The Microsoft Corporation has yet to finalize the minimum requirements for PCÂ’s to run its forthcoming operating system. But numerous PC industry watchers predict a dichotomy for the OS, which is due in early 2007. Although it will be able to run on all but the most ancient machines, the OS will favour newer and relatively powerful machines, when it comes to showing its true colours, say the various analysts asked. Based on details provided by the software maker, Microsoft representatives are suggesting PC buyers, who want to gain the full Windows Vista user interface experience, should pick up a PC with a discrete graphics card that supports its DirectX 9 graphics specification. The industry analysts are also quoting, that not all of today's hardware has the graphics chops necessary to display Windows Vista's most visually compelling feature, its new Aero Glass 3D user interface.
Thus even for PC owners who have purchased new machines in the last year, hardware upgrades of one type or another may be necessary. This could mean, either a new graphics card or if a machine's graphics canÂ’t be upgraded, then possibly a new system may be necessary to run Windows Vista's Aero Glass effects.
Given Microsoft's suggestions, even buyers of future new PCÂ’s, will have to pay extra attention and often fork out extra, to ensure they choose systems with the graphical capability necessary to run the Aero UI, if they expect to upgrade.
Whether or not a PC has the so called, integrated graphics or the means to upgrade to an add-in card, will become the fault line that separates the graphical capability or lack of.
Most low end to midrange desktops and notebooks make use of integrated graphics; meaning they rely on graphics processors that are parts of their chip sets. Chip sets convey data to points within a PC, not unlike a person's nervous system.
In the final analysis it would appear that even without the last word from Microsoft, it can be assumed that, at a minimum, a high-end graphics card will be required to show the advanced UI.