Microsoft's Using You To Keep The Pressure on Nvidia For A Successful Windows 7 Launch

Microsoft's doing a great job of getting Windows 7 out there, tested and accepted by the community. As badly as Vista was handled, Windows 7 has pretty much been the opposite. But it wasn't just Microsoft who botched the Vista launch. Another big culprit was Nvidia and their slow response to provide drivers and address Nvidia driver problems on Vista.issuing press releases makes any difference. If the quote in Nvidia's press release has any merit to it, "they pretty much nailed their first full driver set for Windows 7 with all features working" (from Anandtech), maybe we will see a much different experience from Nvidia when Windows 7 is released.

Nvidia's not going to let that happen again, at least if you believe

I believe that probably will be the case even though I've experienced a lot of video driver issues with the Windows 7 beta. During early beta testing of Windows 7 back in January, the video driver for my laptop's Nvidia graphics chip was one of the drivers that Windows 7 didn't automatically install. Then the video driver frequently crashed or started making the desktop and windows behave badly (like not redrawing the window frames correctly and it looked like there were memory leaks in the driver). During that first public beta, I thought "oh no, here we go again Nvidia". But later updates to the video drivers solved most those problems. Nvidia was making fixes available, showing they were engaged at a different level than during the Vista launch days.

I've got to believe Microsoft's putting the pressure on vendors, especially Nvidia, to "get it right" this time. It's a reminder how important that not only Microsoft get it right, but their large ecosystem of hardware and driver software partners also be rock solid by launch time.

Putting the Windows 7 beta out in the public's hands for such a long time, and the public visibility that comes with it, has got to help hold Nvidia and others accountable for getting their stuff working with the new OS. It will be a 1 year plus long beta, depending on when Windows 7 finally does come out. Their shouldn't be any excuses from any vendors about not having their products ready, though you know there inevitably will still be some who disappoint.

Making the Windows 7 beta such a public affair means Nvidia and others get pressure from their customers about Windows 7 problems, support issues and questions about vendors' products plans for supporting Windows 7. Pretty smart way of fixing some of the problems experienced with Vista. And in the process, Microsoft doesn't have to be as heavy handed with their vendors and ISVs. Customers like you and I are doing a lot of the heavy lifting in that department by testing Windows 7, finding problems that need fixing, and asking a lot more questions when we don't get good answers from our vendors.

Whether that's an intentional strategy on Microsoft's part, I can't prove one way or another. Either way the results are a much better Windows 7 product by launch time.

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