Microsoft is today expected to spell out what system requirements are needed to take full advantage of the new features in its forthcoming Vista operating system.
The company will launch two Vista marketing programmes aimed at PC manufacturers and retailers. It will include the system requirements needed by end users to fully benefit from Vista.
The Vista-capable programme will list the minimum features to be able to run Vista, and the Premium Ready programme will be used to identify PCs that can take full advantage of Vista's high-end features.
High-end features include Microsoft’s powerful Aero graphics system for Windows.
Vista-capable machines need at least an 800MHz processor, 512MB of memory and a graphics card that can run DirectX 9 graphics.
Premium Ready machines need at least a 1GHz processor, 1Gbyte of memory, and a graphics card that supports Vista's new graphics-driver model.
The amount of graphics memory needed to run Aero graphics varies according to the size of the monitor.
Vista will be available to large businesses from this November, and to all users from next January.