Microsoft have launched a 'Get ready for Vista' site, along with details of the minimum requirements to run the next-gen operating system, and a downloadable tool to help you identify whether you fulfil the requirements.
The requirements are split into two sections. The 'Vista Capable computers' which have a spec of at least:
- A modern processor (at least 800MHz1).
- 512 MB of system memory.
- A graphics processor that is DirectX 9 capable.
- 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor1.
- 1 GB of system memory.
- A graphics processor that runs Windows Aero2.
- 128 MB of graphics memory.
- 40 GB of hard drive capacity with 15 GB free space.
- DVD-ROM Drive3.
- Audio output capability.
- Internet access capability.
The downloadable tool means that the masses, who probably don't know what's inside that big beige box, can work out whether they can run Vista. It allows you to select which features you would like in your Vista upgrade, then tells you whether your computer can handle them, and also which edition of Vista you will need. This is a very good move on Microsoft's part, as it enables them to avoid some of the confusion which would otherwise have been felt by many consumers, inhibiting the numbers of people upgrading. Also sensibly, it is possible to print out the extra hardware you need to buy to run Vista, so that even if you don't understand it, you can take it to someone who can.
You can download the 'Windows Vista Upgrade Adviser (beta)' here.