Vista to Rate Drivers

Aron Schatz
June 15, 2006

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Most of us know that driver quality is a large problem in regards to PC stability. Vista will include feedback to allow a steady flow of money to help with its logo program. Most people don't understand that a WHQL logo costs money paid to Microsoft.


The DQR system relies on scores to indicate a driver's quality level, and it derives those scores from user-submitted crash reports. Microsoft's Online Crash Analysis Team will analyze crash reports to determine the ratio of crashing systems to non-crashing systems. Drivers that rarely cause crashes will be rated "Green," while moderately problematic drivers will be rated "Yellow." The horrid stuff gets a big, fat "Red" rating. (Microsoft has not revealed the exact methodology for determining these scores, only that "Green" maps to 7-9 points, "Yellow" 4-6, and "Red" 1-3.) Furthermore, to achieve a "Green" status, a driver must have been released and in use for at least 120 days (starting on June 1, 2007), and must maintain its stability throughout time. Driver manufacturers (or OEMs) must rectify any problem that causes a driver's rating to fall to "Yellow" or "Red" within 90 days, or suffer the consequences. For drivers of this sort, updates must be made available through Windows Update, as well.


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