Windows Driver Testing Expands to Windows 7

Microsoft's device driver policy with Vista has left many users out in the cold. Some vendors have chosen not to rewrite their drivers for the OS, which has a new driver model.

According to this Computerworld story linked on RedmondReport.com, Microsoft is apparently responding to that lack by tying driver certification with Vista to driver certification with the future Windows 7. The company will require hardware makers to test their device drivers on Windows 7 in order to obtain certification for Vista.

In other words, Vista's device drivers will be compatible with the new Windows 7, so this shouldn't be a big burden to hardware vendors, except for the additional time and expense of certifying on both operating systems. Ultimately, it will help users, but it will also help Microsoft improve acceptance of both operating systems.

I used to build development tools for Windows device drivers (anyone remember SoftICE?). I have sympathy for both users and driver developers. Do you have devices that don't work with Vista? Let me know at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

Watch That Safari!
Microsoft has issued an unusual security warning that involves Apple's Safari Web browser in conjunction with Windows: A combination of Safari's ability to download files without explicit user permission plus a vulnerability in XP and Vista concerning downloaded executables makes this a potentially serious problem.

I don't see this as a vendor spat, and I don't blame Microsoft for its response. However, Apple doesn't see this as a browser problem and hasn't committed to addressing it in Safari. For the sake of both browser choice and users who have settled on Safari, let's hope that Microsoft fixes the vulnerability in its operating systems.

Usually when I hear about alternative browsers for Windows, Firefox is at the top of the list and Opera gets mentioned occasionally. I almost never hear about Safari. Are you using Safari with Windows? Let me know at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

Mainsoft Unifies Microsoft and Java for Lifecycle Tools
Mainsoft, which builds a .NET-to-Java cross-compiler, has found a way to use its technology beyond the realm of development teams.

Specifically, it's offering an integration of IBM Lotus Quickr and Microsoft SharePoint into future releases of IBM Rational Team Concert and other Jazz-based products. This integration enables participants in the application development lifecycle beyond individual developers to share and exchange information across platforms.

I've seen a prerelease demo of this technology, and it's really cool. The integration between Rational Jazz tools, Quickr and SharePoint is completely seamless, so you don't even know it's two completely separate products.

Are there Microsoft and Java products you wish were seamlessly integrated? Send your wish list to pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Peter Varhol is the executive editor, reviews of Redmond magazine and has more than 20 years of experience as a software developer, software product manager and technology writer. He has graduate degrees in computer science and mathematics, and has taught both subjects at the university level.

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