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Windows Operating Systems Upgrades

Lost Opportunity? Windows 10 Has the Same Minimum PC Requirements As Vista 554

MojoKid writes Buried in the details of Microsoft's technical preview for Windows 10 is a bit of a footnote concerning the operating system's requirements. Windows 10 will have exactly the same requirements as Windows 8.1, which had the same requirements as Windows 8, which stuck to Windows 7 specs, which was the same as Windows Vista. At this point, it's something we take for granted with future Windows release. As the years roll by, you can't help wondering what we're actually giving up in exchange for holding the minimum system spec at a single-core 1GHz, 32-bit chip with just 1GB of RAM. The average smartphone is more powerful than this these days. For decades, the standard argument has been that Microsoft had to continue supporting ancient operating systems and old configurations, ignoring the fact that the company did its most cutting-edge work when it was willing to kill off its previous products in fairly short order. what would Windows look like if Microsoft at least mandated a dual-core product? What if DX10 — a feature set that virtually every video card today supports, according to Valve's Steam Hardware Survey, became the minimum standard, at least on the x86 side of the equation? How much better might the final product be if Microsoft put less effort into validating ancient hardware and kicked those specs upwards, just a notch or two? If Microsoft did raise the specs a notch or two with each release, I think there'd be some justified complaints about failing to leave well enough alone, at least on the low end.
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Lost Opportunity? Windows 10 Has the Same Minimum PC Requirements As Vista

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  • forgettiing (Score:5, Informative)

    by present_arms ( 848116 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @01:47PM (#48048495) Homepage

    As the years roll by, you can't help wondering what we're actually giving up in exchange for holding the minimum system spec at a single-core 1GHz, 32-bit chip with just 1GB of RAM. The average smartphone is more powerful than this these days

    They're forgetting that Vista ran like shite on those specs :) and NO smartphones are not more powerful, although they are close to atoms at similar speeds now.

    • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
      Win8 functions quite a bit better than Vista on low memory. Not only does it use less memory by nearly 20%-30% to get a usable desktop, but it's much smarter about paging.
  • by the_l3pr3chaun ( 3580913 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @01:48PM (#48048501)
    I have worked IT in Banking (twice) and Healthcare (once), in both neither company wanted to spend money on a desktop pc. They wanted the cheapest they could get. Businesses buy Windows. It is hopelessly annoying, but a fact of life.
  • Buy a Mac (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ron024 ( 1477663 )
    If you want the PC that you've been using for the past 5 years that works perfectly well to stop being able to run the latest version of its OS well then it would be a Mac.
    • Or just any *nix. I've got some machines that are well passed that point that are still happy running recent versions of various Linux distros. They're obviously not the workhorses they once were, but they're still capable of running the latest versions of the OS (granted that doesn't include all of the bells and whistles that have been tacked on to the UI) and the only real reason to consider them obsolete is that over time it would be cheaper to replace them with a single machine running multiple VMs sim
    • by creimer ( 824291 )
      My 1st-generation MacBook (2006) ran fine until this summer when the CPU fan gave up the ghost for a second time. I didn't bother to take it to the Apple Store for repair since some applications (*cough* Chrome *cough*) are no longer being updated because CPU is only 32-bit. Since I'm getting back into programming, I need a 64-bit Mac to run the latest and greatest.
      • by nogginthenog ( 582552 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @02:07PM (#48048761)
        Why don't you get it fixed and install Windows 10 :-)
        • by creimer ( 824291 )
          Let's do the math. Spend $130 to get the CPU fan replaced at the Apple Store (which was what it cost two years ago), and another $130 for a Windows 10 CD. That's $230. For about $300, I could get a used Mac [macsales.com] that could run the current version of Mac OS X. I think the answer is obvious.
    • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @02:32PM (#48049067) Journal

      Somebody forgot to tell my Mac that, because more than six years after purchase it's still running the latest OS. I just ran an update this morning, in fact. I think we spent $35 on an upgrade once.

  • by Pikoro ( 844299 ) <initNO@SPAMinit.sh> on Thursday October 02, 2014 @01:48PM (#48048515) Homepage Journal

    I think the reason the specs aren't increasing much is because the pace of hardware improvements isn't moving as fast as it used to. Nowadays, you pick up an i7 and 16Gb of RAM, your favorite video card, toss an SSD in there and you've basically hit the limit.

    All we're getting these days is more cores as the whole gigahertz wars ended 10 years ago.

    • by nucrash ( 549705 )

      Well, we are seeing some 4~5 GHz desktop systems now, but overall, you are pretty much spot on. There are some differences though. Now a GHz doesn't mean nearly as much because the newer and more complex instruction sets are actually able to accomplish more per tic.

      • by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @02:13PM (#48048837)

        Well, you can't compare hz between differnt families of chips just like you can't compare RPM between a motorcycle and dump truck to definitely talk about power output.... but it definitely means a lot.

        If they could crank CPUs up to 100 Ghz or 1 teraherz, they would because it's easy gains. In F1 race cars they use plastic pistons just to be able to rev it over 18,000 rpm (more than a standard motorcycle).

        That's why overclocking still exists. Hz won't mean anything if they ever manage to pull of clockless chips. Considering how much circuitry/transistors are dedicated to timing in a modern CPU, that would be a huge gain. But AFAIK, it's still a pipedream.

    • by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @02:04PM (#48048713)

      The main reason MS is holding on to old hardware is many businesses still have older hardware. They dread, perhaps unreasonably, any loss to linux or other competitors on this older hardware. We've seen in the past that Micorsoft will do anything to keep Linux from getting a foothold.

    • by ADRA ( 37398 )

      Or more relavantly, you're not utilizing any more performance out of your computer to improve your productivity (or enjoyment factor) and you are right now. Much of this is the shifting of complexity into online services. If you take away the internet, your computer becomes significantly worse than it was. Google Maps pretty much killed every desktop mapping software. Desktop mapping software could have been wasting those countless cycles running them, but instead Google does the heavy lifting for the benef

    • by Nethemas the Great ( 909900 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @02:26PM (#48048979)

      Minimum requirements are perceived by many as a measure of efficiency. If Microsoft were to increase the minimum specs, everyone would be whining about how bloated Windows is. The operating system should NOT be a major consumer of a system's resources. A system's resources should be maximally available to conserve battery power (on mobile platforms) and for running software in general. For the Linux crowd, being able to run on ancient crap is a badge of honor.

      Normally I'm not in the habit of praising Microsoft. However, the fact that they have been able to expand the capabilities of their OS as much as they have from where Vista was and still hold the line of system requirements is commendable. It certainly doesn't help drive new PC sales, but it's an impressive credit to their development teams.

      • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @03:23PM (#48049609) Journal

        Normally I'm not in the habit of praising Microsoft. However, the fact that they have been able to expand the capabilities of their OS as much as they have from where Vista was and still hold the line of system requirements is commendable. It certainly doesn't help drive new PC sales, but it's an impressive credit to their development teams.

        If you think about it, it's actually the inevitable consequence of trying (successfully) to shoehorn Windows onto ARM tablets and phones. Now that both the kernel and the huge chunk of userspace are identical on all three, this means it had to be optimized a lot for both perf and size. But while those optimizations were a necessity for tablets and especially phones, the desktop also benefits, and the "freeze" of the minimum specs is the user-visible consequence.

        (in practice, Win7 actually ran better than Vista on those minimal specs, and Win8.1 runs better still - again, a direct consequence of moving further towards the "one OS" goal)

    • I think the reason the specs aren't increasing much is because the pace of hardware improvements isn't moving as fast as it used to. Nowadays, you pick up an i7 and 16Gb of RAM, your favorite video card, toss an SSD in there and you've basically hit the limit.

      All we're getting these days is more cores as the whole gigahertz wars ended 10 years ago.

      Actually, the performance difference between an i3 and an i7 is negligible.
      http://www.tomshardware.com/re... [tomshardware.com]

      You get 80% of the performance of a $570 i7 if you buy a $125 i3. For $250 you could get a dual processor i3 that was faster than an i7

    • by saleenS281 ( 859657 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @03:07PM (#48049449) Homepage
      I've been saying this for years. All the idiots decrying "PC's are dead! Tablets are replacing them!". No, tablets aren't replacing PCs. Most people just have a PC that's fast enough for their needs and don't need to buy a new one because it's "slow". As a gamer, and a "geek", I have a box that's probably pushing 5 years old, and outside of adding an SSD, there's been no need to upgrade anything. I could probably stand to grab a new video card (gtx460's in SLI), but outside of that, it's fast enough for everything I do.
  • by TsuruchiBrian ( 2731979 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @01:48PM (#48048517)
    Windows is an operating system. It's job is to allow other applications to be executed simultaneously. All of the resources windows consumes are resources denied to other applications. I'm not saying that we need to be stingy like in the bad old days when programmers where more concerned about saving clock cycles than writing scalable, maintainable, and reusable code. But now that we are passed all that, there is no sense in wasting cycles frivolously. Let the applications do that.
    • I agree. I think with any system, Windows, Mac, or Linux, the OS should be out the way to let me use 16 Gb for my raster/vector art, word processing, and/or movie editing software. If it looks pretty, even better. Although Windows 8.x and 10 look too damn flat for me. You need all that to run Firefox anyway.

    • Exactly, I don't want an OS that's a resource hog. As for smartphones? They can't keep running at top speed for long before getting heat throttled, or the battery dying. It's apples and oranges. And they still have moments of slowdown and stuttering with all that power. I'd rather have a smooth experience where the OS stays out of the way.
    • For some areas in the minimum spec, that is certainly true (EX: RAM), but for compute resources, that is not necessarily the case. You could easily raise the hardware requirements by requiring more functionality out of the hardware instead increasing utilization. Some good examples of this would be DirectX 11 support on your GPU and SSE4 for x86 and NEON for ARM. Requiring DirectX 11 could conceivably reduce the memory required by the window manager by using tessellation for some details instead of stori
    • Exactly. I read the summary and immediately thought "damned if you do, damned if you don't". If they had done a bunch of fancy stuff that made the minimum specs need to be higher, then people would have complained that they were just trying to drive new computer sales. The leave the minimum specs the same, and people complain they are catering to old hardware. An operating system should take up a few resources as possible. The fact that there were able to add so much (stuff like virutal desktops (yes, i k
      • The fact that there were able to add so much (stuff like virutal desktops (yes, i know Linux has had it for over a decade)) without raising the minimum requirements shows that they actually care about performance and are doing a good job.

        You've got to be kidding me. Virtual desktops require not much more than splitting the data structure that holds the list of windows into N pieces (for N desktops), an integer to keep track of which one you're on, and a couple of event handlers to switch between them. If th

  • by Cabriel ( 803429 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @01:48PM (#48048521)

    Since when is having a light-weight OS a bad thing? Haven't people been harping on MS enough for having bloated OSes?

    Sure, make allowances for multiple-core and multiple CPUs on the not-so-low end, but making the minimum requirement a single CPU was definitely smart on their end.

    • by Ghostworks ( 991012 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @02:00PM (#48048657)

      I'm curious what kind of cutting edge file management, load balancing, and slide-show-presenting needs are such a challenge that the OS needs to be above 1 GB. It doesn't take that much effort to support people who just want to scroll through thumbnails of their vacation photos. If you have an interesting program -- a 3D video game, a compiler, a simulator -- it will have its own minimum system requirements. And like those programs that have lower requirements, the OS generally scales up (to a point) in capability with better specs.

    • Since when is having a light-weight OS a bad thing? Haven't people been harping on MS enough for having bloated OSes?

      Sure, make allowances for multiple-core and multiple CPUs on the not-so-low end, but making the minimum requirement a single CPU was definitely smart on their end.

      Having a light weight OS isn't a bad thing, but just as bloat is bad, so is keeping it small for the sake of keeping it small. If we're sacrificing a feature rich OS for no other reason than to support hardware from 10+ years ago, then something needs to change. Computers are dirt cheap these days, so there's very little excuse to not upgrade if it's so much of an issue for you that you're demanding MS design it's OS around your 10 year old computer.

    • This is the way I see it as well. We are talking about the Operating System here. This is not a 3D Renderer, a CAD Program, a game, or even a spreadsheet or document editor. It merely facilitates the running of actual programs. With each successive release, the footprint should be getting smaller as the engineers figure out how to do the job that the OS needs to do in a smaller space with fewer resources and keeping out of the way of the actual programs that are being used to get work done.
  • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday October 02, 2014 @01:50PM (#48048533) Homepage

    Before we go any further, I think it'd be good to provide an example of what feature you believe Microsoft has failed to implement in order to keep the requirements low. I can't think of what that would be. Because failing the need to meet some specific requirement, I don't know why system requirements should need to keep going up, especially when you consider that we use our desktop/laptop computers for the same things as we did 10 years ago. Web browsing, word processing, spreadsheets. For games, you can support weaker/older systems and just scale the graphics down.

    So unless there's a specific feature that would suck up resources, I'd actually kind of expect that an OS system requirements might go down. As code continues to be optimized, you'd get better performance on the same hardware. Of course, there's a limit to that. But why complain that the OS isn't an ever-bloating resource hog?

  • by mlw4428 ( 1029576 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @01:50PM (#48048537)
    ThemMinimum specs for the OS doesn't hold anything back. 64-bit builds exist and "fancy" features of the UI can become disabled if certain hardware isn't available. Furthermore I'd say it points to some level of efficiency in that the OS can run on a low end system. Arguments can be made either way about whether the sheer slowness would be totally a fault of Windows or of the software you're running.
  • by Spliffster ( 755587 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @01:52PM (#48048559) Homepage Journal

    I am working for a company with 6000+ desktops. I do not understand why our client engineering is rolling out faster hardware every year. 95% of all office workers need MS office, a browser and email. Most of the home users just need a browser these days. Those core i7 are just idling around heating office space.

    I have now started rolling out 200 dollar desktop hardware (zotac). Which could really become a problem for microsoft. The windows licence price tag looks really expensive with these hardware prices.

    Office problems are solved, we do not need faster hardware. And microsoft is manly making money from, *drumbeat*, office workers.

    Best
    -S

  • You didn't mention Windows XP.

    A reason why so many computers are still running Windows XP is that they can't be upgraded. Microsoft added the requirement that the CPU must support NX which many of the old CPUs running Windows XP do not support.

    • by afidel ( 530433 )

      Microsoft added the requirement that the CPU must support NX which many of the old CPUs running Windows XP do not support.

      Which processors? AFAIK every Intel processor since Prescott (launched 2004, 10 years ago!) has had XD/NX, even the first generation Atom had NX.

  • by Rakarra ( 112805 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @01:53PM (#48048577)

    You're not really "giving up" anything. You don't turn on the computer to play Operating System. You do it to run applications. So Windows requires a low overhead? Well that's great, an operating system SHOULD have a low overhead because it's supposed to get out of the way, not use resources. Your computer is a zero-sum game, memory and CPU that is taken by the OS is usually unavailable to your apps, the things that are actually important (barring, of course, apps that don't multi-thread and can only use part of the CPU, etc).

    I suppose we have this fantasy of rotating windows, whiz-bang effects, SFX on the window borders on the desktop.. what do you really get from that? Anything beyond saying "oh that's cool" when you see a demo on the store shelf or a flashy yet impractical interface on a TV show? I know what I got from that -- an annoyance with Gnome 3, GPU memory reserved by the f*%^ing interface, and a lot of time spent figuring out how to turn that nonsense off (thank God Gnome's extensions make that easier to do that now than it was a few years ago!).

    Maybe a simpler interface is better. Maybe an interface that doesn't try to do too much visually results in a more USABLE experience. More bells and whistles are not better.

  • My Mac is no longer supported (hasn't been for a couple of releases) by OS-X because the CPU doesn't do 64-bits. It's not even 10 years old yet, and it isn't supported by OS-X.

    .
    It was the first Apple computer I bought. It will be the last Apple computer I ever buy.

    • by creimer ( 824291 )

      It was the first Apple computer I bought. It will be the last Apple computer I ever buy.

      That's a stupid attitude. I have first-generation Black MacBook (2006) with a 32-bit CPU that the Apple Store repaired in 2012 for a broken CPU fan. Most PCs are obsolete the day after the warrantry expires, and no manufactuer would repair an out-of-warrantry PC. The fan went out again on my MacBook this summer. Since the CPU is 32-bit, and Google is no longer supporting the 32-bit version of Chrome, it's time for me to get a newer Mac.

    • by Carewolf ( 581105 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @02:39PM (#48049157) Homepage

      My Mac is no longer supported (hasn't been for a couple of releases) by OS-X because the CPU doesn't do 64-bits. It's not even 10 years old yet, and it isn't supported by OS-X.

      .

      It was the first Apple computer I bought. It will be the last Apple computer I ever buy.

      Apple is a hardware seller. They make money on leaving old hardware behind in their software. Microsoft does not make money on making hardware obsolete, on the contrary, as long as it doesn't take them too long to support something, they make MORE money on supporting old hardware.

  • by ADRA ( 37398 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @01:56PM (#48048619)

    There's no reason why an OS needs to be any larger than it is. Let the market add value to a cornerstone product. There's no reason that the Linux kernel should ever take up a gig of ram because, hey lets throw more boiler plate into it.

    Microsoft has one job with Windows, and that's to make the best application shell possible for almost every possible desktop need. I think they've done a pretty good job at it, though they've fucked their UI core so badly time and time again, it feels like they're just re-arranging chairs to justify the upgrade cost.

  • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @01:56PM (#48048621)

    Have you not seen the HP Steam 7 or the Lumia 620? Both run Windows 8 and both have specs at or below the minimum for the desktop OS. There are also plenty of businesses that have pushed their PC refresh cycle out to 5-7 years so if you want them to upgrade you have to keep the minimum at what a typical business would have bought 5+ years ago.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I think it is sad we live in a world where people still aren't shocked by the Vista requirements and want them to be higher. WTF is wrong with the lot of you?

  • Missing the point (Score:4, Insightful)

    by prisoner-of-enigma ( 535770 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @02:00PM (#48048663) Homepage

    I think this minimum spec idea misses the point. We're talking about an operating system, not an application. The OS should provide a platform (and, to a certain extent, services) upon which users will run the applications that actually get things done. The OS shouldn't have huge minimum specs because it's supposed to be relatively unobtrusive. When we start trying to load the OS down with all kinds of things that ought to be done with apps, we end up with a bloated mess, a one-size-fits-none concept that inconveniences everyone equally. I'd much rather they kept the specs low and pared some of the fluff from the OS instead.

  • What we have gained is smaller and smaller computing devices with more and more energy efficiency which allows us to go mobile and to also reduce costs on cloud infrastructure. Maybe it forced a step backwards in terms of application software compared to high powered desktops... but being able to put what would have been a fully spec'd computer less than a decade ago in your pocket and have it run for a day on batteries is something to find amazing and should not be lamented.

    I'd say if we are looking at

    • by tepples ( 727027 )
      Until tablet operating systems implement window management more sophisticated than the MS-DOS-era "all maximized all the time" model, anything where you're writing one document while referring to another document is a desktop OS workload.
  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @02:02PM (#48048687)

    Just to run the OS requires 1GB of ram? ...and I'm meant to be impressed with how "small" this is?

  • by pushing-robot ( 1037830 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @02:05PM (#48048717)

    Keeping software requirements low is a good thing, and there isn't really any justification for making a basic desktop OS require good hardware if all people want to do is the same stuff they were doing ten years ago. If they wanted to weed out underpowered PCs, they should mandate an improved version of the Windows Experience Index be advertised alongside PCs with simple numbers for office and gaming performance, and maybe energy efficiency.

    On the other hand, it's long past time to put 32 bit out to pasture, at least on the desktop. Remember, this OS will probably still be supported in the mid-2020s. I'm not going to want to maintain a 32 bit legacy codebase when PCs are coming with 256GB of ram standard.

    • On the other hand, it's long past time to put 32 bit out to pasture, at least on the desktop.

      After the RT debacle, Microsoft wants to ship the same operating system on the desktop and the laptop. And there are still plenty of laptops that come with less than 4 GB of RAM, such as the ASUS Transformer Book.

      I'm not going to want to maintain a 32 bit legacy codebase when PCs are coming with 256GB of ram standard.

      Just be glad Microsoft isn't Nintendo, which still has to maintain a runtime environment for its 8-bit codebase on its current consoles.

    • by afidel ( 530433 )

      Eh, one of the biggest reasons they're keeping 32bit around is there are business customers that need the SysWOW-16 subsystem for stupid WISE installers that use 16bit code (ugh), also for low end tablets the remaining flash memory for 32bit is a bit more palatable.

  • Laughable submission (Score:4, Informative)

    by dreamchaser ( 49529 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @02:05PM (#48048731) Homepage Journal

    The reason the specs have not changed is because CPUs and systems in general have been capable of doing most common tasks for at least 10 years. Are the use cases for extreme power? Yes. The submitter, however, makes it sound like it's a bad thing to be able to run on a wide range of hardware, including older slower machines. Are the minimum spec machines going to be able to run Crysis? Nope. Will they run Outlook, Work, and a browser? Yep. This is a non-story.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gstoddart ( 321705 )

      I completely agree most people haven't needed a faster CPU in years, unless they're in the hard-core gamer category or doing serious computational work.

      Memory, on the other hand, is something you've steadily needed more of over time.

      Me, I'm betting with 1GB of RAM on a modern Windows version, and you'll already be using swap space before it's even done booting.

      And then it's going to just be slow from there.

      With "Outlook, Work, and a browser", it's going to be thrashing like mad.

      Really, "able to run on a wid

  • The complaints have always been that MS caters too much to old software and that it continually requires more powerful hardware just to run the OS.

    They are starting to buck this hardware trend at the 1 GiB barrier (for the OS!). They finally dropped support for some old, buggy 16-bit DOS and Windows programs that third party developers wrote by bypassing any documented API, too. Most of the software ever written for Windows still runs on Windows, though.

    If you want to see what you're asking for, take a look

  • My first 64 bit chip was the Athlon64 back in 2003 -- over a decade ago. If you're a developer in a compiled language, you presently either must (a) make a 32 bit version and ship it for both or (b) make separate versions and make yourself a support/testing nightmare. No surprise -- most developers opt for (a).

    ...but in a way, that makes using x64 Windows moot. Since there's no software for it (other than the OS itself a web browser or two), why switch? From extra registers, to more available m

  • I decided to explore the world of Apple on the cheap. I got a used Mac for low $$ to see what we could do with it. It went in the dumpster in short order because it could NOT be upgraded enough to even work on a modern web site.
  • It was less than 2 years ago that the Linux kernel dropped official support for the 80386 chip in the "current" kernel. It's successor, the 80486, has been around since 1989.

    Several versions of the Linux kernel that still support the 386 are still officially supported. See http://www.kernel.org/ [kernel.org] for details.

  • Has the OP ever tried to run Windows on a minimum-spec'd system? Even XP on a system with those specs frequently goes into pauses long enough to make the operator (me) ask, "did it crash, or what?"

    To paraphrase what others have posted, the operating system is the means, not the end. It should be small and lightweight. And it should bloody well not require beefier hardware than necessary. I've found that even generously spec'd systems still bog down under Windows as unknown processes kick off to do who k

  • by Lawrence_Bird ( 67278 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @02:13PM (#48048857) Homepage

    Slackware Linux doesn't require an extremely powerful system to run (though having one is quite nice :). It will run on systems as far back as the 486. Below is a list of minimum system requirements needed to install and run Slackware.

            486 processor
            64MB RAM (1GB+ suggested)
            About 5GB+ of hard disk space for a full install
            CD or DVD drive (if not bootable, then a bootable USB flash stick or PXE server/network card)

    Debian:

      A Pentium 4, 1GHz system is the minimum recommended for a desktop system.

    Table 3.2. Recommended Minimum System Requirements
    Install Type RAM (minimal) RAM (recommended) Hard Drive
    No desktop 64 megabytes 256 megabytes 1 gigabyte
    With Desktop 128 megabytes 512 megabytes 5 gigabytes

    Ubuntu Desktop Edition

            700 MHz processor (about Intel Celeron or better)
            512 MiB RAM (system memory)
            5 GB of hard-drive space (or USB stick, memory card or external drive but see LiveCD for an alternative approach)
            VGA capable of 1024x768 screen resolution
            Either a CD/DVD drive or a USB port for the installer media

            Internet access is helpful

    Linux Mint 16

    System requirements:

            x86 processor (Linux Mint 64-bit requires a 64-bit processor. Linux Mint 32-bit works on both 32-bit and 64-bit processors).
            512 MB RAM (1GB recommended for a comfortable usage).
            5 GB of disk space
            Graphics card capable of 800×600 resolution
            CD/DVD drive or USB port

  • As the years roll by, you can't help wondering what we're actually giving up in exchange for holding the minimum system spec at a single-core 1GHz, 32-bit chip with just 1GB of RAM. The average smartphone is more powerful than this these days.

    Considering Microsoft's goal is to unite all their operating systems and have the same system running on all platforms this means they WANT to run windows on smartphones. So keeping the systems requirements less than the average smartphone would be their intent if they

  • It's like the homebuilt PC market (which still sort of exists), such as Cube where the 'basic' model is little more than a motherboard into which you have buy all the extras that make it work, like RAM or non volitile SSD. It's like the new batch of $99 tablets purported to do 'everything' except of course for anything. It's like ordering a new Levovo Yoga and you discover that getting enough SSD to make it practical doubles the price.

    The funny thing is that apps are so bloated and so awful that even gettin

  • I don't know you tell me what difference would mandating two cores or DX10 make? What is there to be gained?

  • Honestly, the minimal required configuration is more to appease the marketing department and industrial partners than any sort of practically useful information.

    Anyone who has attempted to use Windows Vista/7/8.x on anything with less than 4GB of RAM knows that it is completely unusable. It might run in 1GB, but there is nothing left for any applications. Even 4GB is barely enough for some basic work. For any serious use one needs at least 8GB or more and a modern CPU - likely an i3 or i5 at least.

    The other

  • by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @02:42PM (#48049197) Journal

    I see two problems with upping the system requirements for a new version of the OS.

    1) (and probably most important) The "low end" may operate on slim margins, but it does sell licenses and increase penetration. I don't think Microsoft can afford to ignore this market.

    2) The OS is not an application! It runs applications. For the OS to be light weight with respect to system resources is a GOOD thing, as it allows more resources to be available for applications. I'd much rather have my apps run faster than see the desktop do flashy stuff or the OS run a bunch of heavy weight services just in case I might need them someday.

  • by Yunzil ( 181064 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @02:47PM (#48049245) Homepage

    Someone on Slashdot is actually complaining that Windows runs well on older hardware? We're through the looking glass here, people.

  • by thetoadwarrior ( 1268702 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @03:20PM (#48049571) Homepage
    In case you haven't noticed processors aren't getting any faster and haven't been for ages. Why would you want Windows using even more of the processor rather than letting applications use the rest?

    And because of that there are still a bunch of low-end PCs being sold and people simply not upgrading because really there's no point. Microsoft upping the requirements would just cut down their market. There are too many options for them to bully people like they used to do.
  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @03:31PM (#48049703) Journal

    I'm not sure exactly what we're giving up by maintaining minimum specs. Is there some rule by which raising the minimum specs improves performance on more powerful machines? Or that lower minimum specs means the OS won't run as well on the latest hardware?

    I can run Ubuntu on an old 486. Does that mean it can't scale up to my i7, or that it's somehow less powerful than if they set a higher minimum?

    Or is this a reaction to the fact that on the rare occasions that Mac OS has major update they always raise the minimum specs? Maybe the fact that Microsoft doesn't sell the system AND the OS together means they don't have an incentive to get us to dump our hardware when it gets to be four years old.

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