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Understand that an OS manufcturer has to keep up with hardware advances. What most people don't realize is that hardware manufacturers go to the Microsoft's of the world and give them their design plans for the next five years and most of the time the hardware is getting faster and more powerful so Microsoft must make provisions for what is on the drawing boards of all these hardware companies. Microsoft being the leading manufacturer of an OS that can support all these many manufacturers is not fully to blame for the need for "extreme" hardware to run the OS. By the way have you tried to buy any common hardware from a retail outlet recently. Almost impossible tyo find it here in the States. Most retailers only stock what is currently the latest and greatest. Most common hardware offerings are on line and th eequipment is usually used.