What's New: Windows Vista Capable PCs Aren't?

Days after announcing the delay of consumer versions of Windows Vista until January, Microsoft will launch a program in April to label new PCs as "Windows Vista Capable." But not all "capable" PCs will be able to run all of Vista's features.

Microsoft says that for a PC to qualify for the sticker, it must qualify for the current "Designed for Windows XP" logo and in addition use a "modern" CPU, 512 MB of memory, and a DirectX 9 hardware-compatible graphics card. The last requirement is likely to affect most existing PCs, especially lower-cost PCs using "integrated" or built-in video controllers and light-duty power supplies. Fortunately it is much easier to upgrade to a new video card and power supply than to upgrade an older CPU.

We think confusion will arise when consumers see PCs from $500-$5,000 labeled as "Vista Capable," for what manufacturer wouldn't want to have that sticker? However, it seems likely that today's lower end PCs are more targeted towards Windows Vista Home Basic, as opposed to the Business or Home Premium versions with their new "Aero" interface and advanced multimedia features and other capabilities.

Friday, Mar 31, 2006 10:45 pm CST

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