Graphics drivers developed for Vista, Microsoft's next generation operating system, will be far more stable than their Windows XP-based counterparts, and will not crash the operating system anymore, said an ATI executive.
Ben Bar-Haim, vice president of ATI's software division, said recently consumers will be able to identify graphics cards supporting Vista by way of a "Vista ready" logo, which will likely appear in multiple flavors indicating different feature levels. The release of Microsoft's new operating system may still be at least one year out, but hardware manufacturers, including ATI, are already gearing up for yet another certification and logo round: "Vista ready" will be the catch-phrase promoting hardware products as a safe investment.
While the software development process for a "Vista ready" graphics chip consists of many stages, the executive described the development of the drivers as the most challenging and complex task: "About two years ago," Bar-Haim explained, "we started working on Vista. Right now we have between 50 and 100 engineers working on projects related to the operating system. To ensure stability alone, it takes hundreds of man-months to get to optimized drivers." Bahr-Haim added that ATI runs about 2,000 different computer systems testing the stability of its drivers. "I think we had a pretty good driver in the Beta 1 in Windows Vista and you will see an even better one in Beta 2," he added.