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DOSGuy wrote:Windows 7, for instance, didn't "support" my Sound Blaster Live! because Creative Labs didn't write a Windows 7 driver for it. That's not Microsoft's fault
The audio stack was completely re-written
making hardware acceleration impossible and thus no drivers to be written for, except AC'97
. So no, they have everything to do with it.
Z98 wrote:A manufacturer actually has incentive to try to deprecate their old hardware as quickly as possible so that people have a reason to upgrade to newer ones. While they need to strike a balance to avoid pissing off customers, almost all manufacturers try to drop support at the earliest they think they can get away with it.
What Z98 said, but Creative Labs was a particularly appalling example. Creative Labs was capable of writing Vista/7 compatible drivers for all of the cards that they were still selling, but they chose not to create new drivers for discontinued products. Not only that, but they threatened legal action against people who created Vista/7 drivers for their discontinued products! Creative Labs stated in plain language that they opposed any efforts to extend support for their discontinued products; it was quite clear that they viewed such efforts as harmful to their ability to profit from forcing people to upgrade. It was a PR fiasco that eventually created enough backlash to get them to back down. The new audio stack -- or any other change in any version of Windows -- may prevent very small companies from creating new drivers, but not a company with the resources of Creative Labs. When the community stepped up after Creative Labs refused to, they got a smackdown for their efforts. A change that Microsoft made did indeed prevent people from using Windows XP drivers, but it was the manufacturer that chose not to create new drivers, and to prevent anyone else from doing so.
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Actually, Microsoft gets nothing by dropping support to older hardware, aside from the technical advantage of not having to keep compatibility with it. Think about it, they don't really care if you buy newer hardware as long as you do pay the license for Windows. If your hardware is not supported by newer versions of Windows, your two options are not upgrading (Microsoft suffers, as they lose a license sale) or buying new hardware making the hardware manufacturer gain money they wouldn't have gained if Windows supported your older hardware, while Windows would have, assuming you wanted to keep that hardware but upgrade to Windows "new and shiny" version.
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