I don’t usually post such things. However, I am greatly disappointed in a decision that Creative Labs has made regarding modding their official drivers to allow several model sound cards to function at least exactly the same in Microsoft Windows Vista as they did in Microsoft Windows XP. There are several model sound cards that had functionality removed, even when offered as Vista ready. I had difficulty adapting a Creative Sound card to a Windows Vista installation, so I bought a no-name sound card that functioned as advertised. I have since, removed and sold all my Creative Labs sounds cards.
Here is the story, the comment that launched thousands of angry responses . . .
Source: Creative Forums
Daniel_K: We are aware that you have been assisting owners of our Creative sound cards for some time now, by providing unofficial driver packages for Vista that deliver more of the original functionality that was found in the equivalent XP packages for those sound cards. In principle we don't have a problem with you helping users in this way, so long as they understand that any driver packages you supply are not supported by Creative. Where we do have a problem is when technology and IP owned by Creative or other companies that Creative has licensed from, are made to run on other products for which they are not intended. We took action to remove your thread because, like you, Creative and its technology partners think it is only fair to be compensated for goods and services. The difference in this case is that we own the rights to the materials that you are distributing. By enabling our technology and IP to run on sound cards for which it was not originally offered or intended, you are in effect, stealing our goods. When you solicit donations for providing packages like this, you are profiting from something that you do not own. If we choose to develop and provide host-based processing features with certain sound cards and not others, that is a business decision that only we have the right to make. Although you say you have discontinued your practice of distributing unauthorized software packages for Creative sound cards we have seen evidence of them elsewhere along with donation requests from you. We also note in a recent post of yours on these forums, that you appear to be contemplating the release of further packages. To be clear, we are asking you to respect our legal rights in this matter and cease all further unauthorized distribution of our technology and IP. In addition we request that you observe our forum rules and respect our right to enforce those rules. If you are in any doubt as to what we would consider unacceptable then please request clarification through one of our forum moderators before posting. Phil O'Shaughnessy VP Corporate Communications Creative Labs Inc.
Revised 04/01/2008 3:49 PM
We have read the strong feedback about Creative's forum post regarding driver development by Daniel_k and other outside parties. Creative's message posted on our behalf by our Company spokesperson tried to address our concern about the improper distribution of certain software which is the property of other companies. However, we did not make it as clear as we would have liked that we do support driver development by independent third parties. The huge task of developing driver updates to accommodate the many changes in the Vista operating system and the extensive testing required, including the lengthy Vista certification requirements for audio, makes it very difficult for Creative to develop updates for all past products. Outside developers have been very helpful to Creative and our customers by developing updates for many of our Sound Blaster products, and we do support and appreciate these efforts. This however does not extend to the unauthorized distribution of other companies' property. We hope to work out a mutually agreeable method for working with Daniel_k in supporting his efforts in driver development. Going forward, we are committed to doing a better job of working more closely with third parties to support their development for our products and our customers.
Among those responses is the following quote provided by Newegg.
Newegg wrote this: Post 1170
While it is not our place to condemn the decisions of Creative regarding this issue, our customers come first. That being said, it has come to our attention that many of our customers are not happy with the products Creative has released nor the support for those products. To wit, we have processed nearly 5,000 return orders within the past 48 hours. While it is not normally in our best interest to [publicly] comment in a manufacturer's forum, the overwhelming [consensus] has left us little choice. As such, effective [tomorrow] morning newegg.com will suspend sales of the sound cards in question, particularly those indicated as "Vista compatible", pending an investigation into the matter. Those of you whom recently ordered such a card will still [receive] your product as indicated in any relevant conversations. While we regret this abrupt decision, it has been deemed [necessary] to protect the interest of our consumers. We welcome contact from Creative as soon as is possible so that we may resolve this issue.
Other Interesting Links
Deleted Posts – Creative Labs is apparently censoring their blogs by deleting many posts. Someone has done a good job capturing these deleted posts.
Petition – There is a petition against Creative Labs
Daniel K’s Blog – aka. Braziliantech