Am I the only one being totally bombarded with ‘Give your application the green light’ and related emails from Microsoft and its minions? I must have had at least 30 so far. I took a few minutes to list my product in the Windows 7 compatibility guide (beware, cheesy audio). But that is all I intend to do.
I went to the trouble of getting the ‘works with Vista’ logo in 2007. The process was very broken:
- The winqual and Partner websites give me “certified by unknown authority” warnings.
- The Winqual website didn’t work at all in FireFox.
- There was a complete lack of clear guidance about what you needed to do next at each stage.
- The documentation was very poor, with broken links and much of it completely out of date (i.e. “more information will be available in 2006”, this was 2007).
- It took me about an hour of rummaging around on the winqual site and an email to tech support to work out that you can ‘sign’ the legal documents online (you have to tick a permissions checkbox on a separate page and do a few refreshes).
- You had to download a signing tool. It was in a zip file with a password. They didn’t tell you what the password was! Luckily I already had signcode.exe installed.
It was easily the most frustrating thing I have done in my career as a microISV. For that I ended up with an ugly ‘works with Vista’ logo (that probably just made customers think my software didn’t work on Windows XP), an entry in Windows marketplace (I already had one) and a Verisign authenticode certificate that I wasn’t allowed to use to sign my software.
Hopefully Microsoft have cleaned up their broken logo process since the Vista launch. But the benefits of the Windows 7 logo program seem slim:
- a “Compatible with Windows 7” logo (prettier than the ghastly “works with Vista” logo admittedly)
- 30 Partner Points for use in the Microsoft Partner Program (I have no idea what I would want those for)
- some PR templates (when did having a near identical press release to thousands of other companies become a benefit?)
- priority Listing in the “Windows 7 Compatibility Center” (I doubt any of my customers know or care about this)
- Windows built-in error reporting (I rolled my own, thanks)
Worst of all I would have to buy another overpriced Verisign certificate to authenticate myself to Microsoft winqual, even though I already have a perfectly valid authenticode certificate from Comodo.
I think I’ll pass.