Microsoft recently announced a new program to certify select software applications for Windows 2000 (Win2K). Software applications that meet the program’s stringent specifications can display the “Certified for Microsoft Windows” logo.
To qualify for Windows 98 or Windows NT Workstation 4.0 certification, an application had to meet several basic criteria, including providing 32-bit components, supporting Windows long filenames and file types, and providing correct uninstall support. Applications also had to degrade gracefully, and classify and store data in full cooperation with Window’s data storage system. Win98 certification also required extensive OnNow and Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) support, which allows for better mobile computing power management. The Win2K logo program retains these specifications and adds several requirements concerning the management of shared data and the application’s access to OS-protected files. The new program also adds requirements for adherence to system-level Group Policy settings and requires thorough verification testing for any kernel-mode drivers the application may employ.
Some critics have accused earlier Windows certification programs of being insufficiently stringent. However, Microsoft officials claim that the new Win2K logo certification program is the most technically stringent of any Microsoft has created. The new Win2K logo program boasts a revamped set of specifications that's rougher and tougher on independent software vendors (ISVs). As a result of this increased stringency, you can expect to see a considerable difference between applications that are merely Win2K compatible and those products that bear the official Win2K optimized logo. You can also expect to see a relatively small number of products bearing the logo, compared to previous generations of Windows applications.
Microsoft is working with an independent testing company, VeriTest, to test each application's compliance with certification specifications. VeriTest and Rational Software will offer tools for developers to self-test their compliance. For more information on compliance testing, visit http://www.veritest.com/mslogos/windows2000/.
Microsoft claims that certified applications will provide many benefits, including the following:
• Reduction of conflicts among shared components
• Easier software deployment and management for organizations
• Easily shared user preferences and settings, letting a user freely roam among various applications and letting multiple users maintain stable personal preferences on one machine For more information on Microsoft’s logo program specifications, visit http://msdn.microsoft.com/certification/default.asp.