back to article Windows 7: One compatibility label, no confusion

Microsoft is reducing its four Windows-compatible logos, responsible for confusion and a class action lawsuit, down to a single system for consumers and partners. Partners that want compatibility with Windows Vista's successor operating system, Windows 7, will only have to navigate a single certification program, Microsoft …

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  1. Pierre Silver badge

    I guess it's a good thing

    So W7 will be better than Vista. Good to hear, but as I was spared the hassle of having to maintain Vista boxes *at work*, I don't really care that much. I mean, the standalone OS is still going to cost an arm and a leg, right? And it will still be considerably slower and less stable than the competition. And less useful. So...

    Maybe I'm wrong, I actually predicted that Obama would loose, maybe this century is a two-miracles century? One can only hope...

  2. Clint Sharp
    Paris Hilton

    Don't worry..

    All the old bloat will be back by the time it's 'ready' for release.

    I notice there was no mention of file copy times either.

    Paris, cos I've got a Paris Compatible logo on my hardware.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What?

    I don't understand who was allegedly confused by these labels? Developers or users?

    Anyone that can't read a sticker or label on a box really doesn't have an business buying a computer, let alone installing software on one, and I don't really see how devs COULD be confused by it, as from a development standpoint, Basic, Premium and Ultimate all run the same software.

    And another thing! How is the number of Vista variants there are confusing? How many goddamn *buntu distro's are there?

    And ANOTHER thing. How are the "Works with Vista" hardware labels any MORE confusing than Apple's "Works with iPod" labels?

  4. James Pickett

    Culpable

    Doesn't that prove they got it wrong the first time? Looks like an admission of liability to me...

  5. Avi

    Microsoft wants Windows 7 to able to run on consumers' existing PC hardware.

    Does this mean the spec requirements have gone down since Vista, or just stayed the same?

    My existing hardware wont run Vista.

  6. Steve Loughran

    make it the "wait wheel"

    Having had Vista on a work laptop for four weeks, the thing I see most often is that little spinning wheel while you wait for the OS to do something. That should be its logo.

  7. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  8. Greg

    Looking surprisingly positive

    Let's hope they keep up this trend.

    That said, for anything other than games, I've recently started a complete conversion of all my machines to Ubuntu, which quite frankly kicks grandiose amounts of arse. I suspect there are many others like me, so MS have *got* to get this one right.

  9. Pete Silver badge

    Let's see how this would work

    One compatibility, no confusion.

    Now on the flip side, we have fewer compatible products, higher validation costs, reduced choice, increased prices. All you need to do is stick an apple logo on the box and what have you got?

    An alternative plan would be to open up the API, simplify the architecture, provide a freely available validation suite and NOT CHANGE THINGS. What have you got now: well if not linux, something that is at least going in the right direction.

    The biggest problem that peripheral designers face is when the O/S changes. Not only do you have to go right back and rewrite, retest and revalidate your drivers, but you have to maintain compatibility with all the older versions that make up your bread-and-butter sales. Since people buy computers to get things done (apart from the small number of fan-boys with too much money, who merely want bragging rights for the latest and greatest - even though they'll never use 90% of it's features), they really don't care what the operating system is, provided it doesn't get in the way - or stand between them and the perfectly good peripherals they've already bought

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If anyone from b3ta is looking in,

    how about a Windows 7 logo competition?

  11. Piers
    Flame

    Schare said the multiple Windows Vista stickers had "helped spur innovation"

    Right - that does it. I no longer understand what microsoft have done with the word 'innovation'. I know what it MEANS, but I have NO IDEA what THEIR idea of it is.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    *buntu

    There is only one true *buntu distro, and that's xubuntu :D

  13. RichyS
    Paris Hilton

    Here's a novel idea...

    How about no fecking stickers?

    It took me ages to peel off the stupid (badly aligned) Vista sticker from my (upgraded to XP) work Thinkpad.

    Still, at least I _could_ remove it. The sodding Centrino sticker seems to utilise the kind of glue they use to stick Airbus A380s together.

    If I buy a PC, I know it's got Vista. I know that because once it's eventually booted up, It says 'Vista' on the screen. Why the hell do I need a sticker to remind me?

    Paris, 'cos she's covered in sticky stuff. Sorry.

  14. Matt Bradley
    Gates Horns

    Vista was a great thing for me.

    Windows Vista convinced me to buy a Mac, which I duly did this week. So far, I can't see me buying another Microsoft product...like... ever.

    I suspect that XP was Microsoft's best effort. It is pretty stable, reasonably quick, and it works well for at least the first 6 months of use before it starts slowing down / crashing, etc. I don't think Microsoft have the CAPABILITY to produce well written, stable software which delivers on its promise. Witness IE 7 and 8: With all the resources in the world, MS *STILL* can't produce a browser that is capable of rendering HTML properly. Meanwhile, Apple and Mozilla seem to be able to manage. It can't be all /that/ hard, surely?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Actually, I would love a Tux sticker

    A Linux sticker on hardware would make things a lot easier (especially on laptops), just as a horde of stickers displaying red hats, green lizzards, yellow stars, swirls etc. could sometimes be less than satisfactory. As GNU people know less is more.

    So, I can see how a more consistent simplified set of stickers would help users have a better experience of Vista '09.

  16. dervheid
    Thumb Down

    "It's too early to say what the final sticker would look like"

    Looks like a starter for a 'Reg Competition.

    as you can see, I've already selected mine!

  17. Mark

    re: What?

    Allchin (VP of Microsoft) for one was screwed by the confusion over the Windows Vista Capable sticker.

    Avi has it spot on. The OPERATING SYSTEM should operate the hardware. NOT the hardware should operate the OS.

  18. The BigYin
    Linux

    Windows 7?

    Meh. It probably won't run on my hardware....is that a penguin I see before me? EOL for XP would be enough for me to migrate fully to *nix (just need to choose one).

    Biggest grief would be converting the DVR-MS files to something standard and then finding a PVR which worked on *nix like Media Center does on Windows.

    Or I could just buy a separate box...hmm...may do that actually.

    At home the need for me to run Windows is almost non-existent really.

  19. David Kelly

    Ubuntu

    IMHO the different Ubuntu releases are confusing, especially for anyone who knows nothing about Linux. Add to that the number of other distros and their own variants and Linux looks like a horrible mess to any non-savvy would-be-switcher.

    Apple have got it right I think. A single desktop edition of OS X at a low price. Microsoft could learn a thing or two about keeping things simple. Maybe this compatibility label consolidation is an indication that they're learning something at last.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Calm down it's only a sticker

    Blimey people, take a breath!

  21. Neil Daniels
    Thumb Up

    @TheBigYin

    VideoReDo is your friend - will take in any form of mpeg2 stream including .dvr-ms and spits out a bog standard .mpg

  22. EvilGav

    Tut tut

    Vista works fine and if you bother to configure it like you know how to do with XP, is faster and more stable. I've had Vista running for a couple of months at a time without needing a restart, XP grinds to a halt after about 10 days.

    Yes, I also know that Linux can run for even longer without needing a restart, which is why my home file server runs Ubuntu.

    Linux is fne for a lot of things, but anyone who complains that they need to configure Vista to run in a better manner and should therefore switch to Linux needs to get their head our their arse. I quite like Linux, but I wouldn't recommend it for most of the people I know, they'd wonder why no games worked on it.

    As for pricing, a quick check - OS X £80, Vista Home Basic 64-bit £65 or £83 for Home Permium. So Apple software costs the same, but the hardware is somewhat different in it's pricing.

  23. Sureo
    Gates Horns

    I must be stupid...

    Why the F**k do they have to change the hardware driver interface each release? I know I'm missing something. Microsoft always makes me feel intellectually challenged.

  24. Sooty

    just leave the vista stickers on

    after all windows 7 is supposed to have far less bloat than vista so it should fly on hardware capable of running vista.

    And as microsoft have said they will have proper backwards compatability this time (read as, it's just vista with a few shiny new bits) software shouldn't be an issue

  25. andy gibson

    Capable

    I hate the "capable" logo. Technically I'm capable of running a mile in four minutes (being the same species as Roger Bannister et al), but until I lose this beer gut and do some serious upgrading (training) it ain't gonna happen.

  26. Mark

    re: Ubuntu

    So ignoring the 30 versions of Vista, five large distros (Ubuntu basically being one of them with a different colour scheme) is confusing.

    ?

  27. Mark

    @Matt

    "I suspect that XP was Microsoft's best effort. It is pretty stable, reasonably quick, and it works well"

    I suspect it does work well.

    However, the life of XP went something like this from what I've seen on benchmarking and security sites:

    XP Vanilla. Fast. Unstable. Open like Goatse.cx

    XP SP1. Slower. Unstable. Open like Paris Hilton

    XP SP2. Slower still. Bloaty. As stable as 2k. Open like WEP

    XP SP3. Bloaty. Stable.

  28. Ben Mathews

    Hmmm....

    @ AC 08:43GMT

    I think the issue arose from the fact that the original stickers were 'Vista Capable' and 'Vista Ready' or similar but what they meant by 'capable' was "Will just about function on Vista to get online". Someone who interpreted 'Vista Capable' as meaning "Will run Vista" did a perfectly good job of reading the lettering on the sticker.

    Even an MS VP got caught by this: http://www.engadget.com/2008/02/12/microsoft-vp-i-personally-got-burnt-by-vista-capable-stickers/

    @The BigYin

    Try Mythbuntu. Works well for me.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    One Sticker.....

    to rule them all !!!!

  30. Mark

    @EvilGav

    I don't understand. You may not suggest someone move to Linux because you hate Linux. That has nothing to do with whether they could use Linux and be one or more of

    a) more productive

    b) more secure

    c) richer

    NOTE: just in case you bleat "I already said I liked Linux", your resistance for pushing it just because it doesn't run games (would you not recommend Vista because it runs games like arse, if it works at all? Remember, a lot of games won't run under Vista because of the change of security)? Would you recommend that for PC tasks they use a Linux PC and for games they use an XBox360? After all, if the game doesn't work on the XBox, they have a very good chance of getting a proper refund. Good luck with a Windows game, only pirates say games don't work!

    You pre-suppose inability without considering. Bias.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Windows 7 of 9

    And the new logo will be a single finger (I'll leave to your imagination which one).

  32. EvilGav

    @ Mark

    I don't hate Linux, I use Linux and have done for years, it suits the purpose I wish to use it for.

    The reason I wont suggest it to most people, is that outside of technical circles (as in all the people I work with), it's simply too much hassle. Most people use a version of Windows at their place of work and are therefore comfortable with it - in many cases it's taken me a number of years to wean them off of IE and onto something better, let alone changing the entire interface.

    Most people want to play games, they don't want the PC for "productive" purposes, therefore they want to download demos and such-like and be able to play them, something they cant do with a Linux distro (no, I don't want to have to explain to them how to run XP in VM).

    As for security, whilst it's true that Linux is much more secure than Windows, it still ha the same basic problem that Windows does and indeed the same one that all OS's have in common - most users are stupid, will click anything, install anything and by and large are their own worst enemy, following the most obvious of phishing attacks etc etc.

    I've yet to meet someone that got a virus or trojan without visiting a dodgy site link or installing a file they shouldn't have (paris_hilton_naked_video.exe and the like).

  33. Scott Evil
    Paris Hilton

    Win 7 a new games and media experience?

    All i do on my self built Vista 64 windows PC is play games and watch DVD/DivX/MKV.

    Is it going to be a new platform for next gen games?

    I hope so, but will it be worth it?

    With Vista 64, games like Fallout 3 run perfectly well on my 8800GTX and i get the added bonus of FSAA+HD rendering at the same time unlike DX9.

    Vista has some issues with certain Apps, but i spent some time trying trial versions of AV and settled with Kaspersky 2009 which runs well on Vista 64.I dl the iTunes 64 version so all is well.OFC Vlan works well on every OS so my media playback is fine

    I like Vista as it suits my purposes beautifully, so having to shell out a nother few hundred quid seems silly if Win 7 wont offer any further media/entertainment bonues over Vista. Does anyone know if they are even introducing a new platform for Direct X and media playback?

    Or is this an attempt to sell a new OS for the corporate user? God i hope they dont discontinue Vista making me have to buy a new OS just becasue its new, ive spent loads in recent years on various versions of XP and Vista.

    Paris simply coz id love to hit that!

  34. David Kelly

    @Mark re: Ubuntu

    Ahem, looking at the Ubuntu website I see:

    Ubuntu

    Ubuntu-mid-edition

    Kubuntu

    Edubuntu

    Gobuntu

    Xubuntu

    So which one should your girlfriend download and install on her machine? Do you think she would know?

    Now say your missus wants to install Linux but she doesn't know which distro to choose. Well she could go to wikipedia for a comparison:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Linux_distributions

    "WTF!?" I hear her cry ...

  35. TeeCee Gold badge
    Coat

    Re: Here's a novel idea.....

    Having successfully peeled the Centrino badge/sticker (stadge? bicker?) off my laptop without too much trouble, I don't think I'll be flying on an A380 any time soon. The prospect of flying in something where it's possible to peel the wings off, leaving only a slight mark that'll clean off with lighter fuel, makes me anxious.

    Mine's the one with the Airbus wings in the pocket and if any pissed-off pilots come in, you haven't seen me. Ok?

  36. Martin Lyne
    Stop

    Only Microsoft

    Can turn a stupid designed-to-confuse decision made yesteryear into something new and newsworthy.. by doing something sensible [and what-most-people-would-expect] instead.

    Look at us! We aren't going to be stupid! Buy our shit!

    I use Vista Ultimate at home. It's not as bad as everyone says, but there are some points where you just want to strangle people. I'll look into hardware and game compatibility once 7 is out and decide wether it's worth the hassle to go 7, go nix or just stick with the V.

    Nothing was Vista ready because Vista wasn't really ready. I had to buy a new keyboard becuase my old (MICROSOFT OFFICE) one asked to be installed everytime. It worked.. until it tried to install. So every day I'd have to ignore it's constant prompts, lest I give in and it then disable my keyboard.

    That said, Logitech Wave Wireless is the dogs nadgers.

  37. Remy Redert

    @Scott Evil

    So your Windows Vista machine runs Fall-Out 3 'perfectly well'? At what resolution? What settings?

    Personally, I'm XP, on an AMD X2 6400+ with an ASUS Nvidia Geforce 7950 GT. I run it on 1280x1024 with everything except grass draw, shadow draw and shadow amounts set to max.

    Grass draw is exceptionally heavy on your GPU, any GPU, shadow draw distance I reduced because it gave a nice performance boost without any significant difference (esp indoors), same for shadow draw amounts, although that one is noticeable in some places where a lot of NPCs gather.

    Currently, it runs stable at around 40 FPS in most areas. FSAA is at 4x, I'm not sure what you mean with HD rendering, but if you mean HDR, it is enabled.

  38. BatCat
    Linux

    Puppy Love

    Now I have configured a 3G connection via my Nokia E51 there's no going back. It's quite literally the dog's :o)

    Oh, and it took about 2 mins to set up, only marginally more effort than clicking through Ubuntu 8.10's jesus-network-manager ;o)

  39. Scott Evil
    Alert

    @Remedy

    Fallout 3 on 1600x1200, graphics settings all on "Ultra" including the advanced settings.

    FSAA on 4 FSAF on 15 filter settings.

    I havn't monitored FPS but its very smooth.Im sure there is an in game monitor i can check this out with.

    How have you managed to have FSAA on and to have HDR enabled at the same time? Have they manged to enable it on DX9 now?

    My Rig has

    CPU Q6600

    GPU GF8800GTX 512mb

    6gig of DDR2

    Vista 64 HomePremium

  40. Pierre Silver badge

    @EvilGav, @David Kelly

    "I've yet to meet someone that got a virus or trojan without visiting a dodgy site link or installing a file they shouldn't have"

    You don't meet many people then.

    David, you are talking about things you don't understand I'm afraid. Your GF should choose her buntu flavor from the screen captions, under the hood it's mainly the same thing, the color and gadgets might change but that's all. You can install one "version" and turn it into another just by changing a few setting and installing/desinstalling software. Last time I checked, no-one had ever refused to buy a car for the dealer have too many different colours or gadget options available for the same model. Now buy a version of Fista and try to turn it into anything else. Good luck with that.

    And if your GF really have the choice, she should forget about U and buntu and install a real distro.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only time will tell

    Now I'm no M$ or windoze fanboi. However the two games I play are unfortunately windows only and don't work properly under wine, so I'm stuck with XP. I stayed as far away from vista as is possible as that POS has proven to be not so good with said games (which are the only reason I've got a windows box in the first place). However the computability with vista is improving so I'm waiting to see how windows 7 turns out. If it'll run on my current kit with me only needing to change video cards to get DX 10 support then I can see myself upgrading. If it's the same shit that vista is then I guess I'll be using XP for quiet a bit longer.

  42. David Kelly

    @Pierre

    I understand perfectly that you can change one flavour of Ubuntu to another by changing the packages. (FYI I have been using Linux since the good old days of the 1.3 kernel). Clearly you're missing the point.

    "Last time I checked, no-one had ever refused to buy a car for the dealer have too many different colours or gadget options available for the same model."

    Poor analogy I'm afraid. Car options are simple. Do you want a cd player and tinted windows? Now try ask someone who's never used Linux if they want to use KDE / Gnome / insert WM here. Or whether the media apps they'll use require OSS or Alsa.

    Linux is improving in terms of ease-of-use but sadly it's still a long, long way off Windows and OS X.

    As the saying goes, KISS.

    PS. curious to know what you think is a "real" distro :-D

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Vista - No thanks

    Another person here who rather than use Vista ended up buying not one but two Macs. As someone else pointed out, XP is probably the best Microsoft will manage. My Mac can happily run all my XP apps within OSX thanks to Parallels meaning that I get to use a 64 bit operating system (OSX) but retain full XP compatibility. Best of both worlds!

  44. John O'Hare
    Joke

    Bloat

    "Microsoft demonstrated an Asus EEE S101 with a 1GB RAM, 16GB solid-state drive and a dual-core ATOM processor running the full Windows 7 at WinHEC"

    And after installing windows 7 and Office, you'll have a whopping 2MB free for your word document (please ignore the error about some temporary file that can't be written, you don't really need that anyway).

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    ..., 9 operating systems for the race of men...

    ... and, unbeknownst to them all, one operating system to rule them all... mwah mwah mwah.

  46. Herby Silver badge
    Happy

    Labels??

    Aren't these WARNING labels. Here in California we have to warn people about cancer risks and all that, so we have these "Warning, contains chemicals known to the State of California known to cause cancer". I've treated BOTH the "Intel Inside" and the "Windows..." stickers as warning labels. I even at times remove them from new hardware and put them on the places that properly deserve them, toilets coming to mind as a likely choice.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    They clearly are too self encumbered

    This shows how really out of touch with the market they are. They compare with themselves and find that their new release is going to work on some kind of super-charged netbook. What I wished they were doing is comparing their new baby with some recent Linux running on the same netbook and saying "see, it's faster/smaller/whatever"

    But they just keep saying, "hey, look, we've somewhat tamed the Vista monster" Out of touch, their world begins and ends at Microsoft. They don't want to acknowledge that they have already lost the netbook battle.

  48. Mark

    re: Only time will tell

    Try looking at Cedega to see if it supports your required games.

  49. Mark

    re: Only time will tell

    Try looking at Cedega to see if it supports your required games.

    PS even if it works, you don't *have* to stay with Linux, but it DOES give you options you didn't have before.

  50. Mark

    @david kelly

    "Poor analogy I'm afraid. Car options are simple. Do you want a cd player and tinted windows?"

    What about the mpg? What does "121l boot space" mean in real terms. Will it take MP3's in the CD player. Is the AC just "blowing cooled/heated air about" or is it a close AC system? If it's five gears, where's the maximum torque in fifth? What is the gearing for fourth (in case you need to get out of dodge)? what's the difference between "sports" and "SRi"?

    Your car is only simple if you only ask simple questions about it.

    And you get to try out the car as it is in the garage forecourt. Can you do that with computers? No. So you HAVE to know with computers because you can't just say "can I see what it's like" instead of asking for "what is it like?".

  51. Mark

    re: @Mark re: Ubuntu

    Whichever one you have handy.

    NONE of them use the Vista UI. NONE of them use the XP UI. So she'll have to use "Another" UI in any case. The differences from there are irrelevant unless you're a system admin.

  52. David Kelly

    @Mark

    "Your car is only simple if you only ask simple questions about it"

    Sure, but the average Joe is not going to ask very technical questions about the car mechanics, just as they wouldn't ask how the kernel has been compiled in a distro.

    "you HAVE to know with computers because you can't just say "can I see what it's like" instead of asking for "what is it like?"

    Absolutely, that reinforces my point. Average Joe doesn't know the difference between KDE / Gnome / Xfce so presenting him with these options prior to purchase makes the decision more confusing.

    IMHO Ubuntu should offer just one desktop download and let Linux-savvy users choose a non-default WM in an "advanced options" section of the installation.

  53. Pierre Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    @ David

    Debian, Slackware, Gentoo

    Anyway, a novice user should pick whichever buntu flavor they want (based on the sound of the name, a screen caption, the position in the list, whatever). Because it's the same thing, only tuned for people who want a special set of package _because_ _they're_ _used_ _to_ _them_. If you're new to the penguin pick any, shouldn't make a difference. And you can change it if you don't like it anyway. So the "too many flavors, can't choose" is totally irrelevant. Like, moronic even.

    And Ubuntu DOES offer a single primary "distro", using Gnome, which is, surprisingly enough, named "Ubuntu". The others are spin-offs, and are named slightly differently. Didn't you notice that?

    And if your GF really can't make a temporary choice whithout any *ahem* logical argument, I'd suggest looking for the one that has "hardened" somewhere in the description. If there is one.

  54. David Kelly
    Thumb Down

    @Pierre

    "If you're new to the penguin pick any, shouldn't make a difference. And you can change it if you don't like it anyway"

    You know that, I know that, but does the average Linux noob? No.

    Again you're making the (poor) assumption that someone completely new to Linux has some knowledge of it, or won't be intimidated by the fact that there are multiple flavours to choose from.

    "Debian, Slackware, Gentoo"

    Ah, the more technical and therefore least user friendly distros. No wonder you don't see how Linux's unfriendliness is a barrier to entry. :-D

  55. Mark

    @David Kelly

    "You know that, I know that, but does the average Linux noob? No."

    And do they need to know it?

    A whole lot less than they need to know the differences between Vsita Basic, Vista Premium and Vista Ultimate.

    Don't hear you saying that these are confusing, do we.

  56. Mark
    Alien

    @David Kelly

    ".Sure, but the average Joe is not going to ask very technical questions about the car mechanics, just as they wouldn't ask how the kernel has been compiled in a distro."

    And the average joe doesn't need to ask "Will I use KDE/IceWM/...". And they don't. All they have to use is WMP. Just like with Windows.

  57. David Kelly

    @Mark

    "And do they need to know it?"

    Damn right they do! A potential Windows switcher will most likely make the assumption that once they've picked a flavour they're stuck with it. After all, that's how it works with Windows.

    "A whole lot less than they need to know the differences between Vsita Basic, Vista Premium and Vista Ultimate. Don't hear you saying that these are confusing, do we."

    Ahem, in the first comment I wrote on this page I said:

    "Apple have got it right I think. A single desktop edition of OS X at a low price. Microsoft could learn a thing or two about keeping things simple."

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