Well it seems to be speculation time again with all things Redmond.
Two rumours are hitting the Web today and I'm classing them as hmmmn and hmmmmmn. Hmmmn first...
Windows Vista SP2 is allegedly being readied for an April 2009 release according to TechARP with a release candidate as soon as February. I'd add more m's to this talk but TechARP did get scoops on Vista SP1 and Windows XP SP3 so it has a decent track record and with just eight weeks to go until February (scary, right?) we should get to the bottom of this chitter chatter pretty quickly.
Next up Hmmmmmn: and this is because Microsoft is claiming it will introduce a new system of running graphics acceleration via the CPU with Windows 7 theoretically allowing cheaper machines to still get all the eye candy of new OS. Dubbed 'WARP' - Windows Advanced Rasterization Platform - it essentially enables Direct X10 and 10.1 to be run off the CPU and claims to render discrete graphics inert. Microsoft even pulls out some with early benchmarks showing Crysis hitting 7.36fps at 800 x 600 pixels on an eight core Core i7 system using WARP compared to 5.17fps on Intel DirectX integrated graphics.
Now while dedicated GPUs will hardly be quaking in their sleep, this could prove something of a threat to graphics on lower end systems - especially with technologies like Larrabee on the horizon. That said, we'll wait for further development and news on battery life hits before we place too much hope on this.
OK, to get with the Festive Spirit I'm reducing my cynicism to 'Hmmn' and 'Hmmmmn'... happy?