Assembers ride Windows XP bandwagon

Assembers ride Windows XP bandwagon

Local PC manufacturers have teamed up with Microsoft to offer Windows XP-ready machines in anticipation of the launch of the operating system in October.

Optima, Total Peripherals Group and Hallmark Computers are part of the global list of PC OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) that have joined Microsoft's XP Ready PC Program. This program allows users to easily upgrade to the XP operating system on the day it ships.

According to Microsoft, the program ensures PCs sold between now and October will meet or exceed the system requirements to upgrade. Systems must also pass a Windows hardware quality lab test for Windows 2000. PC manufacturers must also provide any necessary drivers when XP is launched. Vendors taking part in the program include Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Sony and Toshiba.

Built on an enhanced Windows 2000 engine, the XP operating system will up the ante in system requirements. Users must have a minimum processor speed of 233MHz, although at least 300MHz is recommended. While the system will work with 64MB of RAM, Microsoft recommends at least 128MB. It is the hard disk drive space that will prove the real clincher. The operating system requires 1.5GB of available disk space, perhaps more if the system is installed over a network. The requirements should not prove any hassle for new systems, but XP could prove a stumbling block for older systems, forcing upgrades.

"We have been working closely with Microsoft over the past 12 years testing new products, including Windows XP," said Optima managing director, Cornel Ung. "Optima is very excited about the coming launch of Windows XP which offers many exciting enhancements and new, easy-to-use features for the home as well as the professional user."

Vendors involved:

Compaq, Dell, Gateway, Hallmark Computers, HP, IBM, Optima, Sony, Toshiba and Total Peripherals Group.

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