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THIS is what we'll be running Doom 3 on? (XP)

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I came across this article on ZDNet today discussing the new Windows XP, and found it rather shocking:


To highlight the main point: Microsoft is working with hardware manufacturers to redesign computers themselves (!) just to work with their new operating system.

The following are some quotes from the article concerning various aspects of these new "computers":

MEMORY: "32MB of video memory, 64MB recommended."

So now that Windows is gonna eat up 32MB of Video RAM, I suppose we'll need an extra 64MB for games like Doom 3 and it's clones, making a card with 96MB a low-end option. I suppose it's possible for them to alternate the 32MB between everything that a user may run (including Doom 3), but would you really expect that from Microsoft? The 32MB is probably what Windows will reserve for itself (whether it uses it all or not), and if you want to run other applications you will need extra memory.

START UP AND POWER: "System must not display any BIOS text."

Not a big complaint, but what harm can it possibly do? I like seeing that everything is working properly before the computer boots. Why change it now?

And what about BIOS updates and reconfiguring BIOS settings? Maybe they'll have the BIOS setup program in Windows. I could see that: you change some hardware settings, overclock a little, go to save the settings and BLUE SCREEN. Oops. No more bios for you.

START UP AND POWER: "Must resume from hibernate in 20 seconds or less"

A P200 with Windows98 boots in less time than that. What kind of standard is that?

START UP AND POWER: "A sleep button on the keyboard suspends the PC, an 'OFF' button on the from of the PC that hibernates the PC, and a power-off button on the back of the PC."

Now the keyboard can turn the computer on and off? I figured that's what "off" usually did, but now "off" doesn't turn the damn thing off anymore either. Off is Off, On is On and Suspend is Suspend, what's the big deal? Even these ATX motherboards piss me off because after you turn them off, the computer is still "on" so to speak. Stupid. My computers are under my desk as with many other people; it's near impossible to reach back there just to turn it off. They'll probably put the button at the bottom too. I can understand how they'd hide the voltage selection and other things in the back of the unit to keep stupid people from changing it accidentally, but now the power button is treated like a "hazard" as well? As if a regular computer with Windows98 or ME on it wasn't bad enough, now they're trying to bring the hardware down to Mac standards. WTF?

DEVICE CONNECTIVITY: "The system includes at least four USB ports, with two on the front panel or keyboard [for user convenience] and two on the back of the PC."

Their aim here is to make almost all devices and hardware USB-based. So what you end up doing is paying thousands for an extremely high-end system only to run extremely low-end hardware. Yeah, USB soundcards are alright if your speakers cost less than $10 and you don't record material, and USB network adapters are fine if you don't mind getting about 80k/s downloads from your cable/DSL line instead of 100k/s (because it's still faster than that old dial-up modem, right?). As if USB itself wasn't bad and unstable enough, USB through a keyboard? Are they trying to make these units as potentially unstable as they possibly can? USB keyboards hardly work by themselves. I thought that was shocking until I read this next one...

DEVICE CONNECTIVITY: "The system does not allow end-user access to expansion bus cards. This means users will no longer routinely open their PCs to add peripherals."

This is the one that REALLY pisses me off. Microsoft is trying to turn new machines into less-user-friendly modules than Apple IMac's? Well, that voids about every piece of equipment I have. I guess you should buy the good video card with your system, 'cause you'll be stuck with it until you get a new one. Hey, if your operating system can't handle various hardware, don't give it various hardware, eh? I think this is why Microsoft thinks Windows XP will be so stable: NOBODY WILL BE ABLE TO CHANGE THEIR SYSTEMS.

Does this mean that we who buy the GEForce3 or other video accelerator cards won't be able to use them in these computers? If Microsoft gets their way here, yes it does.

TV AND VIDEO: "HDTV tuner card included."

Included? I remember when you'd be able to choose options like this for an extra $149-$299. I just can't see computers replacing televisions for channel surfing and DVD playing. How many people are you gonna get around the computer desk and 17"-21" monitor to watch a DVD or TV show?

What worries me is that Doom 3 *may* require Windows XP to run. It's coming out at least 6 months after Windows XP does. If that's the case, Doom 3 can sit on the shelf until these ridiculous boxes come down to about $599.

It seems Microsoft is going to achieve operating system stability by severely limiting the hardware available to it. Their goal seems to be to target people who are going to turn their computer on and leave it on for 2 or 3 years.

These are the guidelines Microsoft will require. I can only hope that the hardware industry gives them the biggest middle-finger anybody has ever given anybody else before Microsoft decides they have to start manufacturing their own computers.

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This is the requirement for new systems to have the XP Logo on it. This does not cover existing systems.

So you order a custom system and it fails to meet some of their requirements so what? It doesn't get the XP logo.

The XP logo is just supposed to be a 'mark' if you will, of a system that has a certian amount of power. Cheapo systems just won't get the XP logo.

Just because of these minimum requirements doesn't mean that XP will devour them all. These are all the things that Gates wants to make sure everyone has a PC that can do all the up and coming PC world features... such as digital video editing and Doom 3.

Personally, I will probably buy WindozeXP when it ships. I will never own a system with the XP logo, though, unless I put it there myself with a sharpie.

As for some of your comments... yeah, that system does sound a bit imac-ish.

Do they even MAKE usb sound cards? That sounds totally rediculous to me, at least until USB2 rolls around (480 megs a second). The soundcard would be integrated into the motherboard.

The no-upgradeability thing is the real imac takeoff. It sucks, that's why no power-users will EVER buy a system that was forced to meet these bullshit requirements.

'Included HTDV'? You ask? Well, all that means is that the integrated video card must support it for the system to get the XP brand.

All the main system draws, such as DirectX, will be available to us 9X users. It's DirectX8. That's what Doom3 will require, and if your OS has it then you can run the game.

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Guest lukin

zdnet is retarded.

and so is having to call microsoft every time you change a piece of hardware.

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Fuck them, that´s what I needed... something that FRIGGIN EATS MY RAM AND VRAM WHILE IM RUNNING A FULLSCREEN PROGRAM!!!

If they´re smart, they´ll make precise sub-routines to dump the data and clear the buffer, well, GOD I HOPE SO.

Besides, why in god´s name I´ll want a nice looking OS?? How much time of your lives are directly staring at the OS? Every non-fullscreen program I have, runs maximized.
As an avid 3Dsmax & PhotoShop user, I can´t even give myself the luxury of having a wallpaper on. Imagine a full-fledged movie-like OS?

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Guest Epistax

Damnit I hate microsoft! All those changes make computers MUCH worse and MUCH more reliant on windows.

In Windows ME they got rid of dos, and in windows Whistler (aka XP) they replaced the normal GUI with a total memory eating Direct X Environment that's really fluffy. We honestly have to do something about this now- it's absolutely terrible!

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Who needs to have system resources left over for DOOM anyway?
I think I'll spring for a P4 and a GF3 for the express purpose of having a super-ultra-3D office shortcut bar, or maybe an install "wizard" who showers funky looking particle effects all over the place that turn all the icons into frogs that hop around (with poly-accurate collision detection, mind you), and make croaking sounds that somehow make my SB-Live roll over and die in it's slot, causing a (3D) blue screen of death in the middle of the install process, corrupting the registry and......

oh, screw it. I'll just switch to Linux or something =P

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