I have no MS branded hardware at home, and it all works FINE with the RC.
Pull the other one, MS.
Just one day on from confirming that Windows 7 will arrive on 22 October, Microsoft has begun punting “exclusive” hardware features for its operating system. In order to entice customers to buy computer peripherals produced down at the Redmond ranch, Microsoft is promising its hardware devices will be compatible with the …
...from refusing to support their OS if it's used with non-MS hardware and peripherals.
Hard times and all that, but they are obviously trying to increase revenue by trying to gently push customers in the direction of MS kit. Two problems with this; firstly I can already see other hardware manufacturers considering legal action on anti trust grounds; and secondly they will probably scare potential Windows 7 customers away. On reading this latest advice I'm sure some people will be concerned that Windows 7 won't work with their non-MS hardware.
Bit of an own goal really.
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MS compete on the hardware side. Apple cannot survive competition, that is why it is FORCING the extremly simple minded customer stupid enough to buy Apple crap to use Apple Crap Hardware (and software).
Apple is leader in anti-consumer behaviour. once Apple got your money, they only want one thing... more money. and they will do anything to get it, expecialy by selling you generic x86 hardware in shiny plastic case (that emit toxic fumes) at a grossly inflated price.
"Apple insist you use their hardware why should Microsoft be any different"
This is very good comment, I totally forgot about it.
Who cares if they promote their keyboard and mouse. Of course other brands are going to work, this is just their chance to push their hardware. Btw I own Microsoft Natural Ergo 4000 Keyboard and I love it. I care less if it has MS logo or not, it just works great. But it's just a dam keyboard, nothing more nothing less.
re: usb devices By Mark Legosz
That idea you suggested here, was the basic idea behind PCI, however, as no one can agree upon a standard, before one is created, they all create their own implementations, and thus you end up with a billion different ways to interface to a mouse. fortunately eventually defacto standard appear, and devices start to conform to these, until someone finds a neat little feature that they add to their device, making it non-compliant to the standard.
Having the device driver on the device, you then also need to decide which operating system you wish to support, as what PowerPC Apple mac, Intel Apple Mac, Windows 98, windows 2000, windows (blabla), linux, freebsd, etc all use different standards, so you end up with 2-3 gig of drivers stored in your usb device. If these drivers are updatable, then vira has a nice new hiding place, which will make it even harder to combat vira.
So though your idea sounds good (and has been tried before), it causes many problems..
The only way forward is to implement standards, such as what has now happend with Web cameras, where there now is a industry standard interface, such that you only need one single driver for all web cameras.
However, take printers, each printer "speaks" a different language, has different features, which makes it very hard to create a standard that covers everything - actually Postscript was such a standard - but was too expensive at the time (due to the hardware requirements and patents involved), and has then been replaced with the driver nightmare that is associated with printers.
If we went back to postscript, or an updated XML based postscript methodology, where the computer generated a fixed format, which the printers then interpreted, then it might have a chance. However, I doubt the industry would do this in the next many years, though it would save them money in the long term - no need to maintain software drivers on the computer, but the would need to maintain the software on the device instead.
... because I HAD the first oldish force-feedback joystick from Microsoft. All good (that thing could really knock itself out of your hands if you were not careful, the paper BS claimed 0.7kgf push-and-pull strength) until I bought a new PC WITHOUT the required MIDI ports to plug it.
The joystick was GREAT. It had real, actual, directional force-feedback, not just vibration. It was so powerful it required its own cooler on the base, along with a 24Vdc wall-wart transformer. And a nice touch, a infrared detector on the handle, so if you lost grip it would stop shaking. Try to land a Cessna with a 30 knots crosswind gust, and the joy really shines on its intended purpose!
Apparently, programing for this sucker was a pain, at least Windows-98 wise. Later they released a USB version, but it wasn´t quite powerful or so well-built, so I heard. Years later I installed a really good sound card, which included the MIDI port. No luck, its software was not compatible to WinXP anymore.
So, with a twist of fate, I still have that joystick (it still works), but no MIDI ports, and use a usb-plug-play Thrustmaster joystick instead. BTW, I should have bought these right from the start, they've been building JUST THAT and haven´t gone bankrupt for, like, er... 30 years?
I am still buying the HOTAS Cougar though, and authentic F-16 handle and throttle, (when I can afford it)...
With this sort of SNAFU from Microsoft, Logitech will best them in each and every hardware, be that mice or keyboard, except joysticks hehehehe.
PH, (now think of something with the word joystick and Paris Hilton on the same sentence!).
The MS hardware I've got is generally quite nice. Makes me suspect that it's someone else's work, rebranded, but it all works fine under Ubuntu. More than I can say for the Vista debacle, where the computer was useless, and it's not exactly working great under Win 7 beta either.
As Tom says, I'm expecting a very quick u-turn from them, or a referral to the EU monopolies/competition people...
Of course we all know they are just spouting typical marketing nadgers, but the average non el-reg reading sheep might sit up and take notice of this. They might buy some MS hardware instead of PCworld own brand gear - but honestly, this is no bad thing. I too have plenty of MS mice and keyboards around that my kids and employees have unsuccessfully tried to break over many years.
And in case you were wondering, I despise MS's bloatware and their anti-competitive behaviour. I also recognise good stuff when I see it.
Just saw a news item on the Manchester Guardian's website. Shock! Horror! Apparently, Windows 7 will not be offered by Microsoft to netbook manufacturers who use the ARM processor in their products. I'm not clear what the netbook maker whose comments the article featured was expecting; an ARM port of Windows 7, like Windows Mobile, wouldn't be able to run the Windows programs you see in the shops (x86 binaries, don't you know) any more than Linux would. In fact, thanks to Wine, rather less well than Linux running on Intel, AMD, or Via hardware.
"I've always wondered why drivers for USB devices aren't included on the device itself."
I've always wondered why USB Sticks don't just appear in My Computer without 3 or 4 System Tray messages appearing telling me my PC has 'Found New Hardware' and that Windows is 'Installing Software for New Hardware' before finally telling me 'Your New Hardware is Installed and Ready to Use'.
On my Mac, they just appear on the desktop, ready to use. No drivers needed, they're already there.
Manufacturers love OS changes. One new OS, and all old devices stop working. Manufacturers could spend money writing new drivers for their obsolete hardware, or they can sit back and let you buy replacement hardware to get the driver you need.
I can imaging that Microsoft has as much difficulty getting programming specs out of manufacturers as Linux programmers do. I respect Microsoft for not playing the same game with their own hardware. Their operating system may be an overpriced resource hog fit only for malware, but I have been impressed by the quality of their mice (mine still works after about 12 years).
@Mark Legosz: Cost
The cost of some flash increased by 30% for each layer of the distribution chain is significant on a £5 mouse. Instead, USB devices identify themselves as firmware devices. The operating system gets the device ID, uses that to get the firmware, sends it to the device and resets the device. The device then identifies itself as a webcam or whatever without having to include more than 16 bits of non-volatile storage.
"Apple insist you use their hardware why should Microsoft be any different"
Ahem. 1990 called and wants its argument back. Apple makes no such demands whatsoever. Every port on an Apple Desktop or Laptop is industry standard. Has been for years. On the very rare occasion that a proprietary port has been used (usually video connectors shrunk for space reasons on a laptop) there has been an adaptor available from Apple to connect to any 3rd party monitor, VGA or DVI.
Go on, have another go.
OK, so they are trying to give end-users the best possible experience... but there's more to it than just the peripherals. Microsoft need to be setting strict guidelines about the core specs of the machines first.
Desktop PCs with 448MB RAM, 80GB Hard disks and a 2.4GHz Celeron processor should NEVER have been *allowed* to run Vista, or show a Vista logo. Yet they did, and novices saw the cheap price, and bought it. Then slagged off Vista. Well, duh!!!! No decent keyboard or mouse could sort that disaster out.
If Microsoft want Windows 7 to get a good reputation, make the minimum requirements 2GB RAM and a proper processor. Hell, even netbooks could handle that.
I plug my slinky aluminium apple keyboard into Linux and say "it's a UK Apple Mac keyboard" and lo and behold, all the keys work as expected.
I plug same into XP and a msg bubble comes up and says "apple mac keyboard detected" and it doesn't work properly, because Windows has tried to map it as though it were a qwerty uk keyboard.
Somebody, somewhere, needs a good stiff kicking.
Unfortunately Autoconfig died along with the Amiga. The idea that hardware should just be recognised by reading the information directly from the hardware apparently wasn't something other OS creators were capable of reproducing reliably. Of course not every manufacturer of hardware is willing to go the extra inch of having identifying information stored within the hardware itself, but most do. The very fact things like digital cameras and usb flash drives usually don't need drivers shows it can be done even under Windows or OS X.
@Mark Legosz, no thanks... Problems I see:
1) There are a few broadband cards that do this, and it ends up being rather gross... They either show up as the device *and* a superfluos USB drive, or they show up as a USB drive until some "magic bit" is flipped on it, then show as the actual device only. Either is rather inelegant in practice...
2) "All supported OSes" means Windows and *possibly* OSX, I don't want the added complexity and costs for something that'll do me no good.
3) There's USB standards, the devices should just follow them. Then, no drivers are necessary (beyond basic USB drivers), simple as that. Printers "should" use Postscript (preferably..), PCL5, or standardize on a raster format. But they don't to cut costs.
4) You won't cut the footprint much by excising the drivers out of *most* OSes. Ubuntu, all the drivers included are probably about 200MB or less total, and that's including devices from the mists of time that Windows dropped support for years ago. OSX's drivers aren't too big either.
Microsoft -- please, what a silly way to push your hardware.... one thing I do have to grant them, they took a hard line with Vista and told webcam makes to quit making non-standard USB webcams, follow USB video standard or else. And they do now (keyboard, mouse, and gaming device makers already were following standards.). With that said, this means gaming devices, keyboards, mice, and web cams will work no matter who makes them, no Microsoft-branding needed (and, on the flip side, Linux has tons of webcam drivers to handle older webcams, but you can buy a new one without worrying about it since they follow standards.)
As noted, Microsoft actually makes pretty decent keyboards and mice. My computers run linux, but my keyboards are from Microsoft. Does this mean that future Microsoft peripherals will be deliberately incompatible with anything non-Microsoft? Although this certainly wouldn't surprise me, such a policy does seem unusually stupid, even for them... Oh well, plenty of other keyboards out there.
> and there would probably be security risks too.
No kidding - it would be a security disaster. A combination of a special USB device with a suitably written driver would crack an OS open with ease. If the driver is installed automatically from the device we then have a pwn-o-matic.
Microsoft, for years has been known as the makes of really good hardware and so-so operating systems. If it wasnt for their hardware i would say that Microsoft was suffering from "Symantec Syndrome"! A company thats better at making money than they are at making useful products...
As for them getting some anti-trust lovin', thats wont happen, not in this case anyway, in order to qualify as a monopoly one must control 70% of a given market, which, in this case, Microsoft doesnt, nor are they the biggest supplier. Logitech holds the biggest market share for mouse and keyboards.
Yeah, I own a couple of MS trackballs, very nice hardware. Optical thumb balls, scroll wheel, four (or five, if you thump the wheel) buttons, industry standard protocol. I know they are standard protocol devices because I use them on my linuxes. Wouldn't run windows if you paid me, it's for stupid or crazy people. Oh, yeah, I picked the trackballs up for $14.95, after MS obsoleted them. Didn't suck enough, I guess.
Microsoft has been producing hardware for over a couple decades... so why now all of a sudden would this be considered an anti-trust issue? From the gist of the press release it more or less sounded to me that MS is just guaranteeing that their hardware will be compatible with Windows 7, and some of the hardware may have Windows 7 specific enhancements. Big-woop.
As to the "drivers on the device" comment, the most common USB device that I can think of that most OS's don't necessarily have drivers for are printers. Have you looked at the size of most printer drivers lately? I mean JUST the driver, not all the support software that goes along with most printers? They can be HUGE. I doubt most manufacturers are willing to add a ROM/SRAM to store the drivers for multiple OS's on their device just for your convenience and to cut down on the OS size. You can just install it from the CD/DVD or download it yourself, thank you very much. Interesting idea, but one that isn't going to gain acceptance.
They can make some damn good mice and keyboards, and I believe it stems from their philosophy of viewing everything from the users perspective, their mice are a joy to handle, their keyboards are only beaten by IBM laptop keyboards. The same applies to their software, the UI is usually well thought out and it just works, things are where you expect them to be (usually again...) I think they take anthropometrics and ergonomics very seriously, its a shame the backend of their software is such a mess.
will it's mice and keyboards be any different to those sold by other manufacturers?
Ctrl+Alt+Delete will all be on the same key now?
All jokes aside, they still have to compete with the hundreds of other hardware manufacturers who are still going to be supplying Windows drivers with their products. And Microsoft will surely carry on including drivers for the vast majority of generic input devices with WIndows.
So basically Microsoft is punting it's hardware, not massive news.
Wake me up when you get the first reports of computers going tits up despite using MS software + hardware.
Good job at the biggest fail at spelling the plural of virus. I've seen some silly attempts, but sticking an 'a' on the end is about the silliest.
It's nice to see all the armchair lawyers quickly getting in their opinion that there will be a STORM OF LEGAL CASES AGAINST THE BEAST THAT IS M$. Shut up. Read what has actually been said (along the lines of "we produce hardware, this hardware will work on Windows 7") and continue peacefully.
This is a pretty poor comment-bait article.
All my periphials are Logitech. They seem to work flawlessly on Windows Vista. People read too much into a story. I doubt its even remotely legally possible to per say all you can use is a Microsoft mouse or keyboard as hardware manufacturers can write drivers to work with any operating system. Microsofts biggest failure in Vista was killing off fantastic sound cards. I built a new system just for Vista ;)
I have a microsoft mouse, intellimouse optical, USB, works very well. On the whole Microsoft make good mice, shame their software competes with Dyson for suckage.
I also have a Kensington Expert Mouse Pro, which is also very nice (and very expensive) for work that requires real detail.
However, my keyboard is an IBM Model M. I have three Model M keyboards now, and I'll only stop using them when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.
They tried, by abolishing PS/2 ports, but we have USB keyboard adapters. They tried adding new 'must have' keys (like the too easy to mis-hit and lose focus 'Windows' key, assorted shortcut keys for mail, volume, etc.), but I have applications that behave themselves.
Is this a move towards input devices that trigger DMCA violations? Are we to see an assistant that pops up and says 'It looks like you're quoting a novel, would you like me to Charge your credit card for your royalty fees, Delete the document, or Sue your backside?'
Did they actually make anything hardware ?
Frankly, if it only works with MS... we won't buy it.
Everyone making hardware now understands that...
We use a four color HP Laser printer that just works with Debian Linux (HP 2605dn)
We use Nikon cameras that just work in Debian Linux.
All of the great hardware that makes fast and powerful computers will just work in Linux or we will not buy it.
Now all of that stuff works fine in Windows (I think) but that is not the point.
The point is that it must work on a computer as an OS independent piece or we will not buy it.
Now, We are extremely anti Microsoft... But i do not hold it against any hardware company if what they make works with MS OS... but if it won't work with Linux, that company is toast as far as we are concerned.
I have new old stock IBM keyboards without the MS key ( KB 6323) and they work better than any MS designated keyboard made by whoever made them.
We use wide screen KDS LCD monitors that just work.
Nvidia, AMD, Intel, abit, Corsair... etc. All of them know that OS independence is the way forward.
Or else oblivion... the dust bin of history.
microminisoft can do whatever they like... it no longer matters.
Linux is the way forward. Everything else is irrelevant.
Can you imagine a supercomputer not working with Linux. No... Why is that.
> Microsoft, for years has been known as the makes of really
> good hardware
Actually I doubt that they _make_ any hardware, they just rebrand what others make.
With the original optical mice MS appeared to have 'innovated' when what they really did was go to the manufacturer and buy the first 6 months production to prevent anyone else having these.
> As for them getting some anti-trust lovin', thats wont happen,
> not in this case anyway, in order to qualify as a monopoly one
> must control 70% of a given market, which, in this case,
> Microsoft doesnt, nor are they the biggest supplier. Logitech
> holds the biggest market share for mouse and keyboards.
Get a clue. Being a monopoly is _not_ illegal. _Using_ that monopoly to leverage into another market _is_ illegal.
If MS were to, say, make other keyboards and mice not work properly with Windows 7 but their own did, then that would be illegal because they have a monopoly in the operating system market.
The statement that users should buy MS mice and keyboards to ensure compatibility is FUD against other makes. It also implies that users should buy _new_ MS mice and keyboards and perhaps older ones, even MS branded ones, may not work, or may be made to not work properly.
To be honest , I don't understand anti-trust bullcrap.
BUT it does raise a point, since OSX *clearly* runs perfectly well on non-apple hardware, why doesn't the EU kick Apple in the 'nads (legally speaking) and force them to do OSX for all?
Ah, no, I see, because Chewbacca lived on Endor. Of course!
I'll get my sock monkey.
Ahem. Not sure about the mini display port - not seen that one around anywhere else.....................(ps just not seen it myself, not saying it dont exist)
However in overall hardware use, Apple, in their EULA, insist that OSX is used on an Apple labled machine (or words to that effect., no i didn't look it up)
Still I didn't use the joke Icon to indicate I was making what I at least perceved as a (semi) funny remark. I assumed most people here would have the common sence to get the joke (or understand it was one - I know there is no joking about Apple to some people).
(thought the Flameon remark would help - oh well)
speaking of hardware. Maybe you can tell me why Apples memory upgrades cost so much - I have always wondered.
What a load of kak!
I have two Apple computers at home. The printers, mice, external HDs and an MP3 player are all non-Apple. Loads of non-Apple devices work just fine with Apple. In fact, one of the main reasons there are so few devices is that Apple have always been niche players with less than 10% computer market share.
Let's see how Microsoft get on when they open their stores to compete against Apple Stores. Or will they drop the idea just like they drop software when it suits them?
Go back under the bridge, Troll.
YES, bring back the natural keyboard, which proved MS could actually make typing one of the most atrocious torture ever:
I still see a couple of users here with that. They all suffer severe articulations trouble, I still wonder why ...
Their hardware ain't so bad. What sucks is the bundled software. My Ergo 4000 keyboard has five nice app-launcher keys at the top. Great. But can you get the latest Intellitype to assign shift-, ctrl- and alt- values to those keys too? Can you buggery. Intellitype now sports 'key banks' but there's no way to switch between 'em on older keyboards. So why did they even bother?
Have switched to using Launchy for quick-launching apps.
"To be honest , I don't understand anti-trust bullcrap."
"BUT it does raise a point, since OSX *clearly* runs perfectly well on non-apple hardware, why doesn't the EU kick Apple in the 'nads (legally speaking)"
Are Apple a monopoly? No.
How simple was that?
"and force them to do OSX for all?"
We know that 75% of people will either rip it off or not bother buying ( OEM copies, etc ), so we need to try to make some money out of it somehow. I know, the age old money spinner... MERCHANDISING!
Win7 t-shirts : "I upgraded and all I got was this lousy O/S!"
Novelty condoms : "You've been fecked the rest, now get fecked by the best! It's MS!"
Balloons : ( Full of hot air and no substance?! )
Hang on, I have a whole sheet full here.....
OK numbnuts, why don't you go round Sun, HP and IBM and demand that they make a version of their Unix run on my Nintendo Wii!!!
Even better why can't Sony get the PS3 XMB to run on my five year olf Palm Pilot! I demand answers!
Shut up and get back under the bridge you twat-dangle!
Did anyone actually read the press release before the flaming began?
Unlike the debacle with with Vista when, lets be honest, a lot of manufacturers were slow to get decent drivers for Vista Microsoft are saying that they have made sure none of their hardware is going to cause problems with the new OS.
Anyone who has had the misfortune to install an HD4850 Graphics card on a Vista computer will understand the pain of shoddy support. Its taken months and months for AMD and the various card vendors to admit the problems with that card lie with the drivers and not with Vista. I'm not seeing any of them announce that they are testing their products with Windows 7 to ensure we don't buy plastic bricks. But Im very sure they will be more than happy to take your money off you and then make vague accusations apportioning blame at MS when they blatantly know they are at fault. Which of course means you lot all get the pitchforks out and start the fires so you can burn M$ at the stake. Not all computer problems are caused by the OS you know.
And while we are on the subject, at least M$ updates their products on a regular basis. I can think of at least 4 major hardware manufacturers who should be strung up for their shoddy after sales service. When people stop acting like sheep and actually check their facts before making statements the world will be a better place.
Paris, because she knows she can get F@cked by more than one source
"""How is this different than Toyota or Ford saying you should use their floor mats in your car to ensure they're the right size and match the trim colour?"""
Very different. Ford and Toyota don't have a history of ensuring that other mats don't fit.
DR-DOS, Lotus, WordPerfect, .... now Logitech ?
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