Windows 7 is less of a resource-hog than Vista

Microsoft's Windows 7 OS should be less of a resource hog than Vista, based on system requirements published Wednesday.

Good news: the next version of Microsoft's Windows OS appears to be less of a resource hog than Windows Vista.

Microsoft announced Wednesday that a beta version of Windows 7 will be available for the general public to download and try out on Friday. At the same time, it provided a list of the minimum system requirements it recommends for people who run the beta.

They call for a 1GHz processor (32- or 64-bit), 1GB of main memory, 16GB of available disk space, support for DX9 graphics with 128MB of memory (for the Aero interface), and a DVD-R/W drive.

Those are very similar to the recommended requirements for Windows Vista -- even though PC hardware will have advanced by as much as three years by the time the finished version of Windows 7 ships.

Microsoft noted that the Windows 7 requirements are for the beta version only and subject to change. But it has also said the beta is "feature complete," suggesting the requirements will not increase by much if the beta tests go smoothly.

Microsoft had indicated previously that one of its design goals for Windows 7 is to give it the same system requirements as for Vista.

When Vista shipped it was seen as too resource hungry for the systems some customers were trying to run it on, resulting in sluggish performance. Indeed, Microsoft had to extend the life of Windows XP for small netbook computers because system makers said Vista would barely run on those devices at all.

Microsoft has now learned its lesson for Windows 7.

"We are working very hard to provide comparable capabilities from a hardware consumption perspective -- memory and processor -- to what you saw in Windows Vista, and I think we may even be able to do a little bit better," said Bill Veghte, Microsoft's senior vice president in charge of Windows, in an interview at the Consumer Electronics Show Wednesday.

"I don't want to make commitments on where we'll be at RTM (release to manufacturing, when the OS is complete), but at beta right now we look very comparable to the hardware requirements that Windows Vista had when it came out, and the hardware has moved on. I am very optimistic," he said.

Windows 7 will also be able to run on netbooks, he said.

"Doing a great job in Windows 7 around that class of devices is important and we're committed to providing support for them," Veghte said.

Microsoft's official target for the completed version of Windows 7 is early next year, although Veghte suggested the company would release the OS earlier than that if the beta tests go very smoothly.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Windows 7

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2018

With determination and drive, you achieve outstanding performance! Get Bitdefender Total Security 2018 Now!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?