Microsoft has unveiled the logo which will adorn accessories it certifies for use with Windows 7 - and the interesting thing is that it guarantees 64-bit support.
As reported over on Engadget
, the logo - which carries the text "Compatible with Windows 7
" - is designed for use with hardware, software, and miscellaneous peripherals to reassure consumers that the kit they're buying will work with their Windows 7 install.
Where the logo departs from its predecessors for Windows Vista and Windows XP is that the single logo will cover support for both 32-bit and 64-bit editions of the operating system. If you've only written 32-bit drivers for your particular bit of kit, you need not apply.
One of the greatest barriers to wide-scale adoption of 64-bit operating systems is the lack of 64-bit drivers for certain hardware - something with which anyone who has played with the 64-bit version of Windows XP will agree. By requiring both 32-bit and 64-bit drivers to be shipped as standard, Microsoft is cleverly ensuring that your average consumer doesn't even need to know what version of Windows 7 they're running - the hardware will still work just fine.
The logo scheme requires that manufacturers and programmers submit their drivers to the Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) for certification, which is - naturally - a paid service. Despite this, Microsoft states that over 6,000 accessories have already passed the testing requirements and have been certified as ready for use with all flavours of Windows 7.
Senior director of the Windows Product Strategy Group at Microsoft, Mark Relph, claims that compared to previous WHQL-based testing programs the Compatible with Windows 7 logo scheme has seen the company "reducing the amount of paperwork required and making it less expensive for our partners to achieve the logo.
As part of the scheme, Microsoft has launched a site
where hardware and software developers can find guides and tools to ensure compatibility, along with information on how to apply for the logo.
Does the guaranteed 64-bit support indicated by the new logo scheme fill you with joy, or are you just concerned that this could turn into another "Vista Ready" debacle? Share your thoughts over in the forums