Microsoft WinXP-ready PC scheme kicks off

Start shipping your hardware to Redmond, people...

The first "Windows XP-ready PCs" have poked their heads above the parapet, but strangely enough they're not from the usual suspects. Nor, indeed, are they very exciting. A small section which appeared on the Microsoft site over the past couple of days lists manufacturers Lan Plus, Micron, Premmio, Systemax and Oki, the latter with the exquisitely-named Oki If Stations, which we presume are aimed at the Japanese market only.

Microsoft's requirements for "Windows XP-ready" status don't at the moment seem particularly onerous; machines should be preinstalled with Win2k or WinME (apparently we're not talking about Win98 SE any more), and be wearing the relevant "designed for..." sticker. Worth noting, however, is that the minimum memory requirement is 64 megabytes, rather than the 128 that's allegedly required for the WinXP beta code.

According to Microsoft's Windows Logo Program System and Device Requirements, WinXP Personal (i.e., the consumer flavour) has a minimum requirement of 64 megabytes, in line with Win98 (we do still mention it then) and WinME. WinXP mobile is also specced to run in 64, while the requirement for the Professional version is 128. You'll be wanting a gig of RAM for the Itanium one, it says here.

Hardware manufacturers who want to catch up with the small clutch of pioneers in the XP-ready department should check out the list here, and will find instructions for joining the Designed for Windows XP Logo Program here. Briefly, this involves you checking the gear out yourself, then shipping it to Microsoft along with quantities of money for further testing. It's worth noting that "all systems are required to ship with device/driver combinations that meet the Windows logo requirements. These device/driver combinations are required to use drivers that have been digitally signed by Microsoft." ®

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