Vistas Hardware Requirements Also

By John G. Spooner  |  Posted 2006-03-22 Print this article Print

Inspire Caution"> Vistas hardware requirements, which are still somewhat amorphous, are likely to be another focus of intense investigation by IT managers. To date, Microsoft has provided minimum configuration data for so-called Vista-capable PCs, with requirements such as relatively current processors and chip sets and at least 512MB of RAM. But little has been said on what type of system will run high-end features well, such as Vistas Aero Glass 3-D user interface features.
"We will only pilot [Vista] until probably the first service pack comes out," said Robert Rosen, CIO of the National Institute of Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases in Bethesda, Md., and an eWEEK Corporate Partner.
"We are particularly concerned about the increased graphics requirement, so we will need to do a fair amount of testing to ensure that it doesnt bog down the systems too much with our current hardware." Rosen said his group typically runs a pilot by placing an operating system on a few power users machines to see what types of trouble they might experience, in addition to evaluating deployment, training and other related issues, before deciding to upgrade. Miller, too, said the potential impact on current desktop and laptop computers must be assessed. PC makers could help by offering a breakdown of how their different model configurations would match up with the different capabilities offered by Vista, he said. Some IT managers put it even more bluntly. "Software products have a history of slipping," said Judy Brown, an IT consultant and eWEEK Corporate Partner, in Madison, Wisconsin. "Well believe it when we see it." "We have not plans to roll this out anytime soon," said another manager, who asked not to be named. "So they should delay it until it works." Still, some have expressed hope that Vista would spur corporate PC hardware upgrades. Dell Chairman Michael Dell, for one, has said Vista might bump sales to corporations, as people who use the new operating system at home might also demand it at work. "I believe this transition is going to be a pretty powerful catalyst," Dell, in Round Rock, Texas, said during the PC makers fourth-quarter earnings discussions. After using the operating system, he suggested, people will go back into the office and ask, "How come my PC is no good?" But most industry observers said they believe it will be well into 2007, at a minimum, before most companies take the plunge. Leslie Fiering, an analyst at Gartner Group, in Stamford, Conn., said in an interview last year that businesses are likely to allow at least six months after the operating systems final code. Most will wait 12 to 18 months, giving them extra time for testing and allotting for the delivery of a service pack. "None of the clients that were talking to are planning to jump Day One. Most are planning to give it 12 months," Fiering said in that interview. That means theyll wait until the end of 2007 or the middle of 2008 to upgrade, she said. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.

John G. Spooner John G. Spooner, a senior writer for eWeek, chronicles the PC industry, in addition to covering semiconductors and, on occasion, automotive technology. Prior to joining eWeek in 2005, Mr. Spooner spent more than four years as a staff writer for CNET, where he covered computer hardware. He has also worked as a staff writer for ZDNET News.

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