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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Microsoft releases final Windows 7 system requirements

When Microsoft released the Beta of Windows 7 in January, it released a set of recommended system requirements for the Beta (which its officials noted were subject to change). On April 30, concurrent with the beginning of the delivery of the Release Candidate, Microsoft released the final system requirements for Windows 7.
Here are the minimum Windows 7 requirements Microsoft offered in Januarywhen it released the Beta:
1GHz processor (32- or 64-bit)
1GB of RAM 16 GB of available disk space
Support for DirectX 9 graphics with 128MB of memory (for the Aero interface)

Here are the minimum Windows 7 system requirements Microsoft released on April 30 when it made available the Release Candidate to MSDN and TechNet testers:
1 GHz processor (32- or 64-bit)
1 GB of RAM (32-bit);
2 GB of RAM (64-bit) 16 GB of available disk space (32-bit);
20 GB of avaiable disk space (64-bit) DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

Note: If you are planning to run Windows XP Mode along with Windows 7, Microsoft is recommending a PC with a minimum of 2GB of memory and 15 GB of additional disk space.

“In addition, Windows Virtual PC requires a PC with Intel-VT or AMD-V enabled in the CPU, as it takes advantage of the latest advancements in hardware virtualization,” according to company officials. I asked whether Microsoft had different requirements for the different SKUs of Windows 7 that it is planning to release and was told (via a spokesperson): “The system requirements are final and not SKU-specific.”

If you’re curious how these final Windows 7 requirements compare to Vista’s requirements, they aren’t all that different.

Here are the final Vista system requirements:
1 GHz processor (32- or 64-bit) 512 MB of RAM (for Home Basic);
1 GB of RAM for all other versions 15 GB of available disk space Support for DirectX 9 graphics and 32 MB of graphics memory (for Home Basic);
128 MB of graphics memory plus WDDM support for all other versions Microsoft also announced on April 30 that it is readying a beta of a new Windows Upgrade Advisor (WUA) designed to support Windows 7.

A spokesperson provided the following information: “Windows Upgrade Advisor will check any devices that are connected to the PC (with the appropriate driver installed) at the time of the scan. WUA will identify any known potential compatibility issues and will communicate this in the report. Our beta tester feedback has been critical in ensuring Windows 7 is a quality OS and we hope our testers can continue to partner with us on testing this software to ensure the best end-user experience.” (I’ve asked Microsoft when it will release the new WUA beta. No word back yet.)

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