When you’re testing your products to get the Compatible with Windows 7 software logo, there are times that you might need a waiver.
Companies can earn the Compatible with Windows 7 software logo by running your application through a series of tests. Unlike Windows Vista certifications, this is a self test. My ISVs have performed the test in a few hours and earned the logo. Generally, if your application works on Windows Vista, it will pass the Windows 7 tests. But occasionally, there may be issues.
Waivers are used to qualify your software as being compatible when there are good reasons or circumstances that vary from the requirements.
You can complete a waiver here. You can request a waiver for either a known waiver or unknown or special circumstance scenarios.
Known waivers are ones that come up and Microsoft has standard process for a quick resolution. These include:
- Install to the correct folders by default
- Digitally sign files & drivers
- Do not block installation or launch based on OS Version check
- Follow User Account Control (UAC) Guidelines
- Do not load Services and Drivers in Safe Mode
You can also request an exception for other reasons, called an exception request for unknown or special circumstance scenarios. These are handled on a case-by-case basis.
The details about individual waiver eligibility and scenarios are included in the requirements document found Windows 7 Software Logo Requirements documentation. The current version is http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9630189. The documents explains the requirements that are tested and recommended for getting the Compatible with Windows 7 software logo. As the requirement details and justification are discussed in the document, so are the scenarios and exceptions where a waiver can be considered.
So to clarify, detail on what requirements are eligible for a waiver, and what the waiver requirements entail are documented in the requirements document.
The approval process is as follows:
Waivers are currently evaluated once per week in a meeting with stakeholders and subject matter experts. If the volume becomes such that we cannot review all requests, we will move to two meetings per week so that all requests are reviewed weekly. Requests are evaluated based on their technical and business justification, based on the information provided in the requirements document. As the outcome is determined, requesters are notified via email of the outcome, as well as via the connect site’s waiver request form status.
As for the specific requirement for digitally signing files and drivers, our enforcement is currently somewhat relaxed, as per the matrix found in the toolkit’s release notes (available here: https://connect.microsoft.com/Downloads/DownloadDetails.aspx?SiteID=831&DownloadID=19072). Right now, you only fail if drivers are not signed, other files pass with a warning. If any of the drivers you redistribute are not signed, your application will fail. If you are redistributing a file failing for being unsigned, we will grant a waiver for this as long as the ISV has requested that their vendor provide them with a signed version. Please note, that for Windows 7, all files need to be signed with WLK v1.4 via the unclassified category, as prior versions do not support Windows 7.
While the Logo requirements for Windows 7 will not change during the lifecycle of the OS, the enforcement of the requirements (see the matrix in the release note) will. Microsoft will publically notify ISVs and partners via MSDN and other websites with a minimum of 6 months advanced notices as to which “PASS WITH WARNING” items will become “FAILURES” and require remediation or a waiver. Titles already having the Logo are grandfathered in, but new titles submitting for the logo will need to meet the new requirements.
For more information and to get the software logo toolkit, see Compatible with Windows 7 software logo site.
For help in getting your application compatible for Windows 7 and to announce your compatibility at Windows 7 launch, join Front Runner. You’ll also find extra marketing benefits. For those outside the United States, register your applications at http://isvappcompat.com
Bruce D. Kyle
ISV Architect Evangelist | Microsoft Corporation
Special thanks to Steve Olson for his contribution to this article.