This is a cross-posting from the Sharepoint Team Blog:

We’ve heard loud and clear that you want system requirements information as early as possible to assist in your budgeting and planning, so today we’re happy to announce (and confirm) some preliminary system requirements for SharePoint Server 2010:

  1. SharePoint Server 2010 will be 64-bit only.
  2. SharePoint Server 2010 will require 64-bit Windows Server 2008 or 64-bit Windows Server 2008 R2.
  3. SharePoint Server 2010 will require 64-bit SQL Server 2008 or 64-bit SQL Server 2005.

In addition to the requirements listed above we also wanted to share with you some preliminary detail about SharePoint Server 2010 browser compatibility. 

To ensure the best possible experience across multiple browsers we’re focusing our SharePoint 2010 engineering efforts on targeting standards based browsers (XHTML 1.0 compliant) including Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 3.x. running on Windows Operating Systems.  In addition we’re planning on an increased level of compatibility with Firefox 3.x and Safari 3.x on non-Windows Operating Systems.  Due to this focus Internet Explorer 6 will not be a supported browser for SharePoint Server 2010.

So, what can you do today to get into the best shape for SharePoint Server 2010?

  1. Start by ensuring new hardware is 64-bit.  Deploying 64-bit is our current best practice recommendation for SharePoint 2007.
  2. Deploy Service Pack 2 and take a good look at the SharePoint 2010 Upgrade Checker that’s shipped as part of the update.  The Upgrade Checker will scan your SharePoint Server 2007 deployment for many issues that could affect a future upgrade to SharePoint 2010.
  3. Get to know Windows Server 2008 with SharePoint 2007, this post is a great starting point.
  4. Consider your desktop browser strategy if you have large population of Internet Explorer 6 users.
  5. Continue to follow the Best Practices guidance for SharePoint Server 2007.
  6. Keep an eye on this blog for updates and more details in the coming months.

Below are a couple of common Q&A’s (which we’ll add to as required)

Q: What about Internet Explorer 6 and SharePoint 2010 publishing sites?
A: The Web Content Management features built into SharePoint 2010 will provide a deep level of control over the markup and styling of the reader experience.  These features will enable customers to design pages that are compatible with additional browsers for viewing content, including Internet Explorer 6.  A standards based browser such as Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8 or Firefox 3.x will be required to author content.

Q: Is Internet Explorer 6 officially supported by Microsoft?
A: Official Microsoft Product Support for Internet Explorer 6 will expire in July 2010. You can find additional information on Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle Policy including specific dates, product information and support offerings here: http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifepolicy.

Q: Why are you only supporting the 64-bit versions of SQL Server 2005 or 2008 for SharePoint Server 2010?
A: This decision was based on our current test data for SharePoint Server 2010 and real world experience from customers running SharePoint Server 2007 with 32-bit SQL Server.  SharePoint performance and scalability can benefit significantly from 64-bit SQL Server and the throughput increases are significant enough for us to make the difficult decision to only support SharePoint Server 2010 on 64-bit SQL Server 2005 or 2008.  It has been our strong recommendation for some time that SharePoint Server 2007 customers take advantage of 64-bit SQL Server due to the inherent performance and scale benefits it can provide.