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Microsoft points the finger at drivers not 64-bit compatible for high failure rates

Anyone who used Windows Vista in the early days of its launch will likely have not so fond recollections of driver issues that often led to frequent crashes and lockups. Video cards from NVIDIA were especially difficult to get working on Vista early on thanks to drivers that didn’t work well.

At the WinHEC conference, Microsoft talked a bit about failures in driver installations. At a session presented by Microsoft's Chris Matichuk, Angus Kidman from APC, and John Lister of Blorge the failure rate for printer installations was reported to be 11.24% according to automatic reports from Vista.

Many Vista users have had their share of printer driver failures and know that it often takes several attempts to get the driver for printers to install correctly. Printer drivers aren't alone in a higher than average percentage of failed installations.

Modems reportedly failed driver installation 8.64% of the time, storage devices 5.74% of the time and other hardware failed install 4.4% of the time. Video cards still manage to fail driver installation 4% of the time. According to Matichuk, any failure rate over 3% is considered not good.

One possible reason for the high percentage of failed printer driver installations according to Microsoft VP for Design and Development Mike Nash is that a higher percentage of machines now ship with 4GB of RAM.

BetaNews quotes Nash saying, "I think in six dimensions on app compatibility, device compatibility, reliability, performance, battery life, and security," Nash said. "I think in all these things, they're a journey. I think that there are key milestones along that journey; I think that Windows Vista Service Pack 1 was a milestone, both in terms of the code that SP1 represented, but also the progress the ecosystem made in the meantime."

Many manufacturers are moving from 32-bit Vista to 64-bit to allow the use of 4GB of RAM and driver compatibility from peripheral makers for a 64-bit OS is still weak. Nash points to the fact that 20% of U.S. retail PCs using 4GB of RAM were 64-bit systems.

Driver support for printers is traditionally not a big deal according to BetaNews. The rub comes in when the move from 32-bit to 64-bit is made and the drivers supplied with printers aren't 64-bit compatible. In short, Microsoft seems to be pointing the finger away from Vista as the bulk of the reason for the high failure rates.

Instead, it points to poorly made drivers that aren’t 64-bit compatible as the reason for much higher than average rate of installation failures. Microsoft did the same thing when early driver issues were making headlines. For instance, Microsoft blamed NVIDIA for many early crashes due to video card instability.

The problem with the data released by Microsoft when pointing the finger at NVIDIA drivers was that there was no distinction made between multiple reports from a few computers or reports from a wide variety of machines.

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In other news...
By Lord 666 on 11/13/2008 8:25:44 AM , Rating: 4
89% of the population cannot tell the difference between an LPT1 or USB connection.

RE: In other news...
By fibreoptik on 11/13/08, Rating: -1
RE: In other news...
By Samus on 11/13/2008 9:32:48 AM , Rating: 4
You haven't seen anything until you've seen a PS/2 connector jammed in a serial port. Of course the reason was 'both of them were color coded green.'

RE: In other news...
By Gzus666 on 11/13/2008 9:46:03 AM , Rating: 3
You have to give whoever did that an A+ for effort at least. How the hell do you even begin to make that kind of mistake? That is impressive handiwork, if I was you, I would have taken a picture for great memories.

RE: In other news...
By 306maxi on 11/13/2008 10:00:27 AM , Rating: 5
I've seen so many things that make that seem tame. On a totally unrelated note a guy turned up with a laptop for repair. Can't remember what the problem was but I could see something was wrong by the fact that although the laptop was only about 8 months old it had some pretty funky yellow discolouration going on. So anyway the tech opened it up later that afternoon only to find that it was full of cockroaches and their urine and faeces had made an absolute mess of the motherboard and everything else inside. I've never felt so sick in my life. Although that's nothing compared to the CRT tv that came in for repair and when opened up had (no joking) about a 2 inch thick layer of cockroaches some of which were alive and some of which were dead. The worst thing was that the TV was in use in the kitchen of a chinese restaurant......

RE: In other news...
By Gzus666 on 11/13/2008 10:29:13 AM , Rating: 2
None of those things were really user error, they all just involved cockroaches. Not sure I get how this is related. Hell, when my pop was younger before he worked in telcom, he fixed pagers. He had one that went through a pig, another that fell off the Empire State Building. I still think the PS/2 in a serial port is the ultimate in effort to make happen.

RE: In other news...
By SiliconAddict on 11/13/2008 10:23:52 PM , Rating: 2
Dude I'd call shit and piss in a computer user error.

RE: In other news...
By 325hhee on 11/13/08, Rating: -1
RE: In other news...
By 306maxi on 11/13/2008 11:51:38 AM , Rating: 5

Yes there was a nice coating of grease on the outside of the TV, no there weren't rats but yes there was a huge writhing layer of alive and dead cockroaches inside. I'd swear on my grandparents grave. I've no problem with Chinese people. Yello, black, green, purple and white, I don't care about skin colour as long as they don't harm me they're alright. very silly to accuse me of racism for merely pointing out where the TV came from.

RE: In other news...
By ggordonliddy on 11/13/2008 7:01:31 PM , Rating: 2
That was one of the most idiotic replies (that was apparently intended to be serious) I've ever seen.

RE: In other news...
By Subzero0000 on 11/13/2008 8:31:15 PM , Rating: 5
I can tell you don't like Chinese people, secondly, you're full of it.

I am a Chinese and I can't see any problem with 306maxi mentioning the Chinese restaurant.

You are overreacting. You make us look bad.
You should be ashame of yourself.

RE: In other news...
By Cunthor666 on 11/13/2008 2:36:32 PM , Rating: 2
On totally unrelated note, I feel sick now :S

RE: In other news...
By Lord 666 on 11/13/2008 2:58:41 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, there are now 666 clones out there. My minions are growing!

RE: In other news...
By on 11/13/2008 5:06:59 PM , Rating: 2
us camaro's are the originals out there, anyone else is just a copy!

a wise man once said... "dont hate the player, hate the liberal!"

RE: In other news...
By Cunthor666 on 11/14/2008 5:19:03 AM , Rating: 2

Cunting around since mid '07

RE: In other news...
By JazzMang on 11/13/2008 10:46:32 AM , Rating: 2
I saw someone once start screwing the PS2 connector in (ripping out all the pins). Fun times.

RE: In other news...
By Gzus666 on 11/13/2008 11:43:43 AM , Rating: 2
That is badass, I would love to just see a computer connector blooper reel.

RE: In other news...
By Parhel on 11/13/2008 2:34:50 PM , Rating: 3
I used to do phone support for modems. When we first started, my co-worker decided he would try and walk a caller through opening her case and installing the modem in the PCI slot.

After about 10 minutes, she said she had it open, and he realized she had actually taken the plastic cover off of her monitor. He freaked out. If she touched the wrong thing, she could have been killed.

Because of that, we made up a saying in the office, which I love to this day: "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't teach a horse to fish."

RE: In other news...
By FDisk City on 11/13/2008 11:43:03 AM , Rating: 2
A user once taught me that you can fit a USB connector into a network jack. Apparently, just plugging up a USB printer into an RJ-45 port doesn’t make it a network printer. Go figure…

RE: In other news...
By Gzus666 on 11/13/2008 12:04:54 PM , Rating: 2
I don't even know how that is possible. That person deserves some sort of medal for that amazing feat.

RE: In other news...
By Lord 666 on 11/13/2008 3:06:35 PM , Rating: 2
I've seen the USB plug into the RJ-45 port trick a few times, mostly with laptops.

Instead of people using their brain and trying to apply common sense, they rather whine and ask for someone else to do it for them.

Guess its job security, but its still annoying. These typically are the same people that will cheap out on paying a computer repair person/consultant because they think their cousin/brother-in-law/the kid next door knows "computers."

RE: In other news...
By Gzus666 on 11/13/2008 3:11:28 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I have spare USB ends and RJ-45 jacks laying around, I think I will being trying to make this happen when I get home just to see how it is possible.

RE: In other news...
By pomaikai on 11/13/2008 4:20:08 PM , Rating: 2
I did that alot on my old laptop. The USB and network jack were in the back right next to each other. I would reach around the back without lookin and plug my USB mouse into the network jack. I caught it when I reached around the back to put in the network jack and couldnt find the hole. My new laptop has them on the side seperated by a HDMI and modem port.

RE: In other news...
By on 11/13/2008 5:09:24 PM , Rating: 2
hey stephen hawking, i think you will find that it is possible.

RE: In other news...
By kensiko on 11/13/2008 9:05:50 PM , Rating: 2
Here I do have a wire with one side USB and the other RJ-45, but that doesn't work for printers LOL !

It's for a APC UPS. I really don't know why they used the RJ-45 jack instead of USB.

RE: In other news...
By FaceMaster on 11/13/2008 1:56:57 PM , Rating: 2
Never mind, soon people can move away from vista and look forward to Windows 7!

I bet that the employees at Microsoft must know more about the average human than most psychologists do, the number of problems they must have seen occur due to stupidity.

Win 7
By FXi on 11/13/2008 9:13:18 AM , Rating: 2
64 bit drivers were "required" to be WHQL certified under either 32 or 64 bit Vista. Apparently something went wrong with that requirement, so I'd bet MS is going to scrutinize drivers that failed to see if they somehow got by the WHQL certification without genuine 64 ability.

Secondly, I have a feeling that Win 7 should be full 64 bit with a WOW function for 32 bit compatibility. If they concentrated on polishing this function, they could get the world on one basic 64 bit platform and be far more ready for folks who decide to go the 4gb/64 bit route shortly down the road. DDR2 is cheap to get to 4gb and many machines sold in the last 2 years can do it. As long as they truly polish the WOW 32 feature to be "superbly compatible" I think they'll cover the past and prepare for the future at the same time.

RE: Win 7
By 306maxi on 11/13/2008 9:18:08 AM , Rating: 2
If they did this and everything was extremely compatible then people would simply come out and say that Windows 7 is bloated. Either way Microsoft can't win

RE: Win 7
By Gzus666 on 11/13/2008 9:33:39 AM , Rating: 1
Poor Microsoft, how do they make it? So hard being the biggest software company in the world. Have to beg for money on the side of the road, hope they can find some food in the dumpster. Microsoft clearly just can't win with what, low to mid 90s market share, previously even more? You're right, they just can't win.

Damn you world, damn you for picking on this poor little company that leveraged itself for years to push people out of the business, buy out anyone who competed, go against the standards set by everyone else in the world just to get something they could leverage, force retailers to install Windows on everything or they would be "destroyed" in the simplest of terms and put out operating systems that were almost unusable until they put out service packs (still have a copy of XP Corporate without any service packs in case anyone wants to go down memory lane to see what that was like, nightmare till SP2).

Poor Microsoft, they just can't win. What a joke, hopefully the competition from Apple (yuck) will work out better for all of us.

RE: Win 7
By 306maxi on 11/13/2008 9:53:05 AM , Rating: 2
Point taken. But surely you must take my point about one group of people always being unhappy when fixes an issue/add functionality or doesn't fix it or add functionality.

I agree on XP. People talk about XP as if it's always been perfect but it took years for it to get to the stage where it was remotely secure. I had a XP Volume licence disc which predated SP1 and it was crap. Every time I'd install it and go on the net to download updates I'd get hit with Blaster which was greatly annoying to say the least. If you compare XP's release and first year or two with that of Vista I think it's hard to argue that Vista is worse than XP in that respect.

Even SP2 was a joke. When it came out it blue screened countless PC's and they all needed to be wiped and reinstalled which is unacceptable IMHO. It never happened to me but I saw enough PC's come in for repair after SP2 launched to realise all was not well. My experience of Vista sofar hasn't been perfect but it was better than XP was for me.

RE: Win 7
By Gzus666 on 11/13/2008 11:08:10 AM , Rating: 2
I honestly know that normal customers (the majority by a long shot) could care less about any of this. They want the thing to work and work responsively without issue. They don't care who's fault it is, they don't care why it happened, they really don't care.

At this point, whether it is fair or not, it is Microsoft's responsibility to make sure EVERYTHING works. Whether this means helping people with drivers, blacklisting products, etc., they have to do everything they can to make sure their product functions the best it can. Otherwise, the case for Mac computers is effectively made.

While I find Apple products to be some of the most tyrannical and junk products ever made, they will sway people with the "just works" crap.

Honestly, I have no issues with Vista, girlfriend has it on her PC, I have no qualms with it. She doesn't like it for her own reasons, but as the person who has to fix problems on her computers, I have had no real issues I couldn't take care of rather quickly. I haven't changed my own PC over as I haven't had to yet, XP is there, no reason for me to change at the moment. Hell, Vista is more secure and has better IPV6 support (expected of course, if they ever make the damn switch already).

But, there are some bloat issues people have to realize exist, the amount of startup programs on a fresh install is over 3 times that of a base XP SP3 install. Do I care about this? No, I can clear them out and streamline it without issue. Does the average consumer have this ability? No, they need to make a simple non-essential programs tool to remove the things they won't use easily so they can enjoy a speedier experience on the hardware they purchased.

Anytime we let a company go without any scrutiny, you get a company that will fall into complacency, exactly like MS did. That is never good for any consumer. They are supposed to be the biggest baddest software company in the world, is it really that much to ask for the best software product in the world? Intel is huge, they continue to put out quality chips for a good price. Microsoft needs people attacking them, otherwise they have no reason to better their products.

I'm pro-efficiency, I don't care what it is, I'm all for efficiency. Their software has been the antithesis of this for years. Can you, with a straight face say that Aero is more efficient than something as simple as Compiz Fusion? An independently done project with no real funding is somehow more efficient than a product Microsoft made?

It is little things like that for me that annoy me. Anything that isn't as efficient as possible annoys the crap out of me, I guess I'm strange that way, but it is a giant peeve of mine.

I'm a believer in open source because having one guy or a few guys check over code that are in the project usually won't help you correct it properly. Having fresh eyes look at something always helps and most of the time will bring up errors. It is this closed source, mine, mine, mine nature that Apple and MS share that I can't stand. Software is a field that needs prying eyes, similar to data entry. We are talking about millions of lines of code now, not even small groups can make sure that is all written properly anymore.

RE: Win 7
By omnicronx on 11/13/2008 11:57:06 AM , Rating: 3
At this point, whether it is fair or not, it is Microsoft's responsibility to make sure EVERYTHING works.
While I agree with most of what you are saying, it is NOT Microsofts responsibility to make sure everything works. Just as it is not Apples responsibility to make 3rd party hardware work (printers, external devices etc).

Microsoft is an open system, and as such manufacturers have the ability to do what they will. If they don't want MS signed drivers they don't have to get them, and they do not need special permission to sell their product for windows, they just can't say it has been certified. It is up to the customer to read up on their purchases to make sure their hardware will work. This is especially important when talking about moving to a new OS.

I would like to see Apple have the same compatibility in regards to printers as Windows. With OSX you have a much smaller group of printers to choose from, and even then it can be a nightmare.

Printers have always been a bad culprit when it comes to drivers, regardless of OS (just ask any unix/linux user), and manufacturers rarely release new drivers upon the release of a new OS. If anything there are far more printers available for Windows than any other operating system, if a Mac or Linux user needs a printer they will have to do their homework to make sure their printer will work with their system as many printers are windows only.
PC users just assume if it plugs in, it should work, and this is just not the case.

I would also like to add one thing, certified drivers ARE required for 64bit Server 2008. So this could be something we may see with future releases of windows.

RE: Win 7
By Gzus666 on 11/13/2008 12:20:10 PM , Rating: 1
Well, again, while I don't think it should be, it is their responsibility. It is just how it ended up. Otherwise your customer base will decide your product isn't properly made because something they bought doesn't work. Linux gets the same short end of the stick, if anything in Linux doesn't work, it is always called a piece of crap system. In reality I'm sure most technical minded would agree *nix is a great operating system base and has served well for a long time. Market share breeds compatibility, that is just a fact at this point till everyone standardizes.

While Microsoft lets anyone make stuff for their system, they don't do this to help everyone else, they do this to help themselves. They are still closed off completely as far as workings of the system itself. I personally have only had issues with wireless cards and a VIA graphics card in Linux, both of which don't have native drivers because they won't make or allow the Linux developers to make them.

But honestly, I have yet to see any serious problems with any drivers I have used that were made for Linux by a developer or made by the Linux developers. This seems likely to stem from the open nature and of course a much simpler kernel I'm sure.

Microsoft dug itself into it's own hole by striving to own so much of the market and close everything in their system off from reverse engineering, now everyone wants to pretend like they are the underdog because of it.

RE: Win 7
By mfed3 on 11/13/2008 11:35:09 AM , Rating: 3
It is true the WHQL drivers are required in Vista. It is not drivers that failed, it is drivers that failed TO INSTALL. Big difference because this means that the manufacturer did not make a WHQL driver for that device. Microsoft only certifies 3rd party device drivers, they do not write them. Driver installation failure is the manufacturer's fault, driver failure AFTER being certified is both manufacturer AND microsoft's fault.

RE: Win 7
By emboss on 11/13/2008 4:23:16 PM , Rating: 3
64 bit drivers were "required" to be WHQL certified under either 32 or 64 bit Vista.

The drivers don't need to be WHQL'd, just signed so that the developer can be identified (and blacklisted, if necessary). Driver signing does nothing for the quality of the drivers, since it doesn't mandate any sort of testing or requirements, and is primarily there to protect the DRM components of Vista(*). Of course, it hasn't been too successful at that either, as there are many signed drivers out there that can be trivially exploited (Jungo's WinDriver, for example).

(*) Though if you believe the conspiricy theories, it's because MS got kickbacks from Verisign in exchange for giving them the exclusivity deal.

Secondly, I have a feeling that Win 7 should be full 64 bit with a WOW function for 32 bit compatibility.

I'm not sure what you mean by this ... At the moment, all 64-bit versions of Windows (XP, Server 2003, Vista, etc) are fully 64-bit, with the 32-bit userland libraries from the 32-bit equivalent version installed as well. There's also a bit of code on the kernel side to convert the 32-bit syscalls into 64-bit syscalls.

If you mean go for a 64-bit only userland, and use emulation to run the 64-bit code on 32-bit machines, that would have a rather severe performance impact ...

RE: Win 7
By Lerianis on 11/13/2008 9:10:39 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, that would have a severe performance impact if they tried emulating 64-bit on a 32-bit system.... just wouldn't work.

But, they should be going to totally 64-bit on the next version of Windows. EVERY SINGLE PROCESSOR MADE IN THE PAST 5 YEARS can do 64-bit, as far as I have seen and researched. So there is NO reason to keep on putting out a 32-bit version..... maybe if everything goes to 64-bit, it will get people like GameTap off their asses to support 64-bit systems.

RE: Win 7
By emboss on 11/15/2008 2:18:09 AM , Rating: 2
EVERY SINGLE PROCESSOR MADE IN THE PAST 5 YEARS can do 64-bit, as far as I have seen

Haven't seen the Atom, hmm? :) Most of the Atom-toting netbooks shipping today use the N270, which doesn't support x86-64. If you buy the hype, then this is going to be a huge growth area, one that MS can't afford to miss. Dropping 32-bit version of Windows 7 would be a big mistake.

Anyhow, given the amount of time it's taken 16-bit support to die, I'd say 32-bit support will be around for a few years yet.

Vista bugged to death
By NubWobble on 11/13/08, Rating: 0
RE: Vista bugged to death
By 306maxi on 11/13/2008 9:24:34 AM , Rating: 1
Sounds like you have some hardware or software specific bugs. I've not had any problems like that.

The only issue I've had is that the realtek 8187 onboard wireless on my wifes PC which doesn't like other USB devices like flash drives, webcams or her iPod being plugged in. But I've never had any problems with drivers stopping and programs starting minimised.

RE: Vista bugged to death
By Gzus666 on 11/13/08, Rating: -1
RE: Vista bugged to death
By 306maxi on 11/13/2008 10:03:49 AM , Rating: 2
Perhaps I genuinely give a toss about the other person's problem and felt that perhaps the problem was more to do with their apps and hardware than Vista and that perhaps this would help them to achieve a resolution to their problem rather than being like yourself and making moronic remarks for a cheap laugh.

RE: Vista bugged to death
By FITCamaro on 11/13/2008 10:06:15 AM , Rating: 2
Are you on Apple's?

Pretty stupid question.

RE: Vista bugged to death
By Gzus666 on 11/13/08, Rating: 0
RE: Vista bugged to death
By 306maxi on 11/13/2008 10:31:02 AM , Rating: 2
The funny thing is you accused me of being on the Microsoft payroll and yet I own an Apple product! An old b&w screen G4 U2 iPod! I hate Apple though but I have to admit my iPod just works and works well when plugged into the head unit in my car.

RE: Vista bugged to death
By Gzus666 on 11/13/2008 11:42:01 AM , Rating: 2
I believe you missed the part about the giant boner.

RE: Vista bugged to death
By mfed3 on 11/13/2008 11:46:13 AM , Rating: 1
Gzus please just get out of DailyTech and never come back you useless apple fanboy. Starting a flame war and not responding to the topic at hand is NOT helping at all. Go back to Engadget and argue with the high school kids, leave this site to my fellow engineers.

RE: Vista bugged to death
By Gzus666 on 11/13/2008 11:59:32 AM , Rating: 1
Apparently they didn't teach reading comprehension at "Jo' Bob's Truckin' and Engineerin' School". I was unaware a vote against Microsoft is a vote for Apple. If you read more than 1 of my comments, you will see I am way more critical of Apple's junk. Even better, the only Apple product I have ever even had the displeasure of using was an Apple II.

It terrifies me that you "engineer" something. Could you please give a list of the product that you engineered so we can all stay away from it. Here is to hoping that someone smarter than you comes in after you "engineer" something. I'm sure they do.

RE: Vista bugged to death
By FITCamaro on 11/13/2008 4:34:08 PM , Rating: 2
My question was not to question whether you actually work for Apple. It was to point out the stupidity of your question. Saying someone is on MS's payroll simply because they post something that doesn't trash Vista is pretty dumb.

RE: Vista bugged to death
By Gzus666 on 11/13/08, Rating: 0
RE: Vista bugged to death
By King of Heroes on 11/13/2008 10:11:11 AM , Rating: 1
Please remember to unglue your lips from Steve Job's cock before making another post please.

So anyone who doesn't have a problem with Vista (the vast majority) are suddenly on Microsoft's payroll? This is just as incredibly retarded as AMD shills' claims that Intel is paying off the entire human race.

RE: Vista bugged to death
By 306maxi on 11/13/2008 10:17:41 AM , Rating: 1
Hey hey! Enough of that please! Next you'll be telling me Sharikou (google "sharikou blogspot" if you don't know who I'm talking about) is an AMD shill and that his pervasive blog of 64 bit computing is nothing more than his hopeful thoughts and opinions.

P.S Steve doesn't have a cock it's an iCock

RE: Vista bugged to death
By Gzus666 on 11/13/08, Rating: -1
RE: Vista bugged to death
By King of Heroes on 11/13/08, Rating: -1
RE: Vista bugged to death
By Gzus666 on 11/13/08, Rating: 0
RE: Vista bugged to death
By King of Heroes on 11/13/2008 12:08:15 PM , Rating: 2
When legions of hivemind morons like you start jumping on a product for its perceived flaws (whether the accusations are warranted or not), there needs to be SOME voice of dissent to quell the massive tidalwaves of FUD being thrown around.

The fact is, the 'VISTA SUCKS' crowd is the LOUDEST, if not the largest, of the two sides on this site. Yet, when anyone dares to say otherwise, they're rewarded by being accused of being a Microsoft employee who can't POSSIBLY like something unless he's being paid to do so.

I'm not being a fanboy of 306maxi (I've never seen that guy post until this thread), I'm being pissed off by 'holier-than-thou' retards like you who adamantly REFUSE to accept that not everyone's computer turns into a flaming pile of crap once Vista touches it. In my personal experience, the majority of people who hate Vista are 1). So called enthusiasts who actually don't know what the hell they're doing and 2). People who were told that Vista sucks without actually using it themselves. Have I met people who had legitimate problems with Vista? Sure, yet NONE of them behave like you and others who fall into those two categories. It seems the people who have the LEAST amount of problems are the average users who don't know anything about computers (and therefore are less likely to screw stuff up with badly implemented tweaks and overclocks).

Of course, 9 times of out 10 your computer was probably a flaming pile of crap to begin with, with the shit user to go along with it (let the baseless accusations fly, I'm game).

RE: Vista bugged to death
By Gzus666 on 11/13/2008 12:32:33 PM , Rating: 1
I have admitted I have used and have no issues with Vista. I respect it's kernel revisions that brought about higher security than OSX and XP. I love that they added more IPv6 support. Are there things in it that are annoying? Hell yea, but I turned them off on the system I happen to have to administrate.

You are doing this because you are a fanboy, I have seen very few "Vista sucks!" people on this site and the ones that do so without reason are usually ostracized. I see constantly discounted reasons, mostly from people who have no real idea what the problems are caused by. No one but the designers of the products and Microsoft really know. Hell, I would go so far as to say only MS knows, because they lock their system down so tightly.

It seems the people who have the LEAST amount of problems are the average users who don't know anything about computers (and therefore are less likely to screw stuff up with badly implemented tweaks and overclocks).

Apparently you have never read Vista problem forums, cause most of them are average users. Most of this stuff can be fixed with some sort of tweak or work around that anyone who knows Windows reasonably well can do.

9 times out of 10 the computer was a piece of garbage? Really? I have yet to run into that many pile of crap computers that even exist anymore. Most of the OEMs have motherboards made by ASUS, do you really think they make bad products? Intel, Nvidia, etc.? It seems more and more like people reaching for anything to make sure Microsoft is on top of the crap pile.

All this really seemed to take off after the Apple commercials and all the Apple haters went into overdrive to try to discount it. It is pretty easy to discount the Apple commercials without really defending MS. Most of what they say are flat out lies, simple as that. Apple attacking MS for security is the biggest joke I've ever seen. Let the companies fight, maybe in the end we will get an even better product.

RE: Vista bugged to death
By King of Heroes on 11/13/2008 1:18:27 PM , Rating: 3
You are doing this because you are a fanboy, I have seen very few "Vista sucks!" people on this site and the ones that do so without reason are usually ostracized.

Right, I guess I'm just looking at all the wrong threads (like this one). Because whenever Vista is brought up in an article I can always expect the first dozen or so posts to be proclaiming how much it sucks. I sure as hell wasn't disappointed by this one.

9 times out of 10 the computer was a piece of garbage? Really? I have yet to run into that many pile of crap computers that even exist anymore. Most of the OEMs have motherboards made by ASUS, do you really think they make bad products? Intel, Nvidia, etc.? It seems more and more like people reaching for anything to make sure Microsoft is on top of the crap pile.

Okay, looks like you completely missed the point of that comment (please reread the part about baseless accusations flying).

RE: Vista bugged to death
By FITCamaro on 11/13/2008 11:21:17 PM , Rating: 2
Windows is open compared to OSX.

RE: Vista bugged to death
By omnicronx on 11/13/2008 12:05:42 PM , Rating: 3
You guys are all a bunch of children..

RE: Vista bugged to death
By chick0n on 11/13/08, Rating: -1
Crap products?
By 306maxi on 11/13/2008 8:23:49 AM , Rating: 5
I do sometimes wonder how much of it is down to cheap products and less reputable manufacturers? I managed to install my Canon MP500 just fine on my Vista 64 system and sharing it over the network was simple although the only other PC on the network is a Vista one so that made it easier.

My point though is that a lot of the people who have problems with drivers generally buy the cheapest tat out there and generally you get what you pay for. My MP500 is hardly the rolls royce of printers but it's a decent printer made by a good brand and my experience has been good. Perhaps people should just go out and spend just a little more and buy a decent product which is more likely to get decent support throughout it's lifetime rather than buying the cheapest nastiest thing that barely meets their requirements and then complaining about Vista when really it's the company making the product that don't support it properly.

RE: Crap products?
By fibreoptik on 11/13/08, Rating: -1
RE: Crap products?
By 306maxi on 11/13/2008 9:15:15 AM , Rating: 5
My apologies. There I was thinking it was HP's responsibility to write drivers for their products and not Microsoft's.

RE: Crap products?
By SavagePotato on 11/13/2008 10:17:06 AM , Rating: 2
Hp is probably one of the worst. Have a buisness inkjet 1100 sitting to my right which they refused to make drivers for.

It's old as the hills and a total peice, but what can you do, the manufacturer wants to force a new product purchase, and that is all that it is.

RE: Crap products?
By CvP on 11/13/08, Rating: -1
RE: Crap products?
By SiliconAddict on 11/13/2008 10:41:56 PM , Rating: 2
Dude you sir are an example of idiot end user who thinks he is the shit, but ends up making himself look like an ass to everyone else.
Who do you think MS gets those drivers from? Go check the signature of the driver for those auto detected devices. They still are the manufacturer driver just signed by MS on MS's site or on the file in Windows.
At the end of the day MS doesn't write drivers for your damn camera or your PMP...they do write mass storage drivers but that is a different topic. Something fails to have drivers on an OS, or the driver fails point the finger directly at the manufacturer of the hardware. The reason is simply. There are plenty of places to save money during development. One of the easiest is driver development. Its easier to just tweak a driver from XP to get it to run in Vista instead of really rolling up your sleeves and doing it right.
I personally would love to see all driver have to go through an approval process with MS for Windows 7. No ifs,ands, or buts about it. Yah overall hardware support would take forever but stability of the OS and general user experience in the OS would increase dramatically.
But no. MS will continue to be kicked around for the sins of the hardware manufacturers.

PS-HP makes some of the worst software/drivers in the world while still having some of the best hardware.

RE: Crap products?
By The0ne on 11/13/08, Rating: -1
RE: Crap products?
By Gzus666 on 11/13/08, Rating: -1
RE: Crap products?
By VashHT on 11/13/2008 12:06:12 PM , Rating: 2
Oh how could I possibly even continue using Vista now knowing that Gzus66 does not like it?!? I mean I thought it was running fine and it didn't seem any slower than XP (which I still have dual-booting) but man since you say it sucks I must be doing something wrong to make it work...right?

Give me a break, I could just reverse your argument, you act like MS can do no right, they couldn't possibly ever make an OS that works, everyone who is using it without problems must be making it up because it's obviously not possible. I mean even though other people who code and other engineers like Vista they must be wrong because they don't agree with you.

RE: Crap products?
By 306maxi on 11/13/2008 10:44:45 AM , Rating: 3
Well no single person or company is to blame. I think companies should always support their products for a reasonable amount of time but on the other hand I feel that people are asking for trouble buying a product from a smalltime company and then expecting it to work in a couple of years time when a new OS comes out.

I agree there are issues with Vista. File transfer times being my main one but Vista manages to do a lot of things rather well.

Bloat, well it's all subjective really. What matters to me is the experience I get as an end user. My PC at home is hardly the most expensive or well specced but it devours Vista 64 and works very well and is in my opinion punchier than XP ever was for me. Perhaps Vista is bloated, I hated programming so I can't really offer a proper opinion as such but it's far more secure than XP was and it does more than XP ever did. Hard drive space and memory is cheap these days so bloat doesn't generally end up being an issue for most people. I take you point but does it actually matter for the end user so much? I'm not so sure.

I worked in the PC service industry long enough to know that more often than not you get what you pay for. My PC is made out of Asus, Corsair, Intel, Antec, Pioneer, Western Digital and Logitech bits and it just works with a minimum of fuss and has no real problems with Vista and touch wood won't have any problems in the future. Price will always be the primary consideration for many and that's down to personal choice but you do sometimes think that people might get a better experience, better value for money and better life out of products if they just spent a little more and bought better products.

RE: Crap products?
By ecktt on 11/13/2008 11:36:19 AM , Rating: 2
I am one of those that was a victim of crappy drivers. Most manufactures screwed up 64 bit drivers for machines with 4+GB of RAM. I don't blame M$ for this. I don't see why people should blame M$. I don't see Mac users blaming apple for lack of hard drivers. I don't see people blaming Linus Torvalds ridiculously poor driver support for Linux.Its been 2 years and I've still had to resort to beta drivers to have all my hardware working under Vista 64 and 8GB of RAM. Its the hardware manufactures fault.

RE: Crap products?
By Lerianis on 11/13/2008 9:12:25 PM , Rating: 2
What? The drivers for 64-bit should work fine whether you have 4, 8 or 12 GB's of memory... if it's not, then you have more than just a driver problem there.

RE: Crap products?
By blaktron on 11/14/2008 12:31:45 PM , Rating: 1
If all the additional space those tools took was all code, then yes, you would be correct. HOWEVER, the biggest reason vista takes up so more space than XP is the MUCH higher quality multimedia that comes with it. Every icon, every image, the scroll bars, the windows sounds, everything is generally 2 - 10 times higher resolution/fidelity than the XP version. They did not add hundreds of megabytes of raw code to various tools, they made them look prettier. Obviously there is more code, but also more code does not mean less efficient. As a 'freaking engineer' (civil perhaps, being an engineer does not mean you understand complex programming) you should understand that taking up more space on your HDD does not make it less eficient by design. BTW both Ubuntu and OSx take up more space on default install than vista, for various reasons.

Anything is possible
By tech329 on 11/13/2008 2:34:00 PM , Rating: 2
I've been a tech and computer service company owner for forty years and you can point your finger 100 ways to affix blame for when something goes wrong. The general level of knowledge of all things technical for the average person isn't very high. Even the simplest things challenge an awful of people. MS, Apple and eveyone else making hardware and software spend huge sums trying to figure out the most intuitive way to do and present things. In spite of that you still have people who insist on putting a round peg in a square hole. Some people look at the two and honestly don't see the difference. Even though that is absurd for people posting here it's the way it is. I hope to retire in a couple of years and I can tell you I won't miss this part of the business one bit. I've never called a customer a dumbass but that has nothing to do with the frequency with which such a comment rested on the tip of my tongue. Think of it this way. Fully half of the tens of thousands of people born every day will never be able to successfully screw in a light bulb.

By SiliconAddict on 11/13/2008 10:21:54 PM , Rating: 1
I bet cash that there is some small part of every Windows developer who wishes to God they had things as good as OS X does. I mean you can practically count the number of video cards supported by X on two hands alone. Audio? One hand. Its the benefit and downfall of only supporting a small handful of systems.

By 306maxi on 11/13/2008 8:29:08 AM , Rating: 5
Thing is was it worth putting all that effort into making XP64 a bulletproof system when none of that effort was going to go towards making Vista and windows 7 better OS's?

The blame lies squarely with the manufacturers who saw Vista as a chance to make products their customers had bought in the past obselete and force people to buy new stuff. Yes Creative I'm talking about you!

It's not up to Microsoft to force companies to write drivers. It's up to companies to do the right thing and write proper drivers for their products so people don't get issues like this.

By Mitch101 on 11/13/2008 9:32:27 AM , Rating: 5
I agree a lot of the manufacturers took a you have to buy our newest product that supports Vista when the previous gen used the same chips meaning only the drivers were really different.

Way too many manufacturers saw Vista as a way of selling you the same hardware with minor changes and actual Vista drivers.

Too many products are rushed out with poor driver support today.

By Lerianis on 11/13/2008 9:05:40 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about that. I have 5 year old hardware, and I didn't have to go out and buy ONE new thing when I was upgrading to Vista. Everything worked, and worked from second one after installing the drivers, including the printer.

I really think that some of these people are having problems because they buy BARGAIN BASEMENT items and then expect those people to support forever those bargain basement things.... NOT GONNA HAPPEN!

By Mitch101 on 11/14/2008 2:10:01 PM , Rating: 2
If you have a typical PC with a video card from ATI/NV/Intel sure Vista is fine.

Referring more to Video Capture cards, Audio Cards (Creative Labs mainly), Game Controllers, and Scanners.

I also agree on the bargain basement items to save a buck. A Lot of generic junk out there even from some decent brand companies.

By dragonbif on 11/14/2008 4:04:39 PM , Rating: 2
I think what Microsoft was trying to say here is that the CD that comes with the printer does not have the right drivers and for most people that is the only driver that they use. I just got a new HP printer and it did not have the 64bit drivers for Vista on it. I had to go to HP and download the drivers. If they could have it so when you pop the CD into the computer it tells you that you can download the drivers for your OS and gives you a link or something.
Microsoft is not Apple they do not control what you can and can not install on their computer.

By bmheiar on 11/13/2008 9:45:07 AM , Rating: 2
Also include HP in that list. I have a HP Scanner and HP Printer, both do not work with Vista 64-bit, with original or years old update XP 32-bit drivers. Yes, the printer & scanner are 5-8 years old or so, but they still work. I just need correct 64-bit drivers to still be able to use them. Instead of having to go out to buy brand new printer & scanner or all-in-one, to replace old but still good & working printer & scanner.

I can use my printer with a different HP printer's 64-bit driver, but I lose some features of the printer, mainly the automatic printing front to back feature. This is one of the main features that got me to buy this printer in the first place, because it had automatic printing front & back. Now I have to manually do it. Which is a hassle & time consuming when I am printing multiple pages.

The scanner works with a different HP scanner's 64-bit driver, but I have to reinstall it each and every time I start Vista for the scanner to work in Vista 64-bit.

This is the only real issue I am having with Vista 64-bit, even though it is not actually an issue with Vista, but an issue with HP and them no willing to update old peripherials' drivers to 64-bit. They want you to buy brand new products.

By omnicronx on 11/13/2008 8:47:35 AM , Rating: 5
The problem is people like you think the solution is black and white. The driver model is different from XP with the addition of WDDM. The same questions were asked when Windows 98 drivers didnt work on XP..

It has always been the responsibility of the manufacturer to make sure their products work, it does not matter what OS this is. And Microsoft HAS been pushing 64 bit for quite some time, and encourage manufacturers to release stable 64 bit drivers. The problem is, its harder to code, and has a much smaller userbase, so many lazy manufacturers just say the hell with it and don't release 64 bit drivers at all, or they just don't spend much time on them and release buggy drivers.

By omnicronx on 11/13/2008 10:16:38 AM , Rating: 4
Some 98 drivers will work in XP, just as many XP drivers will work in Vista, as long as they don't make use of directshow, or the sound/video API's which have been dramatically changed.

For example my MCE(XP drivers) capture card works fine in Vista, because it does not make use of directshow.
True, however Microsoft should be making every attempt to push the Manufacturers to release decent drivers
They do! thats what signed drivers are for, but Windows is an open system, manufacturers can do what they like and Microsoft cannot force them to do anything.

What made matters worse is many companies just decided not to get their drivers signed until well after Vista was released. My auzentech sound card drivers were not signed drivers until 8 months after release, which was probably done just so they could forgo having to release x64 drivers at the same time. As soon as 64 bit drivers came out, they had MS certification.
If something goes wrong with a machine, despite what it is, the Average Joe will blame Windows, it has always been this way
Its always easier just to blame the OS, but you make it out as though OSX does not have its fair share of driver issues, which is even more strange because it is a closed system. MS has to deal with millions of pieces of possible hardware that could come in a windows system. While Mac's are great out of the box, I have seen many cases of Mac driver nightmares when installing external peripherals or add-on cards. This once again falls squarely on the manufacturer, as Apple has even less control when it comes to 3rd party drivers.

By glitchc on 11/14/2008 11:30:57 AM , Rating: 2
Your capture card does not use DirectX? That means it is incapable of using video overlay on your GPU. Must be sucking quite a bit of processing power.

By omnicronx on 11/13/2008 11:09:32 AM , Rating: 3
Comparing Windows XP to Vista is very similar shades of gray...
Im going to stop you right there.. Complete API changes to Sound and Video actually make the two OS's very much so black and white.

P.S .net 2.0 was released in January 2006, and was available to some up to 5 months before that time (it was also released with server 03 R2 release when it came out in 2005) So do not try to say that the tools were not offered a full year ahead of Vista's release, and when you consider that many companies did not release drivers until well after Vista was released, the timeframe is even larger.

And although I do not agree with the way MS dealt with DX10 and Vista, I do see where they are comming from. With XP users really cannot complain that they did not receive their money's worth. It was the longest lasting Windows OS with a 6 year release cycle, with three full Service packs and multiple features added. To say that Microsoft is ripping you off when you got 6+ years out of a product is stretching a bit. Microsoft needed a way to get new customers, and DX along with the fact that major rewrites would be required under XP to get the same DX10 performance.(yes DX10 works on XP in some games, but not with nearly the same efficiency). Changes to the driver model would be needed in order to come close in matching efficiency.

Also your marketshare numbers are ludicrous, Windows has 90% of the market with 20% of that being Vista.

By WaterlessInAz on 11/13/2008 10:39:05 PM , Rating: 2
Most likely he is just not as ignorant as some,....

Microsoft creates an environment in each OS for manufacturers to make their hardware work. That hardware will ony work if the software written by the manufacturer is appropriate for the hardware to interface with the "environment" Microsoft creates,... the "environment" is accessible by all hardware manufacturers,... yet they often times are behind or don't write the software (drivers) to be compatible in that environment,.. sometimes they will work, but it is the manufacturer's responsibility. THERE IS NO WAY Microsoft can determine what type of hardware, how the hardware will be implemented and how to interface with propietary instructions from literally hundreds of different companies.

98(actually better represented as ME)->XP is just as big a step as XP->Vista

ME was an intermediate step combining some features of the NT line into the 9X line, but ME to XP was a complete rewrite, XP to Vista was a complete rewrite,... Vista to Windows 7 is not,.. it will be a revision, with new features and updates.

So drivers that worked in 95 very often worked in 98 and even Me but not XP usually and almost no chance in Vista
They also had little chance of working in NT 4 or 2000 though.

So before you bash someone for having a working knowledge of things, and yourself little understanding with lots of ignorance (maybe that is why you voted Obama),... get a grip and realize what you don't know.

By kc77 on 11/14/2008 9:48:30 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry Waterless, but XP to Vista was NOT a complete rewrite. As someone who supports over 200+ machines there are many KB updates that apply to Windows XP and Vista, meaning the same executable fixes the same problems with both operating systems. I can also tell you as someone who has also QA'd millions of lines of code the likely chance of seeing the same issue in the exact same spot after a "complete rewrite" is slim... really slim... as in almost not possible. As with many complex pieces of software there are libraries of modules that, other than aesthetics, do not change.

By Yawgm0th on 11/14/2008 10:24:42 AM , Rating: 2
but ME to XP was a complete rewrite

There was no such rewrite. ME was an awful attempt at segregating the business and consumer product lines to the NT and 9x kernels, respectively, when the NT kernel was vastly superior. XP was an update to 2000 which included some of ME's features. Most of ME's consumer-orientated features were not present in the NT line until XP.

Although chronologically it was 2000 > ME > XP, the two lines were completely separate. Some of the consumer-oriented features of ME were thrown on top of Windows 2000, along with a changed UI and a plethora of other miscellaneous changes, making XP. Aside from some specific features and the UI, however, XP SP1 and 2000 SP4 are virtually identical to this day. XP and ME's biggest similarity is System Restore, which doesn't even work right in ME.

98(actually better represented as ME)->XP is just as big a step as XP->Vista

Going with the tick-tock analogy used in the processor market, the best chronology is this:
Windows 3.0 > Windows 3.1 >> Windows NT > Windows NT 4.0 >> Windows 2000 > Windows XP >> Windows Vista > Windows 7

Notice the complete lack of 9x systems. The DOS-based 16-bit/32-bit hybrid kernels used in Windows 3 - 98 were dropped entirely and NT was a vastly different (read: superior) kernel. ME was the last of the line of the old kernels, and also the last bad version of Windows. Additionally, XP was the first consumer-targeted NT-based OS. With all this in mind, 9x systems fit no where into the NT chronology from a technological or marketing standpoint. Here's a good chronology for the consumer line of MS products not based on NT:
Windows 3.0 > 3.1 >> 95 > 95 OSR2 >> 98 > 98SE >> ME

So drivers that worked in 95 very often worked in 98 and even Me but not XP usually and almost no chance in Vista

Regarding drivers: There are basically four Windows standards: VxD (virtual xxx driver), Windows NT Driver Model, WDM (Windows Driver Model), and WDF (Windows Driver Framework) -- in that order. Windows 98 was the first OS to support both VxD and WDM. NT-based systems never supported VxD or the newer WDM and WDF. Windows 95 OSR2 and earlier never supported WDM. Many, maybe most manufacturers not supporting NT drivers continued writing VxD drivers only until 2000 and in some cases XP became popular. Hence, XP and 2000 did have a moderate amount of driver compatibility issues.

However, most companies supported VxD and NT's driver model. XP and 2000 both worked fine with more than 90% of NT drivers, so there was not the same level of compatibility issues as with Vista. Some NT drivers drivers didn't work, and the small amount of hardware with only VxDs didn't work.

Vista, however, changes things. Drivers not written explicitly to WDM or WDF standards tend to have issues or not work at all. Kernel-mode drivers in particular do not function if they aren't written to standard. It is easy to write drivers that work for Vista, XP, 2000, and their server counterparts all at once. It is not easy to take a kernel-mode NT driver that was hacked to work on 2000/XP or barely worked on 2000/XP and rewrite to for Vista. Moreover, what is the return on investment for a company to rewrite ancient drivers for ancient hardware?

That brings us to the driver status of Vista now. People are unhappy that their 6-10 year old hardware doesn't work because proper drivers weren't written for 2000/XP over nine years ago when the companies had access to WDM. You can blame the companies for not writing and updating proper drivers, or you can blame the end-users for having unreasonable expectations. The only hardware I expect to work for that long with modern software is an expensive printer (read: business grade) or a monitor. The latter will almost always work, and the former usually well, given the company still supports it.

I have an anecdotal note to conclude. I have an 8+ year-old HP Color LaserJet printer I purchased from an elementary school. It's the standard big, business grade HP printer, but very old. It has drivers for Mac OS 8 - Mac OSX 10.5, Linux, OS/2, and Windows 3.0-Server 2008 x64. I'm sure it cost the school $1000+ when they bought it. It works wonderfully and cost me $100. I'm sure it will be another release of the NT kernel or two before I lose driver support. If HP didn't have all those drivers, who would I blame for my inability to use it?


On a final note, I can only think of one ad hominem attack more ridiculous than attacking your opponent's choice of political candidate: comparing your opponent to Hitler or the Nazis. We have Godwin's Law for that. Do we need a new one?

By FITCamaro on 11/13/2008 10:04:27 AM , Rating: 1
Will Windows 7 have a 32-bit version? God I hope not.

By Gzus666 on 11/13/2008 10:17:37 AM , Rating: 2
They better not, I'm so sick of 32 bit operating systems. Just make the switch already. If MS doesn't force it, no one will ever be forced to make 64 bit software and make it all function properly.

By omnicronx on 11/13/2008 10:18:54 AM , Rating: 2
7 is slated to be the last 32 bit release of Windows, but who knows, so many proprietary software is based on 32bit code, which will hamper MS's sales of the next OS if business's have to rewrite all of their programs for 64bit and could force MS to release yet another 32 bit product.

By FITCamaro on 11/13/2008 10:03:17 AM , Rating: 3
why didn't you pressure driver development years before Vista released

Oh you mean like they did?

Don't blame Microsoft for other companies failures.

And they had to change the driver framework. They completely changed the kernel. They eliminated support for 16-bit code. Is progress never supposed to happen because god forbid older things break? I guess we should all go back to running Windows 98SE.

By chizow on 11/13/2008 10:56:17 AM , Rating: 2
No they did change the kernel dramatically so that only system processes have direct access to the secure rings of the kernel. This was intended and as a result, we see far fewer crashes and BSODs in Vista compared to XP. If a hardware driver or process fails or crashes, it shuts down but does not take the kernel with it. The massive decrease in BSOD and hard-locks are easily one of my favorite improvements in Vista over XP.

As for who's at fault, I'd say a bit of both. Hardware vendors were certainly slow at getting 64-bit drivers out at Vista launch, but even after they improved support, there have been lingering issues with 2/4GB systems and drivers. But MS and their OS still control all the system resources and can create their own conflicts as a result.

One of the earliest Hot Fixes for Vista 64 was the 2GB+ installation bug where the install would fail if you had more than 2GB installed. The cryptic workaround was (and still is for non-SP1 disks) to install with only 2GB, then insert the rest after running Windows Update.

There were also quite a few Hot Fixes for 2/4GB systems and USB drivers, something that MS still struggles with now after championing USB drivers a few years back.

By ChronoReverse on 11/13/2008 11:04:40 AM , Rating: 2
As an addendum to that, the 2GB+ problem only occurred in a specific subset of Nvidia hardware. For instance, I had an Intel P35 chipset motherboard (made by Gigabyte) and certainly had no issues with installing Vista with 4GB of RAM.

By emboss on 11/13/2008 4:50:53 PM , Rating: 2
No they did change the kernel dramatically so that only system processes have direct access to the secure rings of the kernel. This was intended and as a result, we see far fewer crashes and BSODs in Vista compared to XP. If a hardware driver or process fails or crashes, it shuts down but does not take the kernel with it.

Incorrect. Most of the drivers in Vista are no more isolated from the kernel than they are in XP (or NT4, for that matter). The only ones that are more isolated are the graphics drivers and drivers for some USB devices.

KMDF sorts out some of the groundwork for future implementation of isolated drivers, but it needs kernel support which simply isn't there at the moment. Kernel support for driver isolation is not going to be coming until Windows whatever-is-after-7 at the very earliest.

By chizow on 11/13/2008 8:16:18 PM , Rating: 2
And audio, and IDE and everything else that isn't a system-level process. Only system-level processes have access to Ring 0, the most secure layer of the OS, which is a vast departure from XP. Again, the results are obvious, as a hardware/driver/app crash will not take the kernel crashing down with it in Vista.

By emboss on 11/14/2008 2:33:45 PM , Rating: 2
And audio, and IDE and everything else that isn't a system-level process. Only system-level processes have access to Ring 0

That's simply incorrect. I'll say it again more clearly: with the exception of a small number of USB devices, every device in your computer has a driver which executes at least some of its code in kernel mode (ring 0). Nearly all drivers are purely kernel mode, graphics drivers are mixed (part in user mode, part in kernel mode), and a small number of USB device drivers are purely user-mode (except for the common kernel-mode components of the UMDF). Rings 1 and 2 are unused, mainly because they can't offer much more protection than a simple ring 0/3 model, and also because changing between privilege levels is slow.

Of the two classes you mention: any bootable block storage device driver must be a purely kernel mode driver (so all IDE, SATA, SCSI drivers are kernel mode, USB and firewire block devices could be user-mode, but are still kernel mode last time I checked). Secondly, and I'm almost certain that Vista does not support user-mode audio drivers due to latency problems and DRM requirements. In any case, all the audio drivers I know of are kernel mode.

Again, the results are obvious, as a hardware/driver/app crash will not take the kernel crashing down with it in Vista.

Again, simply incorrect. It's trivial for a driver to take down Vista - simply scribble all over the GDT, for example.

By omnicronx on 11/13/2008 11:25:53 AM , Rating: 2
You do realize that 16bit programs have been emulated since the move to windows NT (aka Win2k). Its a subsystem that sits ontop of windows, it cannot do 16bit natively. 64bit systems just did not provide this subsystem for emulation, and with good reason, why on earth do you need 16 bit compatibility when they are trying to make the move from 32bit to 64 bit.If you really need it, thats what dosbox is for, its a waste of space and resources on a 64bit system.

P.S this does not mean you can't use CMD, it is still 32bit, it just means no old 16 bit apps ala COMMAND.COM will no longer work.

By Gzus666 on 11/13/2008 11:49:55 AM , Rating: 2
WHAT! Commander Keen and Prince of Persia should all run natively on my Windows 7 64 bit operating system. DAMN THEM!

Seriously though, why does anyone need this kind of backward compatibility on new systems?

By omnicronx on 11/13/2008 11:59:23 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly, if you are going to spend the money on a new 64bit system, 16bit compatibility should not be an issue. You don't need a quad core PC with 8 gigs of ram in order to run simple 16bit code.

By Gastrian on 11/14/2008 10:53:18 AM , Rating: 2
Because there is still no true remake/sequel to the Syndicate or X-Com games and all my old hardware has given up the ghost.

I used to work in a computer store and our till system was based on an old database running in windows 3.1. We looked at ugrading the system and tried three different applications which had nice features but weren't as good as our basic one when it came to running as a till. When we eventually did get a new one I had to spend three full days manually entering our old databse into our new one because the new "fancy" software wouldn't transfer data from the old system. We had to close the store for two days which is quite bad for a small independant when they are still paying lease and wages.

Its not just big internationals who have trouble with upgrading and a lot of small stores operate on the if it aint broke don't fix it mentallity due to the loss in time and money of trying to replace an old system with a newer one that does exactly the same thing.

By SiliconAddict on 11/13/2008 10:30:15 PM , Rating: 2
Why would you want to continue a system that is so tied to the kernel that it can BSOD a system. Currently with Vista most hardware driver failures, when programmed appropriately, should not crash the system. Again MS has a good system in place if the damn developers would use it.

By WaterlessInAz on 11/13/2008 10:45:27 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, however developing drivers is a very high expensive for a company that is hardware driven and efficient in the manufacturing process.

This is why they don't have timely drivers on a new OS release, why older products often don't get the support on the software side to work with a new OS, why it is easier and cheaper to kill a line of products and promote the newer one that has latest features and team in place working on software already,...

By piroroadkill on 11/14/2008 10:28:39 AM , Rating: 1
I completely agree, especially with graphics drivers. I won't be able to use Vista or 7 on my main desktop machine because it has a clusterfuck of different graphics cards (some of which aren't DX9) for multi-mon output. Perfect in XP. There's no reason DWM had to require DX9. Mac OS X does a perfect job of using whatever acceleration it can use, or dropping back to software. But the point is the effects main consistent, none of this frankenstein "Aero", "Aero Basic" fucking bullshit

By fibreoptik on 11/13/08, Rating: -1
"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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