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August 5, 2009

Partner Hardware Ecosystem Continues to Line Up to Support Windows 7

Hi everyone!

My name is Gary Schare and I run our hardware ecosystem marketing team. Building on Mark’s recent post on software readiness, I wanted to provide a deeper look at hardware readiness.

Hardware compatibility is a critical feature of Windows 7. We must have strong support from the hardware ecosystem to ensure that all of you have a great experience using Windows 7 with the devices and peripherals you rely on every day. This experience can range from “it just works when I plug it in” to “it lights up a new feature of Windows 7” (like Device Stage, Play To, etc.). The ultimate endorsement of this experience is the “Compatible with Windows 7” logo which is earned by products that pass rigorous compatibility and reliability tests.

Compatible with Windows 7

We have been working closely with hardware partners on readiness since very early on in Windows 7 development. These activities range from 1:1 technical engagement with top-tier OEMs and device makers, the Windows Ecosystem Readiness Program which scales out to tens of thousands of vendors, webinars and readiness events in the US, Asia, and Europe to assist our hardware partners as they prepare their products for the Windows 7 Logo.

All these efforts have paid off, and Windows 7 Logo momentum is very strong. We now have printers, scanners, networking cards, storage devices, video capture cards, and ultra mobile systems that have already earned the “Compatible with Windows 7” Logo, and many more on the way. Represented in this group of devices are some of the biggest names in the industry. Here are a few examples, organized by topic:

Home Networking

Home networking was once very intimidating for the average customer. That is why we have improved Windows Connect Now (known to the Windows hardware industry as Windows Rally) to help consumers easily set up a wireless network or add a device to the network in seconds. Top companies such as Linksys by Cisco and D-Link are taking advantage of this technology to help their customers.

The Linksys group at Cisco is integrating Windows Connect Now into new and currently shipping routers and network media devices. These devices will earn the “Compatible with Windows 7” logo.

Robert Berlin, Director, Home Networking and Peripheral Product Management, Cisco Consumer Business Group:

The Windows 7 platform approach to open standards, such as Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) and Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) help to enable easier connectivity of computers with home networking products such as our Linksys by Cisco routers and media entertainment products. We look forward to providing the added benefits of Windows 7 to our products for our customers to experience on their home networks. 

Other great companies like D-Link are also taking advantage of Windows Connect Now to help lower support calls for their products and create a streamlined set up experience for their customers.

Dan Kelley, D-Link:

The key to a great user experience is connectivity and Windows 7 provides D-Link with a platform and the proper resources to insure our devices provide a seamless connectivity experience out of the box.

Device Experiences

One of the great innovations in Windows 7 is Device Stage. Device Stage lets you see your device status and run common tasks from a single, branded window that’s customized for each device. Device manufacturers around the world are building customized experiences for Device Stage so their customers can easily discover new features in their devices (and even some old ones too!).

One of the many partners taking advantage of Device Stage is Sandisk.Their full line of Sansa portable media players support Device Stage allowing their customers to easily sync audio and video, access the user manual and forums, update firmware, purchase accessories, and more.

Greg Stevens, Director, Integration & QA, Sandisk:

We’re very excited for the upcoming launch. All our current and legacy Sansa portable media players support Windows 7. We also were the first company to earn the “Compatible with Windows 7” logo for any portable media players. The Sansa Clip, View, and Fuze have passed Microsoft testing for compatibility and reliability with Windows 7 under the Windows Logo Kit program.

Graphics Performance

Our partners have also been making lots of headway with Direct X. DirectX 11, introduced in Windows 7, provides an unprecedented visual experience for next-generation games on new hardware. It’s an experience that accelerates elegantly across multiple processor cores, display resolutions, memory configurations, and graphic adapters.

I’m especially excited by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), which delivered the first DirectX 11 graphics processor! This is fantastic for the adoption of the DirectX 11 platform, and great news for all the gamers out there.

Ben Bar-Haim, Corporate Vice President, Software Engineering, AMD:

The development of Windows 7 has been a tremendously collaborative effort, with the Microsoft and AMD teams working together to help ensure that today’s customer-centric platforms can take full advantage of Windows 7, as well as preparing Windows 7 for the rapidly evolving future of computer hardware. Everything from the development of DirectX 11, improved memory efficiency, superior display management, driver model robustness, and the new GPU acceleration infrastructure for desktop and scientific applications points to an advanced operating system designed to the needs of the computer industry for years to come.

And More …

There are many other partners getting ready for Windows 7 across a variety of device categories. To learn more about what they’re doing, you can visit where we’ve brought together stories and videos from our hardware and software partners. Here are a few examples.

Dwight Diercks, Vice President of Software Engineering at NVIDIA:

All of our hard work teaming with Microsoft over the past two years will pay off for NVIDIA GPU owners when Windows 7 launches. Our customers are demanding an experience that is faster and more visual, and the new GPU-accelerated features like DirectX Compute are sure to blow people away.

Hanoz Gandhi, Vice President of Products, Belkin:

Belkin is committed to giving our customers the ability to create a reliable network that seamlessly integrates with the upcoming release of Windows 7. We are working closely with Microsoft to test Windows 7 with our products and plan to provide support for Windows 7 after it’s publically available.

Ikuaki Kitabayashi, General Manager of Planning and Design, Epson:

One of the key innovations in Windows 7 is Device Stage, which brings together the formerly independent features of Epson’s multifunction printers into one location, allowing users to see device status and run common tasks from a single window, thereby providing seamless device usability. Also, a photo-realistic icon that represents their physical device further improves the ability to interact with Epson’s multifunction printers. With HomeGroup, Epson printers are easily shared with other PCs in the home, while being protected by dependable security measures. In addition, Epson’s network projectors support the Windows Network Projection feature in Windows 7. Finally, the Windows Rally program has really allowed Epson to focus on making the most of Windows 7’s advanced device management and networking features, and optimizing the user experience.

Tzumu Lin, CEO of WonderMedia Technologies, Inc:

We are pleased to offer support for Microsoft’s much-anticipated Windows 7 throughout our portfolio of feature-rich Networked Media Devices. Our WonderMedia PRIZM platform offers proven and certified building blocks for Windows 7-based devices, allowing end-users to enjoy the full Windows 7 experience and optimal system performance.

Scott Rader, Director of Product Management, WD Branded Products:

Our close working relationship with MSFT allowed us to take advantage of the features of Windows 7 to provide our customers a seamless, user-friendly experience while keeping their content secure and readily accessible.

Frank Martin, Sr. Director of Product Planning, Brother International Corp:

Windows 7 will take the user experience to the next level of features and usability. Brother is ready to utilize these new resources which can offer a truly rich user experience. We can’’ wait for our customers to have such a great experience with Windows 7 and Brother Products.

James Brailean, PhD., CEO, Packetvideo:

PacketVideo is working with Windows 7 to leverage the innovations for Device Stage to enable consumers to enjoy their photo, video and music files on connected devices throughout the home without limitation or hassle. This is through PV’s TwonkyMedia server, a best-in-class solution that has been adopted by leading consumer electronics manufacturers in the industry, and mobile handset connectivity solutions to the PC.

RK Parthasarathy, Vice President of Marketing, Ubicom:

Ubicom is expanding the definitions of the connected home and digital lifestyle through our flexible, highly integrated technology for networking, media and peripheral functionality. The ability to interoperate with Windows 7 ahead of public release ensures compelling user experiences for our customers’ products when they hit the market.

Todd Antes, Vice President of Computing and Consumer Networking, Atheros:

Robust support for Windows 7 is another important way that Atheros is demonstrating our commitment to delivering the best possible wireless experience in devices throughout the digital home and in the growing array of computing products, including notebooks and netbooks. We are pleased to have obtained the Compatible with Windows 7 logo for both our networking and computing solutions.


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