This month, DaVinci became Certified for Windows VistaTM. DaVinci is the first and only appraisal software product in the country to earn that designation. Only Certified for Windows Vista software and devices have undergone Microsoft compatibility tests for ease of use, better performance, and enhanced security on PCs running the Windows Vista operating system. In essence, Microsoft® creates the standards and tests, and we worked to ensure that DaVinci met them.
Obtaining the Certified for Windows Vista logo wasn't easy. It took months of dedicated effort. We've been quietly working toward this goal since the beginning of the DaVinci project over a year ago and it was an important priority for us. And although Microsoft no longer has certification programs for Windows XP, we felt that becoming Certified for Windows Vista ensures DaVinci runs the best it can on Windows XP as well. In fact, we believe the Vista certification is even more valuable than the older XP certification, since the Vista process requires that the program be submitted to third party labs for rigorous testing, whereas the XP process allowed companies to simply assert that they ran much less comprehensive tests on their own and that they passed. If a company fudged the truth, it was virtually impossible for Microsoft to catch them due to the scale and scope of the software industry. The Vista process therefore is a much better indicator of the truly independently assessed reliability of a piece of software. (pq)
Microsoft's rules and requirements for the certification are stringent, long and very detailed, and in order to become Certified for Windows Vista, our development labs had a dedicated team that focused on this effort. The certification requirements from Microsoft are broken down into four general areas: Security, Compatibility, Installation and Reliability. Under each general area, there's a long list of required coding standards and tests that must be met. After our team finished coding to each of the requirements, we began running a battery of tests supplied by Microsoft to determine if we met the standards. It usually takes two days to run through the tests. After each testing session, we'd evaluate portions of the code that did not meet the required standard. Then our developers would make changes and we'd repeat the process. It took many iterations until we felt comfortable we'd finally met the requirements.
Once we were at that point, we then sent DaVinci to an independent third party lab for another round of testing. That lab took three weeks and went through the product in fine detail, once again running a set of very stringent tests. We know they threw everything they could think of at DaVinci, including test programs that intentionally try to force DaVinci to crash, lock up or error out. When the independent lab reported that we'd met the standards, Microsoft finally gave us the certification.
Other software vendors out there claim to be ready to run on Windows Vista. Some, like Bradford Technologies, have even created their own bastardized Vista logo, seemingly implying that they've earned some sort of Windows Vista certification, even though they also state that you have to turn off Vista's core security controls to make their program run - a clear indicator that it isn't indeed Vista compatible.
So, we want to be very clear: DaVinci is the only appraisal software product in America that is actually, legitimately tested and Certified for Windows Vista. Unless you see the official Certified for Windows Vista logo that we've earned the right to use, the software you're looking at is not in fact certified.
It was a lot of work for us to earn the certification, but we think it was worth it. And we'll make sure that future products like Armstrong become Certified for Windows Vista as well. In fact, we're already testing components in Armstrong against the Certified for Windows Vista standard. It gives you the assurance that the program will run the best it can and takes advantage of everything the operating system can supply.
To learn more about DaVinci, click here.
Windows Vista and the Windows logo are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.