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So how much memory does XP need?

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Microsoft's XP sales push to UK system builders, at the annual Personal Computer Association conference, prompted friendly discussion on the memory requirement for the OS.

A few laughs of disbelief, and mutters of "No way will it run on that" and "As if", met group marketing man Nick McGrath's word on the subject.

He said 64MB is the minimum XP will run on, but 128MB is recommended. He added that this is the first time Microsoft has come out with a memory recommendation.

When pushed he reckoned a 300MHz PII box with 64MB would just about do the job. But earlier in his address he'd dismissed PII machines as XP-incapable, and their users ripe for an upsell, but his audience would want to hear that so they wouldn't be bothered to argue the point.

XP allows several users to log into a machine simultaneously. McGrath thought that 128MB would handle four users, but you'd need an extra 32MB for each additional user above four.

In a private chat after his presentation he said that "128MB is more than sufficient for mainstream users".

Amazingly, memory distributor Memory Plus, thought XP PCs could do with a little more in the way of memory spec. Marketing director David Flack kicked off his PCA presentation with a picture of someone's slashed wrist, to subtly illustrate the state of the memory market.

He thought that with 256MB you "may get XP to boot up." He recommended 512MB, which with prices as they are, you might as well go ahead and do. ®

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MS forecasts XP will generate £13.2bn in UK

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