First, let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Relph and I am a Senior Director with the Windows Product Strategy Group and I lead a group known as the Windows Ecosystem Team. My team and I focus on a few specific areas – compatibility of applications & hardware, working with our partners and driving developer excitement for Windows 7 (and beyond). As we count down to the launch of Windows 7, I will be posting updates from all of these areas.
Partners, both hardware and software, are essential to Windows. They build the products that help you at work or entertain you at home. We call this our “ecosystem” of partners and they help to make your experience with Windows great. So, with the launch of Windows 7 right around the corner, I want to spend some time talking about the Windows 7 Logo Program that highlights the products from this ecosystem of great partners.
The Compatible With Windows 7 Logo is designed to help customers make better purchase decisions by identifying products that have passed Microsoft designed tests for compatibility and reliability with Windows 7. Since we designed Windows 7 to be compatible with the products you use every day, many of these products will just work and thousands of partners are committing to meeting an even higher quality bar.
For Windows 7, we’ve made a number of changes to the Logo criteria and the process for granting Logo status. Our goal is to make the “Compatible with Windows 7 Logo” about the customer and ensuring them the best experience possible with Windows. A few of the changes we made include:
- We focused on robust testing requirements to ensure optimal Windows 7 experience. Products that receive the Logo are checked for common issues to minimize the number of crashes, hangs, and reboots experienced by the user.
- To be granted the Logo, products are tested to work with all versions of Windows 7 including 64-bit. This is an important change since 64 bit systems are becoming more mainstream.
- We changed the testing process, reducing the amount of paperwork required and making it less expensive for our partners to achieve the logo.
- We reached out to partners earlier giving them more time to test their products for use with Windows 7
These changes have already been met with positive results from our partner community. For the last several months we have been running a program for partners called Ready.Set.7 designed to help them achieve the logo. There are already over 6000 products that have received the logo and many more are added every day. You can see some of the partners who have already passed the logo tests at readyset7.com.
Like I said, the Logo is really about our end-users. We have a simple goal to help Windows customers to easily find great products that work exceptionally well with Windows 7. Hardware and software products that receive Compatible with Windows 7 Logo offer many advantages for our customers:
- It is very easy to identify products that are for Windows 7. The logo will appear on packaging and on retailer websites
- Devices that carry the logo will work seamlessly. For example, a digital camera will automatically transfer photos or a wireless router will easily be set up in minutes and you can add a wireless device to Windows 7 that has received the logo in seconds.
- Software will install without worry. Applications and drivers are signed so that you know the file has not been tampered with and can trust there is no malware or spyware.
If you are in the market for new hardware or software and you want to know it will work well with Windows 7, look for the Compatible with Windows 7 Logo. If you are a software or hardware vendor, see how other partners are getting ready and learn more by visiting readyset7.com
You will hear more from me about the Windows Ecosystem in future posts and you can follow me on Twitter @mrelph.
Update: To be clear, this program “Compatible with Windows 7” is intended for applications and devices you purchase after you get a computer, which is why supporting 64-bit Windows 7 is a logo requirement. As part of the Windows 7 Logo Program for computers, we have separate requirements that ensure PC’s will have a great Windows 7 experience out of the box and can upgrade to any edition of Windows 7. We’ll have an update on PC’s and what you’ll see on shelves in the coming weeks.We already have tons of great new PC’s in the pipeline running 32-bit and 64-bit in all types of form factors including small notebook PC’s (netbooks), tablets, desktops and all-in-ones)