Vista Premium requirements to steepen by June '07
Earlier today, we learned that Windows Vista Premium Ready notebooks
will begin requiring hybrid hard
drives after a change in the Premium Ready specification next June.
Now, DailyTech reports that the specification for all Vista Premium
Ready PCs will see a number of other
extensions come June 1, 2007.
Must have H.264 hardware decoding. Must have HDCP. Must support
multi-monitor support. Must have HD audio. Must have HD audio jack
presence detection. Must have Serial ATA 2.5. Must have minimum of 50MB
NV cache on hybrid HD's with at least 8MB/sec write 16MB/sec read (for
mobile only). Must support booting from USB flash drives. Must have
Windows Vista Green Button on all remotes. Must have Green Driver
Quality Rating (DQR)—Green score of 7 to 9; Yellow score of 4 to
6; Red score of 1 to 3.
These specs will presumably be added to Microsoft's current
and much tamer
Vista Premium Ready requirements, which include a 1
GHz processor, 1 GB of system RAM, and a Shader Model 2.0 graphics
processor. It's interesting to see Microsoft planning to push such new
technologies as requirements for high-end systems next year—the
first hybrid hard drives aren't expected until January 2007, for
instance, and HDCP support is only just
beginning to show up
in NVIDIA's desktop graphics cards.
Also interesting is the "Green Driver Quality Rating" requirement. According to DailyTech, Vista users will be able to vote on the quality of hardware drivers and contribute
to a global rating for each driver. A "Green" rating of 7 to 9 will be
required to pass Vista Premium Ready certification, and hardware
manufacturers whose drivers fall below that range will have to provide
updates to users within 90 days. Like DailyTech points out, it's not
clear how this policy will be enforced, but it certainly sounds like a
good idea on paper.