Ya know, despite the operating system’s countless shortcomings, I have to say that Windows Vista’s driver support has exceeded my expectations. Let me give you two living examples.
Story #1: My Silicon Image 3531 (eSATA controller) was not recognized when I first installed Vista. I didn’t think much of it, as I don’t own any eSATA drives. Still, it’s annoying when a piece of hardware isn’t recogn… wait a second. Tonight, Windows Update tells me there’s a new driver available for my motherboard’s chipset. I install it, reboot, and am promptly prompted with the newly-familiar “I don’t know what the heck this is” hardware wizard. Did it not take? Well, it took the chipset update for Windows to recognize the Silicon Image controller. To my surprise, the wizard downloaded and installed the updated Silicon Image driver from the Windows Update repository. Smooth as silk.
Story #2: I just picked up a new laser printer all-in-one center (an HP LaserJet 3052). I popped in the CD to install the drivers and software, as that’s what it tells me to do – at least, for Windows XP and earlier. No matter what I tried, I couldn’t get the installation program to complete. “Run as Administrator” didn’t work, nor did logging in as the Administrator and installing it from that account. I was just about ready to give up, when I decided to plug the cable int… wait a second. Vista recognized every single function of the device – from printer to scanner.
Color me impressed.