If Microsoft can't write drivers for Vista, what hope does anyone else have?
If there's one advantage Microsoft's Hardware division should have over everyone else making cameras, mice and keyboards, it would be the ability to write supporting software that worked pretty well with Windows. So it's both annoying and mysterious that the drivers for its latest notebook web cams are proving problematic to the point of being literally unusable with Vista.
Transit recently decided to try out new Microsoft's LifeCam NX-3000, a remarkably compact web cam (it's about the size of my thumb). The miniaturisation is a welcome development, the camera boasts of the ability to take still pictures at up to 1.3 megapixels, and the price (around $70) isn't too shabby either. But whether it's actually any good remains an open question here at Transit HQ, because it resolutely refuses to install under Windows Vista Business.
The main LifeCam software seems to start installing well enough, albeit with the sloth typical of pretty much everything under Vista. But once the on-screen instructions to actually plug the camera into the USB port appear, it all goes wrong. I connect the camera as requested. Despite already having a LifeCam CD straight from the package in the drive, the system tells me to insert the CD with the driver software. For good measure, I eject and reinsert it, and click on Next.
The unpromising message 'Searching disc for software' appears, followed by the news that Windows was unable to find any drivers for the device. Repeated attempts produce exactly the same outcome.
Given that it's a Microsoft product being installed from a CD supplied by Microsoft on a Microsoft operating system , the final part of the message is rather amusing: "If you know the manufacturer of your device, you can visit its website and check the support section for driver software."
Read on to discover how downloading new drivers reveals some fundamental flaws in Microsoft's own approach to its security model.
RECRUITMENT & RETENTION REPORT 2013HIRE OR FIRE? BUY OR BUILD
2013 is well underway and Australian companies need to know whether they should invest in IT skills training or pay a premium for the people they need.
If you want to know which choices are being made in your sector, what skills are hard to find, which sectors intend to hire or fire and where the IT spend is going, this free report is must have.