Dell's Web site will post Vista systems for sale one minute before midnight, EST, a Dell spokesperson confirmed. But although the computer maker will take orders, the earliest that North American customers could receive their PCs is Tuesday, Jan. 30; the day Microsoft is officially launching the operating system for consumers.
"Some customers will receive their orders Tuesday, but not before," the spokesperson said.
Dell has been recommending that buyers interested in Vista stick to systems with dual-core or quad-core processors, 2-Gbytes of memory, and a dedicated graphics card with 256-Mbytes of RAM. The initial roll-out of Vista PCs will be those loaded with English, French, German, Spanish, and Japanese editions of the operating system. Additional languages will be available in the weeks to come, Dell said.
Hewlett-Packard, the No. 2 seller of PCs worldwide, did not immediately respond to questions whether it would follow Dell's lead. Like Dell, HP sells systems from its Web site and over the telephone.