I saw an estimate today for the hardware requirements for Microsoft's next major operating system (OS) release, currently dubbed Longhorn. The author of the article said that some are speculating the new OS may require a 5 GHz processor and 2 Gigabytes (GB) of memory¹. I also read another article today that stated Intel has just released its Prescott chip, which may operate at speeds as fast as 5 GHz with twice the cache of the present Pentium 4 processors². Though another article I've read states that Prescott will come in speeds up to 3.4 GHz³, so 5 GHz processor speeds are probably at least a year away yet.
The Longhorn operating system is slated for release in 2006. Microsoft may release another operating system, Windows XP Reloaded, before Longhorn is released. Windows XP Reloaded may contain some of the security and multimedia features of Longhorn. Microsoft is expected to release Service Pack 2 for Windows XP and Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2003 by the middle of 2004.
Some of Longhorn's new security features will likely require hardware upgrades, which is good news for hardware manufacturers. The OS will rely on a built-in security chip to supply some of the security functionality.
Next version of Windows expected to have big hardware needs
By Florence Olsen
Intel quietly unleashes the power of Prescott
By Oliver Rist
March 19, 2004
Prescott Brings More Cache to Intel's Future
By Konstantinos Karagiannis
February 4, 2004
March 22, 2004