It has long been said that one of Microsoft's greatest challenges has been to support the wild and unpredictable PC hardware market, stemming from the fact that unlike Apple, Microsoft has little control over the hardware that its OS comes to reside upon. True or not, one thing is certain: a bad driver can turn an otherwise stable system into a nightmare. To help put an end to this, Microsoft is turning to a Driver Quality Rating (DQR) system that it hopes will motivate both OEMs and device manufacturers to increase their commitments to driver quality.
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.)
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