Vista Premium notebooks to require hybrid storage

TG Daily has received word straight from Microsoft that hybrid hard drives will become a requirement for upcoming "Windows Vista Premium Ready" notebooks. The site quotes Microsoft Windows Client Performance Program Manager Matt Ayres as saying notebook PCs will need hybrid storage to obtain Vista Premium Ready certification starting from June 1, 2007. Currently, Microsoft's listed requirements for Vista Premium Ready PCs include a 1 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, a Shader Model 2.0-compliant graphics processor with 128 MB of video RAM, and a 40 GB hard drive with 15 GB of free space. There's no mention of hybrid storage on the requirements page yet.

Hybrid hard drives promise to introduce quicker boot times, greater performance, and increased battery life by using flash memory in conjunction with traditional storage platters and mechanical heads. Seagate and Samsung have already announced 2.5" hybrid drives with 5,400 RPM spindle speeds and up to 256 MB of flash memory. Samsung gives a January 2007 ship date for its hybrid drives, while Seagate quotes a more vague "first half of calendar 2007" time frame. According to TG Daily, Microsoft is working to help introduce other hard drive manufacturers to potential flash memory partners in order to speed up adoption of the hybrid standard.

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