Driver problems still haunting Vista

Why Service Pack 1 isn't in your hands yet

Of drivers and ass-kickings

Drivers were a major bane to Vista in its early months last year.

Despite Microsoft's claim that more than 1.6 million peripherals worked with Vista at its launch, there were numerous complaints from early adopters, gamers and other power users about non-working devices.

"It definitely wasn't just a vocal minority that had a problem with drivers at Vista's launch," said Robert McLaws, a blogger who also tested SP1 but didn't face any driver issues.

Indeed, driver issues had been on the wane. At its Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) conference last May, Microsoft said that 1.9 million devices supported Vista.

Microsoft has not updated that number since then. But it says that over 78,000 hardware products are now supported by Windows Update, up from 34,000 at launch.

And 17,000 peripherals and devices (see list, IE 6+ required) have passed one of Microsoft's two rigorous certification programs: Certified for Windows Vista, which requires successful testing by a third party such as QualityLogic, and the more self-reported Works with Windows Vista program, which is more reliant on self-reporting.

"A lot of OEMs did not take the Vista launch seriously," McLaws said. "So Microsoft took their problem reports to vendors and kicked some ass."

In a PowerPoint presentation distributed to media last month, Microsoft was confident enough to state "Many device and software problems behind us: Nearly all Windows Vista PCs have drivers for every single device installed, available on WU [Windows Update] or from vendor websites."

But Microsoft may have relaxed too soon. Morris says none of vendors that came to QualityLogic for certification of their Vista drivers have returned seeking the same service for SP1.

"They may be hammering on them tooth and nail internally, but they're not asking us to touch it," he said.

The result? Monday's delay.

Gregg Keizer contributed to this story.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Eric Lai

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?