The Windows 7 Logo program is intended ensure that consumers don't end up with products, both hardware and software, that won't run properly on Microsoft's new operating system.
Compatibility issues plagued Windows Vista in the weeks following its 2007 launch—a fact that contributed to Vista's widespread unpopularity.
Microsoft wants to ensure Windows 7 doesn't suffer the same fate. Compatible products gain the right to bear a sticker that says, "Compatible With Windows 7" on packaging and display materials. To win Microsoft's endorsement, the products must be compatible with all versions of Windows 7—including the 64-bit edition.
Logo-bearing products will experience a minimum number of crashes, hangs, reboots, and other issues, according to Microsoft.
The program "is designed to help customers make better purchase decisions by identifying products that have passed Microsoft designed tests for compatibility and reliability with Windows 7," said Microsoft Windows senior director Mark Relph, in a blog post.
"Since we designed Windows 7 to be compatible with the products you use every day, many of these products will just work and thousands of partners are committing to meeting an even higher quality bar," said Relph.
Windows 7 hits stores and online outlets on Oct. 22nd.
The full version of Windows 7 Home Premium is priced at $199, with an upgrade from Vista or XP costing $119. The full version of Windows 7 Professional is $299, with upgrades going for $199. Windows 7 Ultimate is priced at $319, with the upgrade version at $219.
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