PC Makers Ready For Vista

Microsoft and PC makers move to get the 'Vista capable' word out.
NEW YORK -- Windows Vista won't be available to consumers in time for Christmas, but Microsoft wants to make sure that doesn't dampen holiday PC sales. Vista is in the final stretches of development and consumer or retail packaged version is scheduled for release in January; corporate site licenses are slated for availability by the end of this year.

Microsoft announced here at the Digital Life show in New York that more than 250 hardware and software products from more than 50 industry partners have received either the "Certified for Windows Vista" or "Works with Windows Vista" logo.

The "Works with Windows Vista" is for products that are ensured to work with Vista, while "Certified for Windows Vista" means that a particular software or device will run properly on a PC running Windows Vista.

Justin Hutchinson, group product manager in the Windows client group, said one of the questions he gets asked all the time is whether people should wait until Windows Vista comes out to buy their new PCs.

"What everyone here should know is that close to 100 percent of the PCs on store shelves today at US retail are all what we call Windows Vista capable," said Hutchinson, in a presentation at Digital Life. "What that means is that these PCs are running XP today and can be easily upgraded to Vista."

But buyers need to look for specific logos. "Windows Vista Ready" means the PC or laptop is loaded up with enough RAM, typically more than 512 MB, to upgrade to Vista when it releases.

But if it has a logo that says "Windows Vista Premium Ready," then the PC is capable for running all the graphics intensive applications as well as extras, such as Windows Media Center and xBox networking features.

A typical "Windows Vista Premium Ready" PC would be Dell's high-end gaming-oriented PC, the XPS 700. It's loaded with 2 gigabytes of memory and also expandable to more than a terabyte (define) of storage.

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