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 08 April 2007
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 Dr. Adrian Wong
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Et Tu, NVIDIA?

Right after we reported how ATI's partners started shipping the new ATI Radeon X1950 GT as a Vista-certified graphics without a working driver, NVIDIA sent us a sample of a soon-to-be-released GeForce 8600 GTS graphics card... also without a working driver. Is this the new trend in the graphics card industry?

NVIDIA's case is a little different though. The GeForce 8600 GTS is yet to be released while the Radeon X1950 GT is already out in the market. In addition, NVIDIA's beta drivers have so far shown a fortunate lack of propensity for causing BSODs (Blue Screen Of Deaths).

But just like the ATI Radeon X1950 GT, the NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GTS also boasted being certified for Windows Vista. It says so right on the box (see picture on the right).

The box would have been printed at least 2-3 weeks before it arrived at our doorstep. That means Microsoft should have had to certify the GeForce 8600 GTS sometime ago.

But if they did so that long ago, why is the card shipping without a working driver? Even if nothing new was done to the driver since certification, where is the driver used to certify the GeForce 8600 GTS? These were the same questions we raised when we discovered that the ATI Radeon X1950 GT shipped without a working driver for Windows Vista.

Fortunately, NVIDIA has promised us a working driver this Monday (April 9, 2007) so we will soon be able to start testing the GeForce 8600 GTS. Still, these recent experiences made us wonder about the certification process for graphics cards in Windows Vista.

 

What Does The Logo Mean?

The Certified for Windows Vista logo is a very powerful marketing tool. According to Microsoft, a hardware device that is certified for Windows Vista...

  • Is designed and tested for ease of use, better performance and enhanced security on PC's running Windows Vista.
  • Meets technical requirements for superior experiences with photos, music, videos, games and online communications.
  • Installs easily and can automatically download device driver updates from Windows Update.
  • Helps ensure compatibility with other Certified for Windows Vista products.
  • Is designed and tested for ease of use, better performance and enhanced security on PC's running Windows Vista.
  • Meets technical requirements for superior experiences with photos, music, videos, games and online communications.
  • Installs easily and can automatically download device driver updates from Windows Update.
  • Helps ensure compatibility with other Certified for Windows Vista products.

All that sounds great. But that is not the only logo available to manufacturers. Microsoft also has a Work with Windows Vista logo. Let's see how they differ.

Logos
What Microsoft Says They Mean
What They Really Mean
Devices with this logo take advantage of features in Windows Vista to deliver excellent performance, ease of use, and the best experience possible, whether you are enjoying music, photos, and videos, or communicating with friends. Devices with this logo were designed with Windows Vista in mind.

Devices with this logo have been tested to ensure they will work with Windows Vista, so you know they will be compatible, reliable, and more secure.

Devices with this logo were not designed with Windows Vista in mind, but have been tested and confirmed to work with Windows Vista.

Well, even that doesn't really tell us what we need to know, right? Does any of these two logos mean the manufacturer has to include a working driver, or does it not? Let's dig beyond all that PR-talk and go into the actual program qualification details.



Next Page : Microsoft Windows Logo Program, Conclusion >>>

 

 
   
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