By Ed Scannell
Posted at 5:18 PM PT, Jul 12, 1996
Microsoft Corp. will host a conference at its headquarters in Redmond, Wash.,
next week for about 100 hardware developers in an attempt to finalize its
latest proposal for the 1997 hardware configurations of three different
Last month Microsoft released Version 0.8 of the three platforms, the Basic
PC 97, the Workstation PC 97, and the Entertainment PC 97, which only slightly
reshape Version 0.6 of the proposed Simply Interactive PC (SIPC)
specifications unveiled at WinHEC in March.
According to Version 0.8 specifications, the suggested baseline configuration
for the Workstation PC 97 is a 150-MHz Pentium processor, a 512KB Level 2
cache, 32MB of RAM (but 64MB of RAM is recommended), and an ISDN or cable
The Basic PC 97 includes a 120-MHz Pentium chip, a 512KB Level 2 cache
recommended but not required, and 16MB of RAM required (but 32MB is
The minimum system requirements for the Entertainment PC 97 are a 150-MHz
Pentium chip, a 256KB Level 2 cache, 32MB of memory, 3-D audio, and the
Universal Serial Bus.
"We've been working with manufacturers to determine a reasonable baseline for
what hardware should look like in the 1997 time frame that will enable what
software ISVs want to deliver," said Alec Saunders, product manager in
Microsoft's Desktop Business Division.
Microsoft proposed that all three platforms have system boards that support
as a standard component the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface 1.0
specification or later, which was also put forward at the WinHEC conference.
The company believes this requirement will ensure that the overall system
properly supports the Plug and Play and power management capabilities for
laptops as well as desktop systems.
Microsoft is also pushing for next year's systems on all three platforms to
support its OnNow Design Initiative. That initiative would control the on and
off state of systems and peripherals, allowing them, for instance, to power up
immediately like today's televisions.
"While this appears to create a lot of work for manufacturers, everyone wants
this thing to happen because we are all interested in advancing the state of
the art on the PC," Saunders said.
Microsoft is at _http://www.microsoft.com/_.