Reply to post: Unload that pesky UI development onto the hardware manufacturers

One Windows? How does that work... and WTF is a Universal App?


Unload that pesky UI development onto the hardware manufacturers

It sounds like M$ is about to do to the UI hardware manufacturers exactly what they did to the printer manufacturers back in the day. Back in pre-history when Word Perfect owned the office PC because their word processor had printer drivers for every printer imaginable (back then there weren't that many) MS touted the "device independence" of Windows. The way they accomplished that was laying out a driver spec and telling the printer manufacturers that if they wanted their printer to work with Windows they, the printer manufacturer, would have to write and distribute the printer driver for their machine to work with Windows.

This sounds like a new version of "device independence" meme. Let's call it "UDIF" for Universal Device Independent Framework. MS develops the "framework" and the hardware manufacturers get the job of making their hardware work with the ever moving target of MS's UDIF. It may not be there yet but I imagine that is the goal.

Actually, it cuts both ways for the hardware guys. As long as MS keeps changing the target (driver architecture or UDIF), the hardware vendors get to sell you new hardware when they no longer have a driver for an old piece of kit. New driver architecture requires new drivers and they are only developed for the current version of hardware. So to use a newer OS you have to buy a new piece of hardware to make it work with the new driver architecture or UDIF since there won't be any new drivers developed for the old hardware. The hardware manufacturers would much rather sell you new hardware with the new driver than port old drivers to new architectures for old hardware. That doesn't make a sale.

Remember the Vista driver architecture change that blew W2K and XP machines out of the water regarding their old peripherals? How many people had to buy new printers, modems, network cards, etc because their old peripheral hardware wouldn't work with Vista or Win7 because they couldn't get new architecture drivers?

Now consider the same scenario for not only printers but touch screens, mice or touchpads, keypads, GPS, etc. etc. etc.

Old dog, old trick. After all, that backward compatibility mess is such a PITA and soooo detrimental to MS's bottom line. And the hardware vendors sure aren't going to complain. So where's the downside? Look in your wallet.

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