Microsoft is paying extra close attention to device and driver
compatibility with Windows 7. Those that created special versions of drivers
for Vista after the switch will have no problem making them work with Windows 7.
PC World is reporting that Microsoft is building Windows 7 to ensure “a high level of compatibility with Windows Vista,” so device makers that invested in creating drivers for Vista won’t have to rebuild them from the ground up for Windows 7, said Jeff Price, senior director of Windows product management. Will it go as planned? Microsoft better hope it does.
In all fairness, the problems Vista saw upon launch in regards to driver incompatibility weren’t entirely Microsoft’s fault. The company spent five years creating and perfecting Vista which should have given device makers plenty of time to create drivers that were suitable. This lack of judgment combined with too many companies dragging their feet added to the complications. Microsoft still paid the price, however, and is doing everything in its power to not let it happen again. “We won’t have this big set of work the ecosystem has to do to get compatibility with Windows 7,” he said. “We’re building on the same core architectural improvements in Windows Vista.”
Another reason for the windfall of device problems for Vista had to do with changing the firewall platform and tightening security around how Vista deals with applications and drivers. This created stumbling blocks for hardware partners, but Microsoft stands by the fact that the changes were worth it because they made Windows more secure. “We know the infection rate for malware [in Vista] is less” than in XP, Price said.
With the so-called security enhancement completed in Vista, hopefully the company can have a much smoother launch the next time around. By getting the major architectural changes completed in Vista, it should pave the way to smoother times. Hopefully, device makers have realized that it was partly their fault, and step up to the plate a bit sooner this time to avoid such confusion. Once Windows 7 is launched, the problems surrounding Vista will only be a bad memory.