Win7 Hardware Compatibility Much Improved over Vista

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft says it's working with 10,000 software and hardware manufacturers to maximize the compatibility of Windows 7, in an attempt to avoid one of the most critical issues with Windows Vista.

Bill Veghte, the Microsoft executive who oversees Windows development, says the work of 10,000 firms towards optimum compatibility is evidence that his company is serious about making the Windows 7 experience a convenient, easy, and enjoyable one.

Veghte went on to say that the current efforts are unprecedented for the release candidate stage and Microsoft normally doesn't get to the 10,000 firm figure until the finished version goes on sale. (Source:

"Very very close" to Optimum Compatibility

Of course, it's not just the sheer number of companies with compatible products that affects the average user's experience. It's arguably more important that products from the major companies are compatible: one of the most significant problems with the release of Windows Vista was that Adobe didn't have a Vista driver for its Postscript printing system available.

However, Veghte says the firm is "very very close" to getting compatibility across the product ranges of the major players. (Source:

Printers And Modems Less Problematic

Two major issues may already have been resolved. The biggest problem area with Vista was printers. During September 2008, after the first Service Pack had been distributed, 11.24% of attempts at installing a printer ended in failure. At the time, Microsoft's Chris Matichuk said a failure rate of anything above 3% was "not good".

Vista's printer problems were down to the system struggling to cope with multifunction devices such as printers, scanners and fax machines. The system often recognized these functions as if they were independent devices, causing confusion. This could well be rectified with the revamped Device Manager in Windows 7.

The new system should also have fewer problems with modems, which were the second biggest cause of hardware compatibility problems with Vista. That's because modems used for getting wireless Internet over 3G networks used a relatively new technology at the time. Now that the technology is firmly established, Windows 7 should do a better job of coping with it from the start.

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