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Thread: Windows MCE - Vista edition

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    HEXUS webmaster Steve's Avatar
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    Windows MCE - Vista edition

    Our reporters in CES got some snaps of Vista MCE in action.
    The first thing to note about what we saw isn't the OS itself but the screen on which it was being shown - she's a big one. Look to the top right of the screen surround on any of our pictures and you'll see that the display carries the HDMI logo. This shows that the screen connects using the new High-Definition Multimedia Interface. HDMI carries not only video signals but audio, too, making it a more universal means of digitally connecting the entire media center. There is, though, a form of digital rights management (DRM) developed especially for HDMI to control what can be done with the data traversing the interface.
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    Last edited by Bob Crabtree; 10-01-2006 at 02:39 PM.
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    Does anyone know what the minimum specs will be to run Vista

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    HEXUS webmaster Steve's Avatar
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    I'm hoping not this:

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    mutantbass head Lee H's Avatar
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    That looks great.

    Steve - that might actually be spec'ed like that so the system could show HDTV as the USA are going mental over HDTV at the moment and watching these on a system is quite CPU intensive.

    The last thing Microsoft want is a system on display showing of Vista MCE edition and then crashing or even BSOD'ing due to the lack of power

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    My view is that dual-core is close to being a must with Vista MCE - and certainly in the USA or any other locality where you'll be wanting to punt HD footage around - simply to ensure that everything runs smooooooothly, whether or not MS says it's an absolutely necessity.

    Okay, that might seem like a big issue today - certainly for those who don't already own dual-core PCs - but will it still be one when Vista MCE is launched?

    Well, clearly, we're not all going to go dual-core immediately if it turns out that Vista really requires it - ie we're not going to go to Vista until we've moved to dual-core unless we're happy to live with sub-optimal performance.

    But how much more affordable will dual-core CPUs become between now and launch time?

    Seems to me that virtually everything that the big companies are saying about the way forward for Windows PCs involves dual-core - be it MS, Intel, AMD, ATI, NVIDIA or anyone else doing the talking.

    So, I figure (and am hoping and expecting) that dual-core CPUs will be selling in far larger volumes by then and, thus, be selling for a lot less.

    Bob
    Last edited by Bob Crabtree; 10-01-2006 at 02:49 PM.

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    Xcelsion... In Disguise. Xaneden's Avatar
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    Odd, I thought the media centre would be integrated into the Home Premium edition and not an indepent release like it was with XP?
    New Sig on the Way...

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    Ah, Mrs. Peel! mike_w's Avatar
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    You mean there's another version of Vista? So far, I count:

    -Start Edition
    -Home Basic
    -Home Basic N
    -Home Premium
    -Ultimate Edition
    -Professional Edition
    -Professional Edition N
    -Small Business Edition
    -Enterprise Edition
    -MCE

    So that's... 10? Plus the 64-bit versions make 19?
    "Well, there was your Uncle Tiberius who died wrapped in cabbage leaves but we assumed that was a freak accident."

  8. #8
    Mike Fishcake
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    Is it really necessary for all CPUs to go dual core? I mean, Celeron PCs are selling shedloads, a lot of people shouldn't need dual core CPUs surely?

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    mutantbass head Lee H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Fishcake
    Celeron PCs are selling shedloads, a lot of people shouldn't need dual core CPUs surely?
    It all depends on what people expect from the system really. Many people's expectations from the system grow alongside their expertise and skills. A celeron might be fine for a general MSN and web surfing terminal, but what happens when then the user buys a digital camera and starts learning digital image manipulation and then buys a better, bigger MP camera or even a D-SLR and starts playing with formats such as RAW and whatnot.

    Then theres the chance they all want "to convert their video's to DVD as they have a DVD player and a writer so why not get cracking with this. Again, a celeron would do this but not as quick as something like a fully blown P4 or AMD64.

    This is why if any of my relatives ask for a cheap PC I will not spec a celeron or a sempron. It might cost them a bit more at the beginning, but its sure as hell cheaper than upgrading say 6 months after the system was first bought/built.

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    Lee's hit it on the head - it's less a question of needs than wants.

    You may not need dual-core to run Vista but you'll definitely want it for all the benefits that it brings.

    One side of this is power - the ability to do things more easily and speedily than before, thanks to having, in effect, two CPUs on the job, rather than one, though this relies on programs and the OS being written to take advantage of dual-core processors.

    From my viewpoint, though, the main thing that most people will appreciate is that dual-core delivers the ability to multi-task more seamlessly than single-core.

    At it's most simple, you are able to run a processor-intensive background task (and there are lots of possible candidates including virus-checking) without that slowing down applications - and there can be a good few of these. Heck, I've got seven programs that I'm switching between right now - and there are often 10 or more.

    And, if this digital home thing becomes the norm, your PC may be doing a bunch of fun-related tasks all at the same time in the background, such as recording TV programmes off-air; downloading TV programmes or movies; repurposing videos; and broadcasting video, audio and stills across your home network.

    It could be doing all that while you're switching between writing a message-board posting, downloading updates for Windows using a different web browser, talking to a mate on Skype or some other internet telephony service, typing a letter, keeping an eye on your email, tweaking some pics you took on your mobile phone or digital camera and printing out a route-map for the venue of the gig you're going to at the weekend.

    If Vista never came along, I think that most of us would want the benefits of dual-core - Vista, though, perhaps, is the thing that will push many of us into getting it earlier than we'd otherwise do.

    You could argue that that is the reason why all the makers and sellers of Windows hardware and software are largely singing from the same hymn sheet as Microsoft, and I wouldn't argue, but the innovations that these companies drive forward so they all make money are the things that so greatly increase the range of things we can do with PCs and the enjoyment and satisfaction we get from them.

    If all you want to do is word processor and do a bit of web-browsing and email, you can do that still today on Win 98SE and a 650MHz CPU with 128MB of RAM, a 2MB graphics card, an eight-bit sound card and a 33kbit modem.

    And, if that's all people want to do, that's the sort of system they should have no hesitation in using - the experience won't be unpleasant.

    But what we're actually talking about here is another big shift where the OS is moving on and the hardware, ideally, will keep up with it or, better, stay ahead of it.


    Bob
    Last edited by Bob Crabtree; 11-01-2006 at 03:11 PM.

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