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Nvidia Fails The Vista Test

Gamers are up in arms after drivers for the graphics processors prove incompatible with Microsoft's latest Windows operating system.

Nvidia is scrambling to improve the low performance of its graphic-card drivers on Windows Vista.

The maker of the GeForce graphic processors and related daughterboard products has received lots of flack from gamers who say their computer games crashed as a result of Nvidia drivers that have proven to be incompatible with Microsoft's latest operating system.

Nvidia has acknowledged that its Vista drivers haven't performed as well as they should, and said in an e-mail on Wednesday that driver development for Vista is "the highest priority in our company."

"We are working diligently to make sure we achieve and maintain the level of driver quality and reliability that Nvidia is known for," Nvidia spokesman Brian Burke said. "Over the coming weeks, Nvidia and our partners, along with the industry will continue to update Windows Vista drivers to ensure maximum performance on 3D applications and add feature support."

Current Nvidia drivers designated as compatible for Vista include the v96.85 for GeForce FX Series, the v97.46 for GeForce 6 and GeForce 7 Series, and the v100.59 beta driver for GeForce6, GeForce 7 and GeForce 8800.

To pressure Nvidia into action, one customer has launched a Web site to gather people interested in filing a class-action suit against the Santa Clara, Calif., company. As of Wednesday, NvidiaClassAction.org had more than a 1,000 registered users.

The anonymous creator of the class-action site insisted in a posting that he wasn't in it for the money. Instead, he promised to take the site down if Nvidia issued a public apology, provided a release date for stable drivers, and offered a token gesture. "A stupid T-shirt, game or rebate certificate -- not asking for a full rebate... but some amount -- would really go a long way."

Nvidia is not the only company to experience problems with Vista. Apple has said on its Web site that none of the software that it's made available for the Windows environment has been updated for Vista.

Editor's note: This story was modified Feb. 8 to correctly identify the city where Nvidia is based.

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