It’s reassuring to know that Microsoft hasn’t turned a completely deaf ear to the anguished cries of users forced to migrate to Windows Vista, only to find that some of the hardware or peripherals they’ve recently invested in are now useless due to a lack of Vista driver support. To avoid the headache (and heartache) that Windows Vista caused among users because of hardware providers’ inadequate or nonexistent Vista driver support, Microsoft will now require that hardware makers test their drivers on both Windows Vista and Windows 7 before their products can even receive a ‘Certified for Windows Vista’ badge.
Here’s the rub: Drivers don’t actually need to pass Windows Logo testing for the new operating system in order to receive Vista certification – but the hardware manufacturers must still hand the results of said testing over to Microsoft, ensuring that Microsoft will be able to gauge progress toward working drivers for the new OS before it actually arrives. In another bit of recent good news, any device driver that worked under Windows Vista will also work with Windows 7, so the industry won’t face a similar setback to the one encountered with Vista when Windows 7 finally hits.
In a long explanation (download PDF) of the Windows Logo Program, Microsoft spelled out the new requirement. "Beginning with the release of the first beta of the next operating system, all Windows Vista client and Windows Server 2008 submissions must include a complete [set of] test logs for the new beta OS," the company said in the document.