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Nvidia Corp.’s Ion platform for Intel Atom processors has received “Certified for Windows” validation from Microsoft Corp., which allows Nvidia to sell its GeForce 9400M core-logic to makers interested in installing Windows Vista onto various computers, including Intel Atom-based netbooks and nettops.

Microsoft’s Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) certification for Windows Vista Home Premium validates the Nvidia Ion platform as customer-ready. Since Nvidia Ion platform is a marketing name for small form-factor designs based on Nvidia GeForce 9400M-series core-logic with integrated graphics core, in practice validation means that makers of various fully-fledged mobile computers featuring mobile Intel Core 2 or Pentium processors may install the aforementioned GeForce chip into their machines without worrying about incompatibilities with Windows Vista operating system.

Considering the fact that ultra low-cost personal computers (ULCPCs) are rapidly gaining popularity these days, Nvidia positions its GeForce 9400M/Ion platform for affordable Intel Atom-based systems on the first place. Nvidia said that it is working with Microsoft, PC manufacturers, software developers, and Windows eco-system partners to bring Nvidia Ion-based PCs to market by summer of 2009. The company also promises that netbooks and compact desktop PCs “will have industry-leading performance at price points as low as $299”.

“Customers have told us they expect a full Windows experience across a variety of PC designs. What many people call a ‘netbook’ today is really a small notebook, and users expect it to perform like one. With Nvidia’s Ion platform combined with Windows Vista Home Premium, consumers can get an affordable, premium Windows experience in a small notebook or desktop form-factor. From browsing the web and checking email to streaming music or watching movies, it’s an excellent solution for everyday computing,” said Mike Ybarra, general manager for the Windows division at Microsoft.

Microsoft has certified the Nvidia Ion platform to ensure that upcoming Ion-based PCs will deliver smooth playback of high-definition video content, including Blu-ray movies, compatibility with DirectX 10 games, support for premium Windows Vista features including Aero Glass and Flip3D.

“It is great to have Microsoft work with us to drive Windows with ION into these new low-priced notebooks and really small desktop PCs, which previously wasn’t possible with other solutions. This is a big win for consumers,” said Drew Henry, general manager of the core-logic business unit at Nvidia.

Tags: Nvidia, Intel, Geforce, Nforce, Ion, Windows, Microsoft

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