WinHEC 2004: Microsoft Revises Longhorn Graphics Requirements: "The default Aero user experience is built on the low-level Longhorn graphics API called Avalon and will require a DirectX 9-compliant 3-D graphics processor with at least 32MB of RAM and an Intel AGP 4x bus. Aero will require a minimum resolution of 1024 x 768 (XGA), compared with 640 x 480 (VGA) for today's Windows versions.
Aero Glass, the higher-end user experience, will be a true superset of Aero and will come with higher hardware requirements. "Aero Glass will provide a beautiful [UI] experience with transition animations. Window frames will be a bit blurry and translucent, making text easier to read. Transparencies and animations will be hallmarks of the Aero Glass user experience, with more modern, high-quality visualizations than with [standard] Aero." Aero Glass will require a DirectX 9-compliant 3-D graphics processor with at least 64MB of RAM, although Microsoft will recommend 128MB to 256MB of RAM.
In addition to the two tiered Avalon-based user experiences, Longhorn will also support a legacy Classic display mode that will resemble the Windows 2000 UI. This mode will support all the non-UI-related Longhorn technologies, enabling Longhorn applications to run in Classic mode. Microsoft is providing this mode for upgrades that don't meet the minimum requirements for Aero and for corporations that would prefer not to retrain users as they migrate to Longhorn."