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Microsoft Operating Systems Software Windows Hardware

Does the Windows Logo Mean Anything? 175

Dan writes "The Windows Logo Program was supposed to be Microsoft's key to ensuring that all hardware devices work well with the Windows operating system. It worked in Windows XP, it would be expected to work just as well in Windows Vista. Unfortunately, there are obvious signs that the Windows Logo Program is no longer a trustworthy standard. Recently, even graphics cards are getting certified without working drivers. The article digs into the 321-page Microsoft Windows Logo Program 3.0 document to find out what the Windows logo is supposed to mean in Vista."
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Does the Windows Logo Mean Anything?

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  • Isn't it obvious? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @02:43PM (#18648381) Homepage
    > The article digs into the 321-page Microsoft Windows Logo Program 3.0 document to find
    > out what the Windows logo is supposed to mean in Vista.

    I thought it meant that the manufacturer had paid a fee to Microsoft.
  • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @02:47PM (#18648427)
    Kind of like the "E-SECURE" tag you find on sites supposedly establishing that they are trustworthy and yadda yadda. All it really means is that they've paid the $25,000 licensing fee to include it.

    Who really paid attention to the window logo program anyway?
  • Absolutely (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 07, 2007 @02:50PM (#18648457)
    "Stay Away!!!"
  • by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <> on Saturday April 07, 2007 @02:50PM (#18648467)
    That's the gist of it. You pass their tests, certify that you are who you say you are, and 2 weeks later you've got the logo. They determine whether to revoke the logo by the number of customer complaints that arise after the fact.

    Charles Simonyi would be rolling over in his grave if he saw what Microsoft was doing with the logo program. Just kidding, of course. He's not dead. He's not riding the Shuttle today.
  • by shadowspar ( 59136 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @02:52PM (#18648489) Homepage

    The hardware manufacturers look at all the other things that run in a broken, half-assed way on Windows and think "Hell, our stuff works at least as well as all that junk; there's no reason we shouldn't be able to put the Windows logo on it as well."

  • VISTA READY! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DarkLegacy ( 1027316 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @02:53PM (#18648507) Homepage
    My monitor came with a "VISTA READY!" sticker on it. But what if I wanted to use my monitor with another operating system? Would it not be "Windows XP ready"? Would my monitor refuse to display anything if I suddenly used it with any other operating system? These "certified by Windows" logo (WHQL) things are total buckwheat. They are absolutely worthless.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 07, 2007 @02:55PM (#18648531)
    What the hell does "certified for Windows Vista" mean other than works with Windows Vista? You have to be completely daft to claim this is not false advertising to place such a certification on a product and not have that product work with Windows Vista.
  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @02:56PM (#18648543) Journal

    You know as in winmodem or winprinter, a device that has taken much of the logic from the device were it belongs and onto the cpu were it will cause slowdown and despite the fact that software should be easier to update this only means the device will ship with buggy logic wich will never actually get updated.

    Windows "ready" meant stay the fuck away. This is crap only a windows user would fall for.

    After all, what device does NOT work with windows? For all its craptastic nature the windows OS widely supported and you would be very hard pressed to go into an average store (look, the apple store does not count alright) selling computer components and come out with a device that does not have windows drivers.

    The windows logo therefore means absolutely nothing. Never has, never will. It can't, ms can't even certify its own stuff. Let alone others. When MS stuff works with MS stuff, then and only then can they start commenting on others people hardware.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @02:58PM (#18648579) Homepage

    The page being linked to has so much advertising-related dreck that it uses 8-12% of the CPU just sitting there. Much more if you move the mouse over it. And that's with popup blocking. There's ad-related Javascript on that page for at least five different ad systems: "Rojackpot", "Google Syndication", "PriceGrabber", "", and "AdSolution". Plus attempts to get the article onto Digg and Reddit.

    The article content sucks, too. They don't understand the WHQL process, and don't give any real insight into whether it is broken. It's just a page of junk content intended to fool blogs like Slashdot into feeding them traffic. And Slashdot's "editors" fell for it.

  • by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @03:11PM (#18648701)
    When I see that logo, it means "Hey, the cost of this laptop includes that of a Windows license that you're not going to use." (I just install Linux.)

    That is, when I see the logo I get reminded of the Windows tax that I'm about to pay, and get more annoyed with both M$ and the manufacturer.
  • by Dracos ( 107777 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @03:22PM (#18648809)

    The Windows logo program worked for XP because MS management seems to have been more competent with XP than they have been with Vista. Is this because of top level personnel changes, MS being spooked by increasingly visible competition (regardless of actual threat level to MS) since 2001, or both?

    It was never meant to actually certify anything, only give the appearance of such. The fact that it worked for XP is icing on the cake, but the slapdash hardware situation (insane system requirements, spotty device support) in Vista exposes the program for what it is: a way for hardware OEM's to ride MS's monopoly coattails.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 07, 2007 @04:05PM (#18649215)
    Not anymore. Now I would say that /. is split amongst the OSs. If you make a disparaging remark about Windows, even when true, you will get modded down in a BIG way. Near as I can tell, it is not just the fanboys doing this. I suspect that MS has paid FUDers here to try and keep things in check. Finally, I have noticed that the tech. level of /. has decreased significantly over the last decade. That says a lot.
  • Look at one of the references in the linked article: pgno=1 []

    A "Vista Certified" device that:

    A)Is incredibly difficult to get to install, and
    B)Results in repeatable on-boot BSODs, and
    C)Is incredibly difficult to get to uninstall, *and*
    D)Leaves packages on your HD after uninstall that cause repeatable on-boot BSODs.

    Either the Vista (display) driver development process is as much of an after-thought as Linux driver development, or Vista's "NEW AND INNOVATIVE" hardware environment is so incredibly buggy that wrestling with all the necessary work arounds is a very difficult task.

    My guess? The new Vista driver model is so overly complex that developers will have a hard time working with it indefinitely. Either development budgets will have to go up (unlikely, for ATI and Nvidia, at least), or hardware release cycles will have to slow. Given that Vista has been in *public* development for such a long time (Betas & Release candidates), I'm guessing there is a systematic problem to driver development that most hardware companies cannot adapt to.

    Take a look at this: []
    "Finally, the complexity of these drivers is simply astounding. Diercks claimed that each of the six drivers that NVIDIA has to develop for Windows Vista is roughly 20 million lines of code long; about as much code as Windows NT 4! While I am sure there is some significant driver overlap between the six separate modules and the 20 million lines on each, projects of that magnitude are something most normal people couldnt even begin to wrap their heads around. "

    Consider that Vista contains approximately 50 million lines of code, and took 5+ years to develop. Consider that Linux Kernel 2.6.0 was 6 million lines of code, and contains *thousands* of drivers.

    Now, does this mean that Vista driver programmers are simply going to give up, Vista will collapse, and we'll all switch to another OS? Of course not; these companies *will* manage to overcome the overly complex development environment, and will create working drivers. In Time.

    What we may see, however, is that Linux drivers will start improving faster than Windows drivers; and I can even potentially forsee a day when the Linux binary video drivers beat Vista drivers to the punch, in terms of properly supporting newer hardware. Architectural problems don't necessarily cause development to fail, but serious organizational difficulties impact release cycle, and result in more annoyance and security bugs.
  • Bad memory (Score:2, Insightful)

    by anss123 ( 985305 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @06:20PM (#18650501)
    My god, Slashdot renders badly in IE5.0. Anyway, it is amazing how troublesome bad memory can be. I recently installed 'new' hardware in my box, and got the dreaded BSOD. At first I blamed the new hardware, but stumbling over a tip that bad memory could cause those things I ran memtest86+. Several red errors later I'm now running my memory _bellow_ specs, and all is fine and dandy. Sigh.

    Point is, some hardware work together perfectly, some don't. I doubt Microsoft ever can be 100% certain your new and shiny graphic card, or mouse for that matter, will work with 100% of Windows systems.
  • by Ben Hutchings ( 4651 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @06:26PM (#18650537) Homepage
    WHQL still is a pretty tough standard. But since manufacturers run the test suite on their own hardware there's nothing to stop them turning off unstable performance hacks to pass WHQL then turning them on in the shipped installer (using registry settings rather than rebuilding the driver). Based on past behaviour I can certainly imagine graphics card vendors doing that.
  • Re:Windows Tax? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mackyrae ( 999347 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @06:31PM (#18650589) Homepage
    Dell's the only big manufacturer willing to give refunds on Windows. If you want to buy a Linux-pre-installed computer, it is doable, yes, but you have to buy online. You can't walk into a store and see if the trackpad on a laptop is rough or too slippery to be usable, if the buttons for that trackpad are oddly sized/shaped so as to be ungainly, how the keyboard feels, how the screen is, etc. With a desktop, I don't suppose it matters much, though if you like to mess with the inside of the computer, you may be interested in how much space is inside and being able to check and see if the case has sufficient airflow, etc.
  • by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @07:23PM (#18651001)
    "Near as I can tell, it is not just the fanboys doing this. I suspect that MS has paid FUDers here to try and keep things in check. "

    I seriously doubt that. The Slashdot Community was over-zealous in attacking Microsoft. Eventually it spouted enough bullshit to recieve a backlash. (Watch, same thing will happen to Sony within the next year.) No need to pay people to take sides on the internet, it's natural. If this really bothers you, the first thing you can do is lead by example. Don't go overboard with your opinions. "George Lucas raped my childhood!" ... is going to get you a lot of hoots and hollers at first, then you'll get people verbally attacking you over it. If you were to become omniscient, you'd find that they weren't actually paid by George to say that. They were just tired of the BS getting spread.

    I do find it amazing how people fall over each other just to get the phrase (+5, Informative) next to their posts. I sometimes wonder if Slashdot is some long-term study of human psychology.

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