Version 1.0b of the Network PC System Design Guidelines defines 70 features of the NetPC. The specifications require some of these features, recommend some, and leave others optional. From the perspective of Windows NT Magazine Lab, the following required features are of particular interest because they define the core capabilities of a NetPC device.

  • Minimum 133MHz Intel compatible with at least 256KB L2 cache or NT-compatible RISC processor
  • Minimum 16MB of RAM
  • Limited user access in preboot mode
  • Remote boot can be used for system setup
  • Remote BIOS update
  • Support for Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI), OnNow, and Wakeup on LAN power management features
  • Support for Windows Management Infrastructure (WMI) and Desktop Management Interface (DMI) instrumentation
  • Minimum set of user indicators
  • Lockable case to prevent intrusion
  • Plug-and-play support
  • Keyboard, mouse, and Universal Serial Bus (USB) support
  • Network connectivity according to PC 97 hardware design specifications
  • Minimum 800 x 600 graphics display mode
  • Smart hard disk

You can download a full copy of the Network PC System Design Guidelines at http://www.microsoft.com/hwdev/netpc.htm. Just don't expect light reading­the current version of the specification (published in 1997) is 145 pages long.