Creative to free Audigy Windows Vista compatibility app
And buyers to be refunded
Creative has told buyers of its ALchemy for Audigy sound software that they'll get their money back following its decision to release the next version of the app free of charge.
In an email sent out to customers yesterday, Creative said the new version of the software will be released on or shortly after 19 May. Unlike previous releases, it won't cost anything. Older versions of the application came with a $10 price tag.
And this made a lot of SoundBlaster Audigy users rather angry. The changes Microsoft made to the way audio is handled by Windows in the Vista era prevented Audigy users from getting the 3D audio and other sound effects generated by their sound cards.
Under Windows XP, MS' DirectSound and DirectSound 3D API were able to mediate communcations between game and audio hardware. That feature was essentially removed from the Vista-oriented DirectX 10, forcing DirectSound calls to be processed solely by the CPU.
No mere driver update would fix this, so Creative offered ALchemy to convert DirectSound calls into their equivalents in OpenAL, an open sound library. But because ALchemy was an application, not a driver, Creative decided customers should pay extra for it.
That annoyed rather a lot of buyers who'd enjoyed using Audigy under XP but suddenly found it didn't work fully under Vista. We agree with them. Vendors shouldn't penalise their customers because of something someone else altogether does.
We've seen software developers charge money for updates that allow previously working apps to gain compatibility with either Vista or Mac OS X 10.5, forcing users to pay twice simply for having the temerity to upgrade their operating system.
By all means charge for new features, but to do so to simply allow a user to carry on using your product is, we think, the height of cheekiness.
So points to Creative for not only relenting, but also for giving refund to folk who had paid.
The news comes a month after the company withdrew threats to sue Brazilan coder daniel_k for writing drivers that improved its products' performance under Windows Vista.
The company's email to customers says the company will put the $9.99 back onto the credit card used to pay it in the first place. Refund requests can be made here. The offer, it warned, is only valid until 30 June.
Someone Send Daniel K $9.99
Good Job By Daniel K. Shows many don't have much use for audiology though. Everyone wants best for their machine & Dr.K heLped lot.
Signed:PHYSICIAN THOMAS STEWART VON DRASHEK M.D.
Its up to manufactueres to update their driver, not Microsoft
Hi, I have been a computer reseller for 10 years and its always been that way, and it will always be that way. If you want to continue selling a card, a manufacturer should support it by law for 5 or 7 years. This includes drivers and repair services. After that period they can stop supporting it. I am so sick of companies still selling a product when Vista is out and not supporting it. By the way, first there was NT 4, then Windows 2000 which is NT 5.0, Windows XP is NT 5.5, and Vista is NT 6.0. Its the same OS just updated. Also Vista SP1 is working much better and Windows Server 2008 works fine. I have been fighting since Vista came out that software still for sale is not working properly under Vista... Its the take the money and run game...
Does anybody use Turtle Beach cards anymore?
Shite products from a shite company with shite customer support who couldn't care one shite about their customers. I'm still waiting for a refund/replacements for soundcards killed by their EEPROM bug. It's been over 3 years now so I don't think it'll happen anytime soon.
yes the height of cheekiness...
Considering that Creative advertised the soundcards as Vista compatible they should not then charge users for required software for the purpose to use their card under the new operating systems with the same features as before. It would have been another matter if they had informed buyers that their cards were not Vista compatible... but they did not do that. So yes to charge people for functionality which is described on the box one more time after you bought the box is (politely speaking) at the height of cheekiness.