April 13, 2006 4:00 AM PDT

Vista won't show fancy side to pirates

Windows Vista plans to offer you spiffy new graphics, as long as you're not a pirate.

With the new operating system, Microsoft is offering plenty of new graphics tricks, including translucent windows, animated flips between open programs and "live icons" that show a graphical representation of the file in question.

But before Vista will display its showiest side, known as Aero, it will run a check to make sure the software was properly purchased.

"Those who are not running genuine Windows will not be able to take advantage of the Windows Aero user experience," a Microsoft representative told CNET News.com on Wednesday.

The move is the latest salvo in Microsoft's broad attack on those who use unauthorized copies of its operating system. In the fall of 2004, Microsoft began testing the Windows Genuine Advantage program, designed to verify that a particular copy of Windows is legitimate.

At first an optional program, the piracy check eventually became mandatory for many types of Windows XP downloads, but was not required to run any aspect of the operating system itself. Microsoft has identified reducing piracy as a key way for the company to grow its sales of Windows, which is already used on more than 90 percent of personal computers.

Vista Aero graphics
Credit: Microsoft
Flip 3D is one of the Aero graphics
features planned for Vista.

But it's not just pirates who will be blocked from Windows' fanciest graphics. The Aero display also won't be available to those who buy Windows Vista Basic, the low-end consumer version of the operating system. And even those with higher-end versions won't be able to see the fancy graphics if they don't have enough memory, lack sufficient graphics horsepower or have a graphics chip that doesn't support a new Vista driver.

Microsoft has not issued the final hardware requirements for Vista itself, which is due to go on sale to consumers in January. However, the company has issued some guidelines for Aero, as part of a draft product guide that was briefly posted on the Internet this week.

What's needed
To run Aero, a system will need to meet some pretty specific and arcane requirements, including memory bandwidth of at least 1,800MB per second, Microsoft said in the document. The product guide said that Vista would include a tool for measuring this, but Microsoft did not offer further details on how consumers with existing PCs will be able to see if their machines meet the standard.

A Microsoft representative said on Thursday that more information for existing users will be available soon. There are diagnostic tools available on the Web, such as SiSoftware's Sandra, that provide memory bandwidth benchmarking information.

Microsoft is also building a performance measuring tool within Vista that will provide a numeric rating of how Vista-capable a system is.

The system will need a graphics chip with a Vista-specific driver, as well as a varying amount of minimum graphics memory, depending on the size of the monitor. A computer with a single display of 1280-by-1024 pixels or less, for example, must have 64MB of graphics memory. For a larger screen, 256MB may be needed, as well as additional memory for secondary displays.

Flying Aero

To get the best out of Vista's graphics, you'll need at least four things, according to tentative Microsoft guidelines.

1. A legitimate copy of one of Vista's higher-end versions: Home Premium, Business, Enterprise or Ultimate

2. A Vista-specific (WDDM) graphics driver

3. A minimum of 1,800MB per second of graphics memory bandwidth

4. Enough graphics memory (amount needed varies based on monitor size)

Source: Tentative guidelines inadvertently posted online by Microsoft this week.

A PC with shared memory--that is, memory that is used both by the main system and by the graphics chip--can also work with Aero. But it needs to have 1GB of dual-channel memory, with at least 512MB of that memory available to the main system.

Microsoft said that the Aero requirements stated in the product guide are not final. The Redmond, Wash.-based company has so far only released guidelines for machines that will display a logo indicating their Vista-readiness.

"A draft version of the Windows Vista Product Guide was posted inadvertently and includes information that is not yet final," the Microsoft representative said in an e-mail. "To date, we have only provided hardware guidelines as part of our Windows Vista Capable PC efforts. The Windows Vista Capable PC Program provides information to customers about PCs they can buy today that will be able to run Windows Vista."

Those Aero requirements are not easily understood by buyers or computer salespeople, said Michael Cherry, an analyst at market research firm Directions on Microsoft. He said, for example, that he has no idea how much memory bandwidth his computer has. "I wouldn't even know how to begin to measure it."

Cherry said that Microsoft still has work to do to translate these requirements into something that is understandable to the average PC user.

"I don't want to be an electrical engineer to figure this out," he said.

See more CNET content tagged:
piracy, memory bandwidth, graphics chip, Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Corp.


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Add your comment
Ineresting, What happens when...
Microsoft's Genuine Advantage tool fails? We used to have several PCs with WinXP. One of them eventually stopped passing the MSGA test, the other had issues with it but would generally pass on the second or third time.

I never really pursued looking into why it would fail. As far as I know, there was no malware on the machine, and we didn't perform any substantial hardware modifications or anything that might be implicated in the checkng process.
Posted by Zymurgist (397 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It is only a matter of time...
All this does is: A) Inspire pirates to go further, and/or B) Force legit users who are fed up with Microsoft's "we own the world" crap to switch to something else like Mac OSX or Linux.
Posted by drcheesebeer (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You don't need all those supercharged systems to get the same experience on Linux and OSX.

And even more: you don't have to wait until Jan '07...
Posted by Steven N (487 comments )
Link Flag
Intel Macs?
Do the current crop of Intel Macs meet these requirements?

They seem pretty high, obviously people will keep hanging on to
XP much longer giving a good opportunity for osX on PC's if
Apple is willing to do so.
Posted by Peter Bonte (316 comments )
Link Flag
People aren't just going to up and switch to Mac's!!
I don't know why you Mac fans think you are going to take market share from MS. Mac's will be lucky if they ever reach 6% market share. Even that number sounds completely impossible.
Posted by mrpeabody3119 (101 comments )
Link Flag
Inspire pirates to go further?
Honestly, anything is hackable. Getting around
this sort of things is no different than getting
around other various copy-control /
authentication schemes. It's not a matter of
"if", but rather "when" a professional pirate
produces a patch that eliminates the check.

Things like this are meant to deter casual
bootlegging. I doubt Microsoft operates under
the delusion that this would interfere with
general piracy.

The only problem with this sort of scheme, of
course, is that it's going to inconvenience a
certain number of legitimate users for whom
"something" will go wrong -- something that they
probably won't be able to diagnose or fix. They
will effectively be punished by the scheme. And
for them, the pirate copies with the WGA
work-around will become the product that they
thought they were purchasing -- a value-added
product, as it were.

That's the problem with piracy these days. It's
not just that pirated wares are free (or, at
least lower cost), but by removing
annoying/interfering things from products, the
pirated copy becomes superior (for the consumer)
to the original. A superior product, at a lower
price is a better value.

Ever buy a piece of software only to find out
that there's a pirated version that works
better? Maybe something that wouldn't run
because of a copy-protection scheme that chokes
on your particular configuration?
Posted by Zymurgist (397 comments )
Link Flag
You bet ...
OpenOffice has already reduced my reasons for keeping any Microsoft products on any of my machines to near zero. I run solaris at work, linux at home, and Microsoft can add whatever irritating features it wants to without me even noticing.
Posted by LarryFeltonJ (1 comment )
Link Flag
Vista won't show fancy side to businesses either
While Aero has little or no use on a business machine, it was about the only thing that distinguishes Vista from XP. But its massive hardware requirements insures that few businesses will even consider upgrading their existing computers.

IMO, Vista will follow in the XP tradition and be largely ignored by businesses, and only brought into corporations when purchasing new computers.

OTOH, gamers and consumers that can be easily swayed by shiny things will probably love it.
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Multiple Versions of Vista
This is why there will be 41 flavors of the new Windows for desktop PCs. There will be a slimmed down version for Business that avoids all the support headaches that the enhanced interface will create for companies.
Posted by zaznet (1138 comments )
Link Flag
No Vista
When I move on from XP (which will be after MS no longer supports it), I am hoping Linux will be a better alternative.

I hate paying for the same OS over and over again. All they do is make it a little more stable and boot a little fast, which is not worth $200 or more.

Windows costs more or equal to the actual PC and that is just stupid.
Posted by umbrae (1073 comments )
Reply Link Flag
If you are able to get your hardware working...
If you are able to get your hardware working till windowsxp support is all removed, then you can use linux on that machine or even just keep the windowsxp.

I don't think it is a good idea to go and buy Microsoft OS from the retail. I for myself migrate to new microsoft OS when I buy new hardware.
Posted by Tanjore (322 comments )
Link Flag
On pirated copies of Vista
So, Microsoft's expectation is that Vista can be hacked and made run. But their checks will stop the funky desktop from running.
If Microsoft were serious about piracy they would stop Vista from working at all if it is a pirated copy.

There is a very good reason for Microsoft to allow piracy. It gets people who are not in a position to buy Windows using it and when they want to buy an OS they will buy what they are familiar with. This helps keep the Linux and other OSs at bay. If people started using something other than Windows at home or in school then they may start to expect it in work as well. Without allowing some level of piracy this would be a real threat to Microsoft.
Posted by ahickey (177 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Are you serious...
That is just about the dumbest things I've heard anyone say on this website. An there has been a lot of dumb things said.
Posted by mrpeabody3119 (101 comments )
Link Flag
Excellent point - piracy can be necessary for MS..
I know this first hand - I bought a computer second-hand once, and didn't have the original license - just an OS disk... well, the HDD died, so what did I do? I tried to reinstall Windows of course. It was XP so I couldn't get into it, not having a license (regardless, the license would have already been considered 'registered' to MS and therefore I'd have to bother calling them and whatnot.)

With all this nonesense going on, and the assertion that I wasn't going to buy a copy of Windows just for this cruddy old computer, I just installed Linux and ran that for a few months. I got quite used to it, actually. If it wern't for the fact that I couldn't run my music production software on it, hell, I would still be using Linux. It was a fine line between me using Linux or Win... software compatability.

Granted, I'm already fairly ingrained with Windows anyway, but it's not a good thing for MS if tons of users start turning to Linux because they either don't have a good enough computer for Vista , which at some point will be the only thing they can obtain after XP support dies (however that works out), or if they can't afford Vista... if it comes to that, between using and getting used to Linux or pirating Windows, MS would probably rather they pirate Windows so at least they won't have any notions about Linux being better in some way. Which, on an objective level, is debatable on various points - but that's an argument for a different day.

One other thing about it - the fancy visual tricks are really half the appeal, at least, when it comes to the average consumer. Why do you think people buy Macs - and I won't believe anyone saying that it's because they run better, at least when it comes to the average consumer who won't know the difference? So, if someone can't /get/ visual tricks by pirating, they're not much better off than simply running their currently-pirated copy of XP. How much else is there to really make it worth pirating anyway?
Posted by DraconumPB (229 comments )
Link Flag
Silly Requirements
OS X has managed to have similar 3D effects for 5 years now, with standard, to low-end apple hardware. What makes Vista so bulky and unruly that it requires so much horsepower?
Posted by jtenenb (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
First generation.
This is the first generation of the interface
changes. You saw in KDE that the early 3.x
versions were big and slow. With each update,
there were not only more features, but the
resource usage declined significantly while the
performance went up a bunch.

The engine behind Mac's current UI has been
around and refined for about 20 years (it came
from NeXT's DPS) and was initially designed on
far more meager hardware (so resource usage and
performance were a huge focus of development).

Microsoft's UI is a layer between an established
3D API and their GUI API. It relies much more
heavily on the hardware and doesn't focus as
much on resources or performance -- because it
didn't have to when it was designed, and it's
not likely that hardware is going to decrease in
performance in the future, so what would be the
point in spending the time and money on it.
Posted by Zymurgist (397 comments )
Link Flag
Funny thing...
I've been following on the GLX (3D vector UI) development on Linux lately, and I found some pages where it was mentioned that actually the 3D vectors are not putting more stress on the machine than the bitmap system that is being used today. This is because the 3D vector system is using the 3D engine of the GPU on the video card, and the bitmaps must be calculated by the CPU.
Posted by Steven N (487 comments )
Link Flag
Wouldn't most just turn that stuff off?
Even if I moved to Mac, I'd turn probably all but half a dozen graphics tricks off. My files are files. When I close or minimize a window, I want to go away. Not perform some kind of dance and be slurpped into a magic lamp.
Posted by Xpheyel (32 comments )
Reply Link Flag
But thats the reason for Buying it
There areno other reasons, all the other great features have been removed. All thats left is eye candy, and after all isnt that what every Windowz user thinks a computer is all about?
Posted by Kilz (85 comments )
Link Flag
There is no "dance" with OS-X interface effects.

You can turn them off but with todays computers and processing power, it doesn't use up that much processing.

The whole point to the aesthetics is not just eye candy. It's used to provide a more productive, effective and most importantly an enjoyable user experience.
Posted by uparrow (19 comments )
Link Flag
Do future users of Vista really need these graphic tricks for everyday use (e.g., word processing, e-mail and browsing) if its going to come at such a performance hit? Why didn't Microsoft instead allocated their development efforts toward hammering out security and reliability? The public complains about viruses and trojans, not the lack of OS-glitter.
Posted by backgroundnoise (32 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ah, tricky...
The obvious answer is that graphics tricks are only useful if they add function to the computing process. As a Mac user I'm kinda used to OS X of being accused of being toy-like in appearance and basically not being a real computing platform because it looks nice. My initial thoughts on this subject was that a lot of the graphical effects employed on the Mac have real purpose that makes life easier, such as the Expose effect for revealing windows (hold down Shift for a slow-motion effect...) and the Genie effect for showing you where a minimised window has gone to on the Dock. However, when I think about it there are also completely unnecessary graphical effects that are a it overkill for the job that they do, such as the revolving screen effect when using Fast User Switching. This leaves me with a bit of a dilema when considering the question...

Ultimately, I don't think the graphical niceties add very much but, if done well, do add something, if only to make the computing experience feel better. Taken too far, however, and they can even detract from the experience and, in some ways, I think Vista is going in this direction. The static screenshots of it do look nice but I have to confess feeling that the transparency effects are overused (not too bad) and actually make the screen look more confusing (very bad) when compared to opaque menus/windows. I'm also of the opinion that the Flip 3D thing has completely missed the point. The idea is that you should be able to find the window that you want quickly but for some reason Microsoft things that the best way to achieve that is to produce a sort of Rolodex of you windows and have you flick through them. It looks great and all but I don't think the function is there and as such I think that's not good design - form came before function.

Overall, I'm happy for the OS designers to make the computing experience more interesting by giving us somethign that's good to look at, particularly if the graphics help us do what we want (transparent windows, for example, can be very useful at times). However, it's when the form interferres with the function that I have a problem and I do think that Vista is treading a very fine line at the moment. Given this I would be inclined to buy an edition without Aero or turn these effects off since "plain" Vista is not unattractive really.
Posted by kelmon (1445 comments )
Link Flag
Yes and no.
Some of the graphics stuff is just for show.
Some of it will be downright distracting if you
turn on some of the things. On the other hand,
there's all sorts of "special effects" that can
really help.

For example, Win2K added the ability to view
image files as thumbnails. That was immensely
useful. I use KDE predominantly, and it not only
shows static images as thumbnails, but also
videos, PDFs, HTML documents, fonts, ... just
about everything really (and you can disable the
previews entirely or per file-type, if you
choose). This is something Vista will do - and
it really is immensely useful.

The animated shrinking of apps to indicate where
they went on the taskbar/dock is a nice hint.
Animated shading of windows, also useful in the
even you shade by accident because you know
where the Window went. Spreading applications
across the desktop in miniature like KDE's
kompose or Mac's expose will be included and is
immensely useful. I believe that there will even
be a virtual desktop feature like that common in
UNIX environments - again, immensely useful.

It's features like translucent windows/menus and
so on that I think are eye-candy that have
little use. It can look nice, but in practice it
interferes with the legibility of the display.
Posted by Zymurgist (397 comments )
Link Flag
you're right
Rewriting the kernel was for pretty graphics....
Posted by schubb (202 comments )
Link Flag
Some graphics tricks in Linux/XGL are useful
I tried the Linux XGL demo CD recently. Some of the tricks are a bit pointless, like wobbly windows. Some are genuinly useful.

The cube is a nice way of navigating your virtual desktop, and if you wrap a program over the boundary (I tried this with the performance grapher) you can rotate the cube with it over multiple faces to give a pretty intuitive view of the larger application.

The ability to make all the windows spring into smaller versions so you can click on the one you want was excellent. It's a bit like FoxPose in Firefox - where each web page becomes a smaller image. Easier than Alt-Tab. I'd use this feature a lot to quickly find that missing window.

Proper support for live previews of windows in Alt-Tab was great though. I remember I used to use xterm which set its icon to a live preview, but with XGL you get this automatically for every program, and it's up to date and real time too! This is another feature I can imagine myself using a lot.
Posted by booboo1243 (328 comments )
Link Flag
Some graphics tricks in Linux/XGL are useful
I tried the Linux XGL demo CD recently. Some of the tricks are a bit pointless, like wobbly windows. Some are genuinly useful.

The cube is a nice way of navigating your virtual desktop, and if you wrap a program over the boundary (I tried this with the performance grapher) you can rotate the cube with it over multiple faces to give a pretty intuitive view of the larger application.

The ability to make all the windows spring into smaller versions so you can click on the one you want was excellent. It's a bit like FoxPose in Firefox - where each web page becomes a smaller image. Easier than Alt-Tab. I'd use this feature a lot to quickly find that missing window.

Proper support for live previews of windows in Alt-Tab was great though. I remember I used to use xterm which set its icon to a live preview, but with XGL you get this automatically for every program, and it's up to date and real time too! This is another feature I can imagine myself using a lot.

Oh, and this all worked really well on 1GHz and a GeForce 6600 graphics card.
Posted by booboo1243 (328 comments )
Link Flag
Vista only for system vendors?
Is this an attempt to encourage more purchases from system builders with certified Vista computers?

I enjoy building my own system. If I have to purchase the expensive line of Crucial memory to enjoy the full Vista "experience", what's the point in purchasing Vista?
Posted by abahn (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
right on
I have to agree, I will not buy a "prebuilt" system. Its much better
to build your own and be able to replace parts when they fail as
opposed to shelling out a small fortune to buy a whole new
computer. We once bought a $3000 Gateway computer and every
single part that could fail, did. Since then we have built our own
and had much better systems and better luck with the parts.
Posted by Tiger1964 (28 comments )
Link Flag
You realize standard DDR 3200 RAM means that max throughput is 3.2GB, almost double the 1.8GB Vista wants don't you?
Posted by schubb (202 comments )
Link Flag
What's the push?
Seriously? What's the great reason to move from XP to Vista? Graphical improvements? For the system resources this beast is calling for, it's not worth it. My system runs 'okay' on about a Gig of RAM, knowing that Vista is going to need at least half of that just for the system is rediculous!

One of the things that really amuses me here is how OSX looks with the specs it runs on. Compare OSX to Vista on the same specs as an Intel Mac, and ask yourself why you want to spend the extra money on Windows.

I don't want to toot the 'Other OS than Windows' horn. If Vista comes out and doesn't bring anything to the table other than Aero, i'll just stick with XP and see if the next OS brings anything.

I'm thinking history is repeating itself.. can we say ME.2?
Posted by Jahntassa (158 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not Really
If you look at all the computers in Apple's lineup not a single one has less than 512 MB of memory preloaded on their machines. Additionally, I haven't been able to find a single one that doesn't have a dedicated graphics processor and memory.

This is probably just Microsoft finally stepping up to Apple's standard.

Yes, OSX requires 256MB of memory to run. However,you have to ask youself, is the 512 MB requirement for Aero is designed to give people more breathing room in terms of performance rather than have people's computers slow down on them whey they try to turn on Aero and run other big programs with only 256 MB of RAM?

Basically, Microsoft could be artificially inflating the requirements so that users can maintain a smooth experience if they try to run Aero and other programs at the same time.
Posted by rderveloy (16 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Vista = A potential major cost increase
What the article omits to say is that Windows as supplied with a PC will amount to only a shadow of what consumers now get when they "buy" a Windows PC.

Vista essentially turns Windows Vista PCs as-purchased into what in the car market would be a featureless sub-compact. But lo and behold no price reduction appears to be in the works.

Vista seems to imply that a Vista PC will include the cost of the PC PLUS at least a 1-level upgrade. Here in Canada that looks to be about $140+ Cdn for the next-up-but- feature-poor-compared-to-XP Home edition, and perhaps nearly $300 to get a level of features now built into Windows.

Given that the Vista hardware spec seems to match no-name PCs selling for at least $800 here in Canada and name-branders selling at about $1,200, a Canadian will be looking at about $1,500 for a fully capable Aero PC. This is the new low-end PC for all practical purposes. Bye-bye to those $399 Cdn Dell systems I keep getting offered.

And this does not include what looks like a necessity for genuine fast Internet ($49 plus a month typically here in Canada), since the upgrades appear to install from the web.

AND there is further hidden cost to the market in the web-tied upgrades will vanish Cinderella-like when OS-support ends--meaning no more hand-me-down low-cost PCs over the long run. This of course will make PCs scarcer and also drive up prices in the long run.

Also, since upgrades will be commerce-tied to the original owner it will be almost impossible for even relatively new USED Vista PCs to used easily by second and third owners overt time, since as soon as they need to reinstall they will not likely have the private access codes of the original owner to reinstall the OS upgrades already purchased. This is a reasonable conclusion as MS is using its Passport very tightly to dispense things like product keys for its .Net apps, and there is no reason this will not be the case with Vista: No first user will hand-over their Passport access password for such purposes, as it would also mean giving away other product keys.
Posted by PolarUpgrade (103 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Less = More
Microsoft seems to be doing a good job of offering less for more money. When they moved from Windows 2000 Pro to XP, they conveniently removed advanced file security from the basic (home) version. To get back what you had in 2K, you have to shell out more money for the Pro version of XP. Microsoft has ratcheted this up even more with Vista. How long before this trick runs out of gas, and consumers start to revolt? Sure, MS will try to cram Vista down people's throats by forcing computer manufacturers to ship all new MS PCs with Vista -- XP won't be an option anymore, but at that point consumers will look around for other alternatives to Microsoft's less is more offering.
Posted by Stating (869 comments )
Link Flag
I would like to see consumers NOT buy this one while posting a single blog somewhere in the corner of the web politely requesting a complete re-write of Windows from the bottom...applying - shocker here - everything they've learned to date about size, resource requirements and security.

The most annoying thing about American capitalism is - this will not happen. Vista will sell like $.99 tacos asada off one of those Roach Coaches if only because people are nauseated by the 11 year old Windows interface. Of course, it already looks as though MS is going to go the extra mile and make fucntionality dependent on stupid anit-piracy checks and crap..and then have THEM malfunction, too.
Posted by 1730dtla (26 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Piracy will prevail
Seems like we've heard this all before. Windows XP's silly activation
feature was dead in the water before it was even released. Vista
will be no different. Now if Apple would release OSX for some low
end PC's, there would be no sane reason to keep buying MS crap!!
Posted by Tiger1964 (28 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What's good and bad about Vista
What's good and bad about vista is change. Vista will force people with antiquated systems to buy new computers. People with good computers but lack the memory or video to run vista will be forced to upgrade components. People running illegal copies of windows will be forced to either buy ther compies from now on or find better pirates.

In the end, other than a fancy look, even more intergration, and a larger price tag, what does vista really offer that doesn't already exist already existing software?

Me? I love software, love to see what's new or different, but that's not a good reason to shell out the bucks for Vista.
Posted by thedreaming (573 comments )
Reply Link Flag
For the average user Vista brings nothing new ...
Exept for the new user interface and much slower to do the
same thing. osX looks better every year and so is the extra
software, i really hope Apple brings it to oem-PC makers with
version 10.5
Posted by Peter Bonte (316 comments )
Link Flag
Vista Graphics
All the so called fancy graphics trash can already be found in any version of linux! Personally I view things like this as a waste of good CPU cycles, but most people do love eye-candy over productivity. This is why I still use win2k, it does everything I need and its very fast on todays hardware. Until I see something in vista that can make me money, I wont be buying.

Posted by mlinder69-21063211865664677784 (36 comments )
Reply Link Flag
MS Is rapidly committing suicide...
It is eliminating the need and the interest in upgrading to Vista.
Companies running Win2K and Win XP are going to stay right where
they are - otherwise they need all new (and expensive) computers.
And all the press releases in the world can't make a silk purse out
of this sow's ear.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Very few will upgrade to Vista
Most users will just wait and get Vista when they buy a new dual-core based system, as opposed to upgrading from their current version.
It appears that Vista needs a *lot* of horsepower or it can't get out of it's own way. The beta is a dog on my Athlon64-3200 with 1G of memory.
The "areo" graphics won't work with the vast majority of the hardware currently in use.
Posted by Arbalest05 (83 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not worth it
When has Microsoft ever listened to the end user? Vista is just another package of fluff which demands more cycles, more power and more money for what? In the end does it add to productivity? I doubt it ! For all those graphic happy people that need this I'd have to say you're either a gamer or you should go out and get a Mac. It's not worth the money and frankly Gates has too much of it as it is.
Posted by finalquest (6 comments )
Link Flag
Whatever happened to writing tight code?
Am I the only one old enough to remember when it was a sort of rite of passage to write a tiny basic in only 4K?

With the price of hardware falling, programmers have grown lazier with each price reduction.

Instead of telling me that I need to buy a new PC every time a new game or OS comes out, why not just start writing tighter code that utilizes what is available?

I for one, already have animated icons and such with Linux and it's annoying to me. Others may like it but I think it's unnecessary. Do I need a semi transparent screen? No, unless somehow that's going to stabilize the OS.

Enough with the bells and whistles. Make a stable OS instead!
Posted by PopcornDave (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Linux is your answer then
I am sure there is atleast 30% bloat in any software.

Don't compare to programs that used 4k to current generation application. Current generation applications do lot more than you probably are willing to give credit for.

Vista or any modern operating system is providing features for the hardware that is available!!

When people wrote software for 4k memory hardware, they did not have

1) Internet
2) Graphics ability

and it was used by less than 1% of the people that are currently using computers.
Posted by Tanjore (322 comments )
Link Flag
Hardware advancements are way ahead of software advancement
Software development is lagging to Hardware developments.

All these new Operating systems are just using what is available out there.

Sometimes people don't write tighter code because it may be difficult understand/dicpher couple of years down the line!!
Posted by Tanjore (322 comments )
Link Flag
Like most consumers...
I won't buy Vista until it comes preinstalled on my next computer.

I don't really care about graphic special effects, but it sounds like it will include other useful features.

Since it hasn't been released yet, it's a bit early to condemn Vista. :-)
Posted by john55440 (1020 comments )
Reply Link Flag
And this is a bad thing?
They are trying to discourage pirating by NOT offering that kind of crap???? ***?!? Personally, I would pay to NOT have that kind of garbage.. thats why I use linux primarily.. nothing pretty about it, it just does what I need it to. And I think a good majority of people who pirate the windows OS might feel similar.
Thats just my thoughts though.
Posted by IcedZ (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Vista vs. OS X requirements?
Why does Vista require high end machines to do its graphics tricks? Why is Windows so much less efficient? Can anyone explain that?

For years Mac OS X has done all kinds of elegent graphics effects reliably on less powerful systems.

Windows is once again 5 years behind, less stable, and a bigger resource hog. Get in gear Redmond!

BTW, I am a Windows guy, but I am considering getting a Mac and having Windows too. My girlfriend has a MacBook with Windows installed and it boots Windows faster than my Alienware 64-bit 4-processor RAID system. My only concern is that Microsofts poor coding will mean the MacBook won't be enough for Vista.
Posted by Nevermark (39 comments )
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I'm buying an Imac next February. Microsoft has made an overtaxed OS.
Posted by paulsecic (298 comments )
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Who needs vista when you have OS X?
Posted by Byronic (95 comments )
Link Flag
Here piggy piggy piggy....
My main reason to have windows is to play games. And, whatever your purpose for having windows on your machine is, you want your application to have most of the bandwidth of your computer. You sure as #$%@& don't want the OS eating it all up.

Someone (Apple, Suse, Redhat....) needs to step up to the plate with an OS that works on all the machines out there that really don't want to upgrade to Vista.
Posted by drfrost (467 comments )
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Hasta La Vista to Vista
If Microsoft would just charge a reasonable amount of money for Windows, they would find a lot more people would be registered users instead of pirating a copy. A brand new copy of Windows XP Professional (Not an upgrade) is $329.00. I'm sure that whatever the "XP Professional" equivalent to Vista will be at least as much if not more. If this sold for no more than $99 and upgrades were $49 or $69, I am sure they would have a lot less piracy issues. That being said, I agree with a few other posts on here, that many people could care less about these extra features, and usually turn them off since they tend to be memory resource hogs anyway. Finally I also think it will be not "if" but "when" this is cracked as well. I think Microsoft is very similar to the RIAA & online music. Drop prices to a reasonable amount & people will buy. Keep the prices high, and piracy will continue. Big industry may not like it, but that is reality. If I find that I need to buy a new graphics card & memory & a windows Vista upgrade, this will certainly be an expensive upgrade. If I need a better processor, then I will definitely wait until I buy a new PC or motherboard to upgrade.
Posted by genxbear (1 comment )
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Help me out here..
How does this differ from the normal activation routine you have to go through anyway? Another barrier to hacks and cracks?
Posted by TigerG (22 comments )
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