The company recently kicked off a campaign aimed at helping customers prepare for the new operating system, which is set for a mainstream launch in January.
As they prepare for the arrival of Windows Vista, customers shopping for new PCs or upgrading their hardware now have more comprehensive guidance to aid them in their decisions.
Customers can now easily prepare for the future with the help of Microsoft Corp’s. recently announced Windows Vista "Get Ready" Web site, the worldwide availability of Windows Vista Capable PCs, the upcoming availability of Premium Ready PCs and the availability of the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor beta.
The Best Place to Go to Get Ready
As expected, Microsoft gave details of two programs. The "Vista-Capable" program allows machines that meet a minimum set of requirements to tout themselves as able to run the new Windows.
Computer makers who meet higher requirements will be able to tout their machines as "Premium Ready," indicating the PCs are able to take advantage of higher-end features, such as Vista's Aero Graphics.
There is really no reason to wait until the launch of Windows Vista to start shopping for a PC that can deliver a great Windows Vista experience or to start thinking about upgrading your current PC to windows Vista, product manager Greg Amrofell said in a telephone interview.
Customers have many options and choices to make when it comes to buying a PC today. A wide range of form factors, price points and new technologies figure into their decisions, said Mike Sievert, corporate vice president of Windows Product Management and Marketing at Microsoft.
With that in mind, Microsoft and OEMs are making it easier to prepare for the arrival of Windows Vista. Customers now have the information they need to get a great Windows XP- based PC today that will deliver rich Windows Vista experiences tomorrow.
The new site, available at http://www.windowsvista.com/getready, provides a variety of information and tools customers can use to prepare for Windows Vista. This includes details on how customers can use the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor beta, and background on the different editions of Windows Vista. The site will be regularly updated with more information related to the forthcoming release of Windows Vista.
The downloadable program is designed to tell people which features and versions of Vista their PC is able to run, thereby abstracting some of the complex requirements of Vista. For example, Aero Graphics require a certain amount of memory bandwidth--a measurement of PC performance that few people are likely to know about in their machine. The advisor tool will simply say whether a PC will work out or not, rather than focus on specific requirements.
That way, customers do not have to spend time in the footnotes of complex system requirements, said Mike Burk, the PR Manager, Windows Client.
Windows Vista Capable PCs and Windows Vista Premium Ready PCs
Windows Vista is the first operating system that truly scales based on the hardware capabilities of the computer on which it is installed. All editions of Windows Vista will deliver innovations in core operating system experiences, including security, reliability and management of the PC, organizing, managing and finding information, and methods for connecting with people, places and devices at home, at work or on the go.
Premium editions of Windows Vista -- such as Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate -- will offer even more value by delivering premium features and advanced experiences.
Microsoft also is working with PC manufactures to introduce Windows Vista Premium Ready PCs. Windows Vista Capable PCs can earn the Premium Ready designation by meeting or exceeding the requirements outlined below.
A Premium Ready designation ensures that the PC will deliver even better Windows Vista experiences, including Windows Aero, a new user experience designed to deliver a productive, high-performing desktop interface. Microsoft recommends that customers seeking the best experiences with Windows Vista ask for PCs that are Premium Ready or choose PCs that meet or exceed the Premium Ready requirements.
Microsoft’s Windows XP-based PCs that are powerful enough to run Windows Vista are now available from leading PC manufacturers worldwide, including Acer Inc., Dell Inc., Fujitsu Computer Systems Corporation, Gateway Inc., HP, Lenovo, NEC Corp., Sony Corp., Toshiba and more. The Windows Vista Capable logo is designed to assure customers that the PCs they buy today will be ready for an upgrade to Windows Vista and can run the core experiences of Windows Vista.
"Dell is focused on designing systems today that will enhance the effectiveness of the features of Microsoft Windows Vista tomorrow," said John Medica, senior vice president of the Product Group at Dell. We are working closely with Microsoft to ensure the best user experience on currently shipping performance desktops, workstations and notebooks, and customers can be confident that their high-performance Dell configuration can make the most of the next-generation capabilities of Microsoft Windows Vista.
To qualify as Capable or Premium Ready, New PCs must meet or exceed the following requirements to be tagged as able to run Windows Vista at either of two levels.