MS launches Vista compatibility tool

July 9, 2008 | 08:46

Tags: #certified #database #upgrade #vista #windows #windows-vista #windows-xp

Companies: #microsoft

Microsoft launched a new tool yesterday designed to test your hardware and software for compatability with Windows Vista. Not everyone is happy with the news, however.

CNet blogger Ina Fried posted about the tool yesterday, and makes some points that Microsoft will be hard-pushed to deny. As Fried points out, Vista has been available in fully-finished form for a year and a half now, and there is still enough software and hardware that won't operate under the new OS that Microsoft feels the need to release an updated tool to warn users.

Fried quotes Michael Keigley, manager in charge of the Vista Compatibility Center [sic] at Microsoft, as admitting that when Vista launched the company experienced “incompatibilities in the system” which left many Vista users stranded without support for their hardware – hardware that, it must be said, works fine under Vista's predecessor, Windows XP. While it's not all Microsoft's fault – after all, it's the manufacturers who have to get off their backsides and write Vista-compatible drivers – it's certainly an embarrassing admission that support from manufacturers for the next-generation OS is still, eighteen months down the line, less than perfect.

Although the official launch date for the tool was yesterday, Microsoft seems to be having compatibility issues of its own – at the time of writing, visitors to the site are treated to a message saying the tool is “currently unavailable.” Once the bugs are ironed out, the site will play host to a database of around 3,000 software products and 6,000 pieces of hardware which are known to work fine under Windows Vista. While many of the products are from companies that have ponied up the cash to be part of the Windows Vista Certified programme, around half are uncertified but guaranteed to work anyway – which sort of mocks the whole – expensive – certification process, really.

Have you found any of your beloved hardware or software misbehaving since switching to Microsoft's latest and greatest, or has it all been plain sailing? Is the presence of the compatibility checker going to make XP fans more likely to upgrade, or less? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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