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Windows Vista Capable Machines Coming 340

An anonymous reader writes "PC World's Techlog has a short piece talking about the upcoming emergence of 'Windows Vista Capable' PCs." From the article: "The Vista Capable designation doesn't promise that a PC will provide a great Vista experience, or even that it'll support all Vista features or features...just that it'll be able to run Windows Vista Home Basic in some not-very-well-defined-but-apparently-adequate way. At the moment, there are still new PCs on store shelves that don't meet the Vista Capable guidelines--for instance, low-end systems still sport 256MB of RAM in some cases. Wonder if that means that that A) we'll see some cheap systems that still have XP even after Vista ships; or B) the specs on even the cheapest machines will be beefed up; or C) we'll see machines that have Vista preloaded but which don't qualify as Vista capable?"
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Windows Vista Capable Machines Coming

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  • by sjg ( 957424 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @09:04AM (#15045247) Homepage
    I think everyone is reading too far into the whole "vista compatible hardware" racket. It will work on current hardware, it may not work well. So it's in exactly the same boat as every other major software product released in the past 10 years.
    • by Myen ( 734499 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @09:07AM (#15045253)
      It's the same as the "Designed for Windows 98/Me/2000/XP" sticker.

      It's a sticker. Probably shiny.
    • Vista being so long coming also means that BIOS is still in the Vista plan, which means the hardware will CHANGE AGAIN in about a year to eliminate the old BIOS that's been around for decades.

      Don't think I'll upgrade until the dust settles.
      • Vista being so long coming also means that BIOS is still in the Vista plan, which means the hardware will CHANGE AGAIN in about a year to eliminate the old BIOS that's been around for decades.

        Of course this will not happen anytime soon. Microsoft is in the business of selling software, so a midrange PC bought today will run Vista just fine.

        • What Microsoft is setting customers up for is two hardware upgrades in about 2 years, when EFI bootable VISTA becomes avalable and BIOS gets relegated to dinosaur status.

          In effect Microsoft is helping the hardware guys sell a lot more computers in the next 2 years.
    • Wasn't there something on User Friendly recently... about power supplies?

      Sorry, I'm just too lazy to search...

  • I want a Duke Nukem Forever compatible machine.
  • by Khyber ( 864651 )
    D.) We have a huge hardware and software confusion malfunction junction, Joe Sixpack refuses to buy a computer because it's gotten too confusing for him, and Microsoft blames the lack of sales on Open Source Operating Systems.
    • Re:Missing Option (Score:2, Insightful)

      by kasperd ( 592156 )
      Microsoft blames the lack of sales on Open Source Operating Systems.

      Would be interesting, but I doubt that is going to happen. It could be interpreted as admitting open source software is better than Windows. Microsoft don't want to do that. I think they'd rather put the blame on unauthorized copies.
    • ...Microsoft blames the lack of sales on Open Source Operating Systems.

      I realize you're probably being facetious here, but just in case: Can you point me to where this might be true? The notion that "hordes of Linux users" are threatening MS' domination of the desktop seems rather far-fetched to me.

      • Actually I was trying to be funny, shoulda put the ;) in there somewhere.

        In al reality, I'd be more willing to keep my same option, but change Microsoft blaming OSOS to Microsoft blaming piracy OR (wishful thinking) blaming another company altogether. The backlash on that last bit would be an awesome thing to see, almost on the V for Vendetta scale.
      • It will change.... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward soon as the big box vendors just say to hell with it and pick one major Linux distro and start offering it on a joe homeowner/small business desktop. Dell is on the record saying he would do it, (we just had this article a week or so ago), IF the "community" would just indicate a clear cut winner in the distro wars and make sure all the major software for it was easy and worked as advertised with no console hoop jumping. He just doesn't want to be forced to even try to "support" 698 flavors of linux,
    • E.) People switch to Apple, and never look back!
  • by RonnyJ ( 651856 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @09:10AM (#15045261)
    Wonder if that means that that A) we'll see some cheap systems that still have XP even after Vista ships; or B) the specs on even the cheapest machines will be beefed up; or C) we'll see machines that have Vista preloaded but which don't qualify as Vista capable?

    There's nearly a year to go before Vista's release to consumers - so I'm pretty sure that pretty much all low-end machines with Vista will be 'Vista Capable' then (i.e. usually adding an extra 256mb RAM).

  • I bet for b) and c). I think sellers will want to promote "what is hot", so I don't see them selling XP even if it is better for a given hardware. MS licence allows to sell an older version (up to 2 back versions), but this will be used only for very specific needs. Since I predict there will be apps that won't get together well with Vista, maybe the sellers will sell both systems for a time.
    • The problem is that a lot of people (cheap people) have no issues dealing with mediocre performance. I had some "person of inferior upbringing" buy the cheapest computer I had (1.6ghz AMD, 256mb, 40gb), the cheapest burner I had (BenQ - bleh), and then started copying every movie under the sun. He came back a week later complaining that it took very long to burn DVDs, something like 40 minutes on an 8x burner. I told him he has too little system RAM for what he's doing, he agreed and went back home to hi
  • by Bushcat ( 615449 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @09:11AM (#15045267)
    You could save yourself a pointless tour through two blogs simply by checking the Microsoft site ( /VistaBeta1FS.mspx []) which says:

    Minimum system requirements will not be known until summer 2006 at the earliest. However, these guidelines provide useful estimates:

    " 512 megabytes (MB) or more of RAM

      A dedicated graphics card with DirectX® 9.0 support

      A modern, Intel Pentium- or AMD Athlon-based PC."

  • ho please stop (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GrAfFiT ( 802657 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @09:15AM (#15045277) Homepage
    Everybody was whining because software companies underestimated the required specs of their software. Now that they provide more realistic specs at the risk of overestimating them, we're taking them litteraly ?
    On another side, take also in account that Vista will probably have a lifespan comparable to XP, something like 5-6 years. Every computer will be easily capable of running all the GUI eye-candy in the years following the release. It's a good idea to leave some room for improvement IMHO.
    • Vista will probably have a lifespan comparable to XP, something like 5-6 years

      Actually I seem to remember them saying that they felt XP had gone on too long and that from now on they would be releasing new OS' every 4 years-ish... I can't find the actual info though.
  • The first time this happened was with regular windows and windows 95... all the machines they put it on were too slow to run it and more than 1 application at a time. That's what they're gonna do for sure. They'll sell you a machine woefully underpowered for the OS, period. No one cares, no one will refund your money, thanks and have a nice day :)
    • MOD PARENT UP (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Neo-Rio-101 ( 700494 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @09:29AM (#15045313)
      That's spot on.

      I know people who have 1.5Ghz processors and 256MB of RAM who complain that Windows XP runs slow on it - and these are "Windows XP ready" machines.

      The machine will run fast enough to get the OS working at a barely reasonable pace, but over time the user will get frustrated with the speed of the system enough to want to upgrade.
      • Re:MOD PARENT UP (Score:3, Insightful)

        The first computer that I ran XP on was a 200MHz Pentium Pro with 128 megabytes of RAM. (The Pentium Pro was actually better than some of the early Pentium IIs for XP because the MMX instructions.) XP ran as well as anything did on that computer. And XP was a huge improvement over Windows 98.

        Having been raised on Apple IIe's, C64s, 8086s, 286s, 386s, and 486s, I have trouble thinking of anything super-1GHz as 'slow.' Of course, that's not to say I didn't just spend $200 for 1 Gigabyte of memory for my Tu
        • It's not that it's "slow" to "run" (i.e. boot + sit there idling), but it doesn't do what it looks like it would do, i.e. run as many apps as you feel like (within reason). Nothing on the computer tells you that you've opened one too many things (perhaps just 2, perhaps 10, maybe more depending on your hardware), except that it will slow down and/or crash. That's no user experience if you asked me. My windows XP machine can handle a bunch of stuff running at once, but it's not any 200 mhz pentium pro...
        • Re:MOD PARENT UP (Score:3, Informative)

          by T-Ranger ( 10520 )
          Just for the record, the Pentium Pro did not have MMX support. Said instructions were introduced in the (supprise) Pentium MMX processor, about two years after the Pro.
        • Re:MOD PARENT UP (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Nurgled ( 63197 )

          It's always been my experience that you need more than 128MB RAM to run Windows XP. It uses a fair chunk of your 128MB RAM before you even do anything, and as soon as you try to run any non-trivial app it'll decend into a big swap-fest. This is made worse by the fact that the manufacturers that will sell people Windows XP machines with far too little RAM are the sort to also bundle a really slow, noisy disk. The main problem with these cheap machines isn't any one skimp but that they've skimped on everythin

      • Re:MOD PARENT UP (Score:3, Insightful)

        by H8X55 ( 650339 )
        Then why do others have no problems w/ far less horsepower? Case in point, my first XP box was a book, actually a Toshiba Satellite 1735 w/ a *blistering* 700MHz Celeron Processor and a whopping 192MB of RAM. Really slow hard drive, also, but I never considered it *slow*. It's probably slow by today's standards (I got rid of it two years ago when work bought me a nice new shiny centrino)but I think it would still get the job done (which at the time was office apps, Internet, webmail, DVDs, etc).

        I thin
      • Remove spyware and system tray apps and add 256MB RAM and they'll be flying.
  • M$ sucks! (Score:5, Funny)

    by gspawn ( 703815 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @09:17AM (#15045283) Journal
    Screw M$. We should all stick with a company that doesn't try to move everything to new hardware constantly- like Apple. *comedic failure music*
  • To be fair, though (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nowhere.elysium ( 924845 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @09:23AM (#15045294)
    is it like this is going to directly bother any of us (other than in a support role)? i'm pretty sure that most of us tend to build our own machines, and aren't all that interested in getting vista anyway, much less as soon as it's released. as far as i'm concerned, they can continue selling underpowered machines for all i care. it keeps work coming my way, when people phone up saying 'my computer's too slow!'. yeah, it's boring work, but so what? money is money.
  • Hardware Sales (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Neo-Rio-101 ( 700494 )
    Microsoft has to bump up the specs every year because they get most of their new OS sales from new PC hardware. Plain and simple. If Vista didn't require beefed up specs they couldn't spur hardware sales. Everyone knows this, or at least it should be blatantly obvious to everyone.

    Having said that though, compared to the launch of Windows XP, there is better hardware at reasonable prices this time around. It would be silly not to recommend having better hardware when it is reasonably priced.

    Even still, I kno
  • Bah, whatever (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <slashdot.keirstead@org> on Sunday April 02, 2006 @09:30AM (#15045316) Homepage
    I have several instances of Windows XP runing in VMWare with only 128 MB of RAM, despite the "minimum" amount of 256 to be compatable.

    These numbers are just to give the ideal out of box experience, so people will be happy with their purchase.

    With some of the effects turned down I am positive Vista would run fine on these 256 MB machines.
    • by SushiFugu ( 593444 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @09:50AM (#15045358)
      With some of the effects turned down I am positive Vista would run fine on these 256 MB machines.

      Vista sounds like a new game. Just turn down the draw distance and Vista will run fine! People might have trouble getting used to the fog on inactive windows though.
    • As sick as this sounds, but it seems that Windows runs better under VMware with less memory than it does on actual hardware. I'm not really sure why.
  • Definition (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zaguar ( 881743 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @09:32AM (#15045321)
    What is Vista-Compatible? Is it the same as the "XP-Compatible" 300 MHz Pentium 2 Processor with 128 MB ram? It will install, but not do much else?

    I assume that Vista has a Win2K mode, that cuts away all the Aero Glass crap and lets me work. Is that was this "Vista-Compatible" certification is? ie. It runs the low quality mode, but not the Toys-R-Us look? In that case, pretty much every machine with 256MB ram and a Pentium 4/ AMD Socket A proc will work

    • I assume that Vista has a Win2K mode, that cuts away all the Aero Glass crap and lets me work.

      Yes, like Windows XP, Vista has a Windows Classic [] mode.
    • On a Pentium-class 300mhz chip, XP is perfectly happy and usable, provided the time-waster services (Themes, Messenger (off by default in SP2 anyway), Error Reporting Service etc are disabled) - although its much happier with 256mb than 128mb.

      Obviously you'd never pay duke nukem forever on a rig like that but for most users needs it's not a problem. As a Mac convert from Windows with a 366mhz iBook I can honestly say that XP scales down to older hardware better than the competition.
      • Re:Au contraire (Score:3, Insightful)

        by zaguar ( 881743 )
        Obviously you'd never pay duke nukem forever on a rig like that

        Well, with respect, I don't think that anything will ever play Duke Nukem Forever.

  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @09:33AM (#15045324) Journal
    Lets face it. Vista ain't out yet. Won't be for consumers for another year. That is if no further delays happen.

    So by then we will have seen the fading out of of 256mb machines and gone to 512mb. (Even the cheapest Dell now has that already) Wich is happily the recommended minimum. In fact many Dells already come with 1 gig as do a lot of "cheapo" white brand PC's.

    As for CPU. Well thanks to the move to Dual core's in 1 year I think single core machines will be rare. Why go single when a dual costs only 10 bucks extra?

    The only real problem may be with the 3D card needed for the new gui. Except that I have been led to believe that it is optional and you can still use the old gui wich does not require a 3D card.

    So basically, any halfway decent machine will do but as always you need lots of ram.

    So what else is new? This has been true for opensource as well. You are not going to run KDE with all the options on a 486 with 16mb memory.

    What I want is a sticker that says wether the hardware is DRM ready. That is the thing I am intrested in for Windows Vista.

    Not in the way MS/Intel/etc wants. Just so I know wich products to avoid like the plague.

    A nice shiny sticker "Big Brother Ready" so we can let them rot on the shops shelves.

  • will they run OS X?
  • Or hopefully.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by 2phar ( 137027 )
    D) we'll see Vista capable machines that don't have Vista preloaded
  • Good news, everyone! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Godji ( 957148 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @09:48AM (#15045352) Homepage
    I see three things resulting from this, and all three are good:

    1. Old machines that won't run Vista well will be phased out with dramatically lowered prices. So if you're looking for a cheap average computer that runs any OS beside Vista, you'll have a lot of cheap options.

    2. Because of the whole Aero interface noise (the toughest part of Vista in terms of system requirements), we're finally going to see mainstream laptop manufacturers putting reasonable videocards in laptops. As it currently stands, it's extremely difficult to find a reasonable laptop with a reasonable (= can play Half-life 2 just fine or better) video card in a sane price range. Right now if you want a good (not even the best) video card, you have to buy a high-end laptop which will cost you a lot, at least in Europe.

    3. Behind the ubercool Aero, Vista sounds like XP with a few bugs fixed. Many people with less than high-end computers will be disappointed because they won't be able to run Aero, and will see little reason to upgrade to Vista. Now I finally have a "n00b-obvious" good argument to convinve them to swtich to Linux :). With a little luck Xgl or something similar will be a fact within an year or so, when Vista is out. And that thing will allow an ubercool desktop experience on significantly less spectacular video hardware.

    This last sentence requires a clarification: Whether Linux's desktop will be able to look better than Vista's will remain to be seen. Probably not at first. I've seen Vista screenshots, and it does look amazingly beautiful, for the most part. The lower requirements, however, are there: Xgl runs beautifully on a 32mb laptop videocard (GF4), while Aero won't, judging from what I've read around the Internet.
    • The reason laptops don't typically come with high end graphics cards is that that would severely limit battery life. As a frequent commuter and infrequent gamer, I appreciate my 4-5 hours of battery life. I do need a modestly good graphics card to do CAD on my laptop, but I would regret being forced to get the latest and greatest graphics card just to see eye-candy, and I wonder how that would compete with resources I actually need.
    • Eh, it's not hard to get Dells with a Radeon X300 or the like in it. It's not going to win any contests, but you can certainly play Half-Life on it. These are sub $1000 laptops too.
    • W2K added USB support. XP added more slowness, annoying colors, annoying popups everytime you stick a CD in the drive, and popups for the Windows installer everytime you run some apps.

      I use W2K, XP, and OS X. OS X has some pretty graphics effects -- the translucency and all -- and OS X has its advocates, but I don't see it doing anything that makes me dissatisfied with my XP screen displays. Aero is supposed to be ultra-cool, but I will believe it when I see it that it applications can have new feature

    • > Old machines that won't run Vista well will be phased out with dramatically lowered prices.

      Even Dell's $300 machines now come with a "Aero Glass" capable GPU. So, I think it's safe to say that non-Vista machines have already been largely phased out.

      > we're finally going to see mainstream laptop manufacturers putting reasonable videocards in laptops.

      Only if you consider Intel Extreme 2 to be reasonable -- it has all the features, it's just slow. Half-Life2 is probably not going to be a treat.
  • This is great news that new PCs will be "Vista" rated. It means the old ones will go on sale so I can get a loaded AMD X2 cheap to run Linux.
  • by YGingras ( 605709 ) <> on Sunday April 02, 2006 @10:00AM (#15045387) Homepage
    I don't plan to run Vista and I really don't see why a slashdoter
    would want to run it. We don't see stories about new latest
    AmigaOS, why all this hype about Vista. Is it that /. is now
    filled with windrones ? Are those stories just trollish click

    That kinds of piss me off, is there a news site for real nerds
    out there or is /. my only option? Now go ahead you windrones,
    mod me down into oblivion. You are still windrones.
    • Perhaps you're just joking, but like it or not, probably 9 out of 10 slashdotters will have to do some kind of vista support in the first 3-6 months after it is released, so information on it is clearly news of relevance to most of us.
  • No worries (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FishandChips ( 695645 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @10:03AM (#15045393) Journal
    There's no point worrying about this. After Vista is released, users will form a consensus about what you need to run it and that will form the basis of 1001 tech articles around the net.

    In the meantime, the "official" sources all have vested interests and aren't to be trusted. There is, after all, a big difference between the specs on which Vista will work in theory and those on which it will work without giving the user an ulcer, quite aside from being able to turn on every feature.

    I'm more interested in knowing how much the Vista versions are going to cost.
  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @10:07AM (#15045402) Homepage
    ...looking at current prices, the difference between 256mb and 512mb ram is about 14$ retail. By the time Vista is released, this'll be in the 10$ range. Hint: The low-low-end machines are always underpowered. Always have been, always will be. And with that said, I don't know how it compares to Vista yet but Windows 2000 does everything I want it to. I'm considering moving to XP SP3 when it's out (sometime after Vista) just for staying reasonably current, I'd rather go with the stable OS than the latest. The rest of you may be betatesters for Vista, I don't care. I already got all the hardware to run Vista and presumably the Windows version after that (except for the lack of DRM) but I choose not to.
  • How about D... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @10:17AM (#15045426) Homepage
    ...we'll see machines that are billed as "Vista-capable" but don't give a very good experience?

    We don't need benchmarks for speed. We need published, reliable benchmarks to serve as good, real-world guidelines about how much RAM the average user really needs to buy.

    System requirements are depressingly unreliable, because it's one place where a company can sweep its underperformance under the rug. It's a soft requirement. Everyone will know whether Vista ships late. Everyone will know whether Vista has the feature they said it would have. But nobody will know whether some round of testing or tightening didn't get done, or whether engineering warned management that the goal for the system requirements can't be met and the requirements need to be bumped up. With the PC vendors pushing for a way to hit low price points for the entry systems...

    For me, the timeline has been depressingly similar, over about two decades, in both the PC and the Mac world, whenever a new OS is introduced:

    --The stated system RAM requirement is X, the entry-level systems are equipped with X, the midline systems are equipped with 2X. I buy 2X, but all my "I'm-not-a-computer-genius" friends who buy a machine at Best Buy and come to me for advice bought X.

    --If you only have X, the system will, in fact, boot and very basic functions like displaying directories in the shell or running trivial programs like Wordpad seem OK. Typical purchased software (Office, Photoshop Elements, etc). seem to run sorta OK, but as soon as you see what they are like on a system with 2X you realize that X was actually underpowered from the word go.

    --You can't tell your friends, "no big deal, buy another X RAM chip, it's only $49.95" unless you plan to go with them to buy it and plan to go to their house and install it for them.

    --Even if the system works adequately, about eight months after it is released an automatic patch that is billed as "recommended for ALL systems" will, without clear notification, increase the RAM footprint by about 15% of X, which is just enough to push the systems that used to work sorta-kinda-OK into dogs, and the systems with 2X, which really did work OK, into systems that work noticeably slowly. Nothing that you can't fix if you're willing to spend a week or so tuning...

    --All the advice articles saying admiringly that the system "loves RAM" and that it will work like a charm if you have 4X in.

    --About a year after release, all the add-on software that runs under the OS starts to get point updates, which, unannounced, suddenly require more RAM. If you bought your system with 4X, or have upgraded to 4X, you don't even notice. If you bought even a midline system, you suddenly notice the upgrade has made an application that used to work fine dog-slow.

    --About two years into release is your last good opportunity to throw RAM at the problem. If you miss the opportunity, by the time you are in the three to four year period you will find that RAM technology has moved forward, nobody quite remembers what kind of RAM your system needed, or how much you can add ,or whether a slot billed as requiring Y MHz will work properly with a new stick marked 1.5Y MHz. After you put it in your machine will start to crash twice a day, and it will take several days of swapping RAM to figure out whether the new RAM was bad, or you needed to buy RAM that was an identical match for the old RAM, or you needed to remove and throw out the old RAM, or whether the empty RAM slot you put the new RAM into is unreliable or has gotten dirty from being left unfilled... and have to start dodging pointed questions from the RAM vendor who keeps asking whether you opened the package while wearing a wrist strap in a clean room, and when your lab last tested your wrist strap.
  • At least home users can 'just say no', corporate buyers that fall for the MOLP agreement scam, are screwed.
  • Vista Home basic will NOT have the aeroglass desktop OR the HDCP media playback... so any current "budget"machine on the market is compatible... It's a marketing "scam"... Any truly Vista capable machine will have to have a much higher spec than currently on offer in the home end of the market.
  • and likely won't much care. I see a great many people who buy a computer based on price alone. AMD Sempron, 256 MB RAM, 100 GB HD, integrated graphics, running XP Home, Norotn or McAfee, and some form of manufacturer help/care/support software in the background, AOL or PeoplePC on a dial-up internet over copper that is giving them a whopping 24k connection. Anyone with a modicum of knowledge understands that this system will run horribly, but those who buy these systems believe they are experiencing the
  • Embedded Intel graphics are not going to cut it anymore. However, almost every PC sold at big box stores contains this most simple form of graphics processor. Will these machines go away? Or will they ship with XP? Or will Vista be preset into a mode that will be able to handle these low capabilities?
    These same machines can have large hard drives, decent processors and good RAM, but still not have any useful kind of graphics card.
  • by gameforge ( 965493 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @10:51AM (#15045511) Journal
    Honestly, I didn't start using XP until after SP2 came out. I probably won't buy Vista until I get a 64-bit chip. Just because it doesn't run on every existing system the day it hits the shelves doesn't mean a whole lot; certainly two years after it's released people will have had time to upgrade.

    I can't imagine what kind of 3D GUI they're going to have that won't work with a less-than-$100 Radeon. I find it difficult to believe they're going to be using vertex shaders and curved surfaces a whole lot; app screens don't take hundreds of megs of video memory (remember when video memory was a luxury?) either. I remember before Win95 came out (they were calling it Windows 4.0) and I had a 386SX/16 w/ 4MB RAM. I had to buy a new computer to upgrade.

    Another point: I'm seeing a lot of people who seem to think that Vista is XP with a 3D GUI; that's not so!

    Vista moves a lot of OS software out of kernel space (where it will crash the whole machine if it dies) and into user space. For instance, the networking and driver interfaces. This is good for security, but helps a lot with stability too. In theory, you won't have to reboot if you install a driver, as I understand it.

    I use Gentoo and XP. XP is a LOT more stable than Win2k and NT4 were; Vista will be that much better.

    I'm not crazy about the way MS designs software (Windows in particular), but they're rewriting a lot of code that has been with Win32 since NT4 (and even Win95 and older). That doesn't mean it will work; but it's a far cry from being XP with a new GUI. Also, Windows XP isn't 64-bit (unless you get the 64-bit version with less-than-Linux driver support - basically XP recompiled to support 64-bit), whereas Vista will probably do some things that 32-bit windows couldn't do, if you have a 64-bit chip.
    • Vista moves a lot of OS software out of kernel space (where it will crash the whole machine if it dies) and into user space. For instance, the networking and driver interfaces. This is good for security,

      Is it, really? It's good for system stability. But it's easier for malevolent code to 'break into' user-level execution space than into kernel space. Do we really want malware out there that can 'on the fly' replace the networking functionality without crashing the machine? You want to run the PATRIOT-a
    • Honestly, I didn't start using XP until after SP2 came out. I probably won't buy Vista until I get a 64-bit chip. Just because it doesn't run on every existing system the day it hits the shelves doesn't mean a whole lot; certainly two years after it's released people will have had time to upgrade.

      I'm with you. I moved to XP largely because I bought a laptop that came with XP. I can only think of 3 features that are improvements in XP over 2000:
      1. You can lock the start bar so you don't accidentally drag it
  • by pandrijeczko ( 588093 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @11:06AM (#15045576)
    I really do believe that the release of Vista will mark a big turning point for Microsoft - that point in time will be marked as the point where Microsoft either fully secured their place in the OS market or began their decline.

    Personally, I think this marks the beginning of the end for Microsoft - at least from the point of view of regular OS releases. I've been a Windows user right since 3.x days (fortunately Linux is now my prime OS) but each time I've upgraded to a new MS OS, I have seen less and less reason to do that upgrade in the first place - I've only used XP for the past year now (used Windows 2000 before) and only really used XP because it came on a new PC I bought and I discovered I could ditch the terrible Windows XP UI for the classic Windows 2000 one. But I can't say i've noticed much difference with using it - I found Windows 2000 pretty stable for general desktop use and XP is no different.

    From the perspective of Joe Average, I don't see he has any reason to upgrade to Vista. The PC games market is quite clearly slowing down as games producers focus more on consoles and it's not going to be for around 2 years after Vista is released that we'll see "Vista only" games. You only need to look at the rise in Internet gaming to see that the future of PC games is a subscription model where gamers will be paying once for a game that will be something they will play possibly for several years - as opposed to buying a new game every few weeks or so. And if there's only a small Vista user base, games and apps producers will continue to support XP.

    I'm sure that businesses will upgrade slowly (because of the licensing lock-in MS has with them) but those of us in IT have all seen the adoption of new OSes by businesses slow down also. Because Vista will end up breaking a lot of existing apps, the business migration is bound to be very slow.

    I'm sure MS know all of this - which is why the marketing around Vista seems to be a lot more now than for any other OS they've released. But I really do think that this time, they're going to have real trouble getting this on the same number of desktops as they did with XP.

    • This is your generic slashdot wishful-thinking post.

      The fact is that Joe Average didn't run out and upgrade to XP either. Routine PC turnover happens, and that is always the primary way that the latest preinstalled MS OS gains marketshare. Eventually Vista will have 70% marketshare just like XP does today. It is inevitable.

      If there is an upgrade hook for Joe Average, it's probably going to be the Media Center features moreso than the flashy new shell.
  • It doesn't matter what PCWorld says or even what Microsoft says. Computers are sold by salespeople who will usually do what they have to do to move the computers. You can safely bet a lot of boxes will be sold as "sure this Pentium 3 will run Vista just great and dandy, you can trust me!" and customers will believe it.

    When it turns out that Vista won't run or runs like a dog, those customers won't blame the shifty salesdroid, they'll blame Microsoft.

    Of course, half these customers will try to run Vista wi
  • The AMD list includes Sempron.

    I've had a PC HDTV3000 card sitting on the shelf that I got in late 2004 during the broadcast flag scare. Recently, I got an "all-shovelware, every-piece-on-rebate" Sempron 3300+, 1/2 gig of RAM and mobo that should be just fine for a PVR because it would have been a fairly kick-ass system in 2004. And it looks like it would be adequate for Vista with a decent graphics card should the desire to install it appear.

    All this really demonstrates is that the rate of desktop hardwa
  • by epine ( 68316 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @11:53AM (#15045748)

    Easy. 256MB configurations will quickly go the way of the Dodo bird. Retail competes on sticker price for the cheapest thing on the shelf. Some morons come along and buy that cheapest thing, the less moronic allow themselves to be "up sold" into something less incapacitated, while the super moronic hang around to get "up sold" to the highest margin piece of crap displayed on the shelves for exactly that purpose (anyone here like to part with $2k? I've got some *really* **awesome** 24 gauge zipcord looking for a good home).

    Just imagine when you go across with the street with your 256MB price check and the oversexed 22 year old slick working there starts giving you the hairy eyeball about "Vista compatible".

    Haven't you ever heard the retail lingo "oh, those guys, we get a lot of people in here after dealing with those guys"? That's the sound of retailers driving their own (who don't fall in line) into extinction.

    Any store continuing to sell 256MB configurations in the Vista epoch is going to be portrayed by every slick-haired commissioned sales droid within a five mile radius as the fat kid with the black hairs growing out of his pimple.

  • speculations (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cg0def ( 845906 )
    what will happen is that the specs of the lowest end pcs will be beefed up ( not by a lot ) and also sp1 for vista will probably fix some of the memory overhead that everybody is talking about. I really don't know where you guys get your information from since there has yet to come out an RC for Vista. Beta build might very well still have debuging stuff enabled and that will most definitely eat up huge chunks of memory. Anyway, those of you that remember the pre XP days will also recall that 128mb ram was
  • Come on guys! My 1300 MHz Duron with 512 MB can run Vista. And I'm lucky 'cause I have a videocard in it that even supports the fancy bits of this OS. But even without that it will run Vista quite well I'm sure. No more FUD please.
  • with Vista installed (in 2010 when Vista is ready). If it runs slow install Linspire or other Linux distro and don't worry about anything.
  • pwned (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kronocide ( 209440 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @01:10PM (#15046019) Homepage Journal
    The latest Slackware distro is guaranteed to run on a 486 with 4MB of RAM. :-D
  • Vista capable? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by oglueck ( 235089 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @02:53PM (#15046402) Homepage
    Wasn't an OS meant to MANAGE resources, not to CONSUME them?
  • by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @05:00PM (#15046796)
    Does Microsoft really have to downgrade Vista to run on more, older machines? That reminds me of the late, but never lamented, Windows 2.0 286 being sold in the days of the 80386 processor's arrival.

    Think about it?

    1: It hard to be compatable with a wider variety of less capable machines and still provide the best performance on the latest+greatest hardware. It's also very expensive to maintain multiple, incompatible versions (e.g. 32- and 64-bit versions).

    2: How many people with older machines are going to pop out another $200-$300 to run Vista slowly on their existing h/w, have to load it and activate it themselves, and break compatability with existing programs -- when for $600 you'll be able to have a faster machine with enough memory, a bigger harddrive, 64-bit processor, AND Vista preloaded?

    3: Why is Microsoft worried if you can't run Vista on less capable machines? I don't think they are. You're still going to XP from them anyway. They get you coming or going.

    Intel finally loves Microsoft again because, for the first time in years, people are going to really have to buy new hardware, mostly with Intel processors and chip-sets, to run the newest killer application.

    I doubt that a 32-bit Vista will survive long, given that it ever see the light of day anyway. And if it does, it will be crippled compared to a 64-bit version. I expect most 64-bit processors probably meet the minimum Vista requirement, and those are the people who will be running it.

    Will 32-bit systems even still be being sold at the time of this latest slip to January 2007? Will even single core processors be common in new machines?

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard