Netbooks and nettops typically run Windows XP or Linux, but you may soon see some of them toting Windows Vista Home Premium. Nvidia has announced that its Ion platform for Intel Atom processors has earned Microsoft's Certified for Windows Vista badge of approval.
To certify Ion, Nvidia claims Microsoft tested the platform to make sure it could provide the following
Silky smooth 1080p high definition video including Blu-ray movies Exciting video game play with support for Microsoft's DirectX 10 API Support for premium Windows Vista features including Aero Glass and Flip3D GPU acceleration for faster photo editing and video transcoding
As we saw in our review of the Ion reference design, Nvidia's platform does indeed support smooth 1080p video playback, and it can even run reasonably recent games—even if a single-core Atom processor proves too much of a bottleneck for certain titles. We also had trouble with 1080i video, but that apparently didn't throw a wrench in Microsoft's certification process.
Nvidia says it's "working with Microsoft, PC manufacturers, software developers, and Windows ecosystem partners" to have Ion-based systems out in the marketplace by the summer. The Ion platform should hit netbooks and nettops priced as low as $299, the graphics company adds.