Windows 7 beta testing to be compulsory part of Windows Logo program, effective June 1 2008

There appears to be a lot going on behind-the-scenes for Windows 7 than meets the eye. Effective next week, June 1 2008, original equipment manufacturers who wish to get their new PCs certified by the Windows Logo Program for the “Certified for Windows Vista” label will have to get their hands dirty with Windows 7 when it’s available.

The policy document (PDF) writes,

Customers have a need to ensure compatibility with the new releases of the OS and that hardware (systems and devices) are fully functional after an upgrade. This will enable Microsoft and partners to evaluate the results and correct issues in the new OS and the associated hardware as part of the release plan.

Beginning with the release of the first beta of the next operating system, all Windows Vista client and Windows Server 2008 submissions must include a complete CPK with test logs for the new beta OS. The test logs generated from the beta OS are not required to pass. Issues with hardware, system BIOS or drivers must be investigated and resolved by partners prior to the launch of the logo program for the new OS.

The tests should be run after performing an upgrade from Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 to the beta OS. Testing on the new beta OS must be done with drivers that are intended to install on the beta OS.

Design and Implementation Notes

Beginning with the first beta of Windows 7 all Windows Vista submissions must include a complete CPK with test logs from Windows 7. The test logs generated are not required to pass.

Now for those who haven’t seen such poorly formatted tables before, I’ll just explain briefly what it’s trying to imply. This policy requires computers of all classification (desktop, mobile) for all purposes (consumer & business) and running all SKUs of Windows Vista (Home Basic, Home Premium) to comply with its “future requirements” when the Windows 7 beta is released. To comply, such OEMs much upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7 and export a set of automatically generated driver test logs to submit with their application, regardless of whether they pass or not.

Whilst I don’t think the first beta of Windows 7 will come out on June 1, it’s a Sunday anyway, but this does mean throughout the Windows 7 beta testing process Microsoft will have a very thorough understand of what works and doesn’t work with Windows 7, probably far more than they did with Windows Vista. The end result should be much better degree of drivers compatibility by release.

33 insightful thoughts

  1. I hope they require x64 bit drivers as well in order to qualify for the logo program.

    This should fix alot of problems (cough Nvidia cough).

  2. I hope drivers give good performance from the start this time around. As with Vista, the drivers were mostly crap in the beginning and even till now, nVidia and ATi aren’t done with fixing bugs for Vista! just pathetic for such companies. They should be sued and ripped of their easy cash.

  3. Guess what? I what thinking about nVidia right away, it looks like I’m not the only one! 😉

    Signed by: A very unsatisfied GeForce Go 7900 GS user on a x64 system.

  4. ATI did a pretty good job with drivers for Vista from the get go, so Windows 7 should be no different. I think NVIDIA simply made no effort at all until the public backlash because they did not want to allocate resources (or internally thought Vista would bomb).

    NVIDIA is a company with a long track record of not fixing certain bugs in their drivers even outside of GPU’s products or dropping support for some of the software they ship themselves. Of course by cutting corners at every opportunity it is how they have come to dominate the GPU industry by providing a just good enough product (hopefully ATI & Intel will take their collective thumbs out of their asses and start competing again).

  5. Now it all just matters on how thorough these tests are. Some current driver issues happen at random, seemingly without cause at times, so what happens if the drivers simply “get lucky” and don’t fail during the test?

    For example, the current Nvidia “nvklddmgesundheit” error happens completely at random for most people. It can happen 20 times in the matter of an hour, and it can go an entire month without getting it.

  6. In other words, Microsoft is trying to avoid the driver and hardware support (or lack thereof) fiascos that plagued the Windows 2000, XP, and Vista releases. It’ll be nice to know that early adopters will actually have (hopefully) useable drivers upon Windows 7’s release. While it’s sad that MS has to /force/ OEMs to ensure compatibility and write decent drivers, as a consumer I’m glad to see Microsoft going this route.

  7. Let’s see beta 1 of Vista came in July 2005 and beta 2 in May 2006. And PDC and WinHEC are in Oct and Nov this year so beta 1 should arrive in Aug-Sept? All guesswork, I’m not trying to spread misinformation or FUD.

  8. I guess, the Driver model for Windows 7 will not be a major change from Vista. Since Vista was a major change in design and architecture of the Driver model ( bcoz which it took all the first hand hitting), Windows 7 should be a easy transition for most of the devices ( and their Vista drivers).

    I would expect most the changes in Windows 7 coming from UI (multi-touch!? etc etc) and foot print of the OS (componentized!??) , as major under the hood architechture changes are already done in Vista.

  9. Is it just me or are there a lot more grammatical errors in blogs, and not just the comments section recently? Here, as well as on other sites, I’ve seen a dip in quality when it comes to the writing of the actual posting.

    And then seeing the table in this post… I’m really starting to feel uncomfortable. Blargh! English teachers don’t fail me now!!

  10. @Vipralion: I’d love to fix up the grammar mistakes if you can highlight some for me. The table in the post was sourced from official Microsoft documentation, it was not written by me.

  11. Whatever Microsoft pledges to do or tries to make it run perfect by testing, there are abundant local PC manufacturers which Microsoft would not be able to meet or test their products. And also many build their PC from scratch. Same problem was there in Vista – the beta testers were satisfied a bit – from beta it worked good in my machine – but when it was released to public in Retail Stores – problems began – Vista didn’t accept even average systems built with 512 MB RAM – How will Microsoft be able to fill that gap from now on? Thats where Apple stands out – nothing much other than Macbook/Air/Pro/ and iMac and MacMini – How is Microsoft going to handle this with the release of Windows 7 – I am really not having any clue – 🙁

  12. @Vipralion:I believe that there is no such thing as “proper English,” just the version of English that people understand. As long as it is understood, then it is correct. If this weren’t true, then languages would be static and dead. As it is right now, languages grow because of this freedom. English can appropriate words and phrases from French, German, Latin, etc that originally were wrong but now are part of the “accepted” grammar and spelling rules.

    @Long Zheng: Since you asked for it, here they are. Don’t see why you should care, though.

    “There appears to be a lot going on behind-the-scenes for Windows 7 than it meets the eye” the “it” doesn’t need to be there.

    “will have to get their hands dirty on Windows 7 when it’s available.” “on” should be “with”

    “Now for those who hasn’t seen such poorly formatted tables before,” “hasn’t should be “haven’t”

    “and export a set of automated generated driver” “automated” should be “automatically”

  13. Well, I am sure all of the name brand OEM’s are on board for this. Driver compatibility is always the number one issue with new releases of Windows. Its has gotten good over the years, I would put it at about 95%. I remember upgrading from Windows 98 to 2000 the driver compatibility report identified my modem and Lexmark Z11 printer as being incompatible. (Good times). Vista it was the same but mostly application related, just my Cellular phone (Motorola C350) and Motorola Mobile Phone Tools software not compatible. I still run into issues with it under Vista 64 bit.

  14. Then again Tech-Ed North America is in June and Tech-Ed Europe is in November. So between the two, there’s bound to be a beta 1!!!

  15. Hehe. Interestingly enough, Chakkaradeep, it’s pretty obvious that there are those who do care as evidenced by the comments here as a start, so I guess it’s no surprise that you didn’t notice there were any errors at all considering. 😉

    The last paragraph, first sentence, is messed. The “but” shouldn’t be there as you’re interrupting yourself before you’ve even made a point. Adding that, it would seem that you’re missing a “that” and perhaps a comma, though commas are always a pain. Also, “understand” is missing an “ing.”

    Why do I notice? I would like to think that having had to take an English class nearly every year while in school had something to do with it. Obviously, it’s not entirely worth it, or even realistic, to adhere to all standards when it comes to grammar and moreover, communicating, but there’s just times when one can’t help but notice a poorly formed sentence.

  16. Every time I’ve seen one of these in the past I have considered making a list; now I’m regretting not doing so.

  17. May I ask… What did happened with nVidia when Vista was released???, because I’ve heard this before and I just want to know because I have Windows Vista and I never upgraded my nVidia software on my computer..

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