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 Jan 14, 2005 - 04:00 PM - by Michael
* Longhorn to require a (real) graphics card

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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft
Word from The Inquirer is that the next version of Windows will require a "real" graphics card because 3D graphics will be integrated into the GUI:

Longhorn will feature a graphics subset called WGF (Windows Graphic Foundation). Its goal is to unify 2D and 3D graphics operation in one and will bring 2D Windows drawing and 3D operations together. Nowadays, 3D is done using a Direct X subset with the current version 9.0c.

Longhorn will also use 3D menus and 3D interfaces and will require at least Shader 2.0 compliant cards, so it will make the graphics card an important part of your PC. Nowadays, Windows doesn?t care much about graphics until you play your DVD or start a 3D game. In such cases, Windows actually benefits from graphic card acceleration whether we talk about video or 3D acceleration.

Believe it or not, your Windows performance will depend on the quality of graphics card you have. A faster card might draw something faster than a slower mainstream or entry level card, meaning that even some Office software might perform better if you have a faster 3D card.
If you're a techie, you've known about these plans for two years - Windows XP already requires a decent card, unless you turn off all the alpha blending effects to speed it up on older hardware.

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