those programs to obtain the code and begin their own testing. Also as part of the CPP, Microsoft will invite a broader group of technology enthusiasts to receive a build of the operating system to begin testing the various consumer scenarios that Windows Vista enables.
I'm currently working on a review of Windows Vista Beta 2, check out the HelpWithWindows.com site for details.
Microsoft Announces Windows Vista Hardware Requirements
Last week, Microsoft announced the hardware requirements of its upcoming Windows Vista operating system. Last March Microsoft had already published broad guidelines (see my HelpWithWindows Newsletter of April 1st), and the new specifications just add to those published back then.
Minimum supported system requirements
Computers that meet the minimum supported system requirements will be able to run the core features of Windows Vista with the basic user experience.
- Processor 800 MHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
- System Memory 512 MB
- GPU SVGA (800x600)
- Hard Disk 20 GB
- Free Hard Disk Space 15 GB
- Optical Drive CD-ROM drive
Microsoft also published requirements for what it calls a Windows Vista Premium Ready PC. This is a PC that will offer a better Windows Vista experience, including the Windows Aero user experience. A Windows Vista Premium Ready PC includes at least:
- 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
- 1 GB of system memory
- A graphics processor that runs Windows Aero
- 128 MB of graphics memory
- 40 GB of hard drive capacity with 15 GB free space
- DVD-ROM Drive
- Audio output capability
- Internet access capability
To enable Windows Aero, PC systems must meet the following criteria for graphics hardware:
- 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.
Recent Support BBS Postings
Get the 2007 Microsoft Office System Beta 2!
Preview the 2007 Microsoft Office System Beta to experience the new features and functionality and to position yourself to drive your IT decision making.
Once you register to get the 2007 beta, you will have access to key TechNet Beta Central resources that can help you complete a more thorough evaluation of the 2007 beta. With TechNet Beta Central you can:
- Get fast answers about the 2007 release from Microsoft experts
- Provide product feedback to make the 2007 Microsoft Office System even better
- Experiment with features of the new software through hands-on virtual labs
- Take free e-learning courses to familiarize yourself with new capabilities
- Stay on top of product developments with latest news and updates
More information & Beta download can be found here.
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