Feeds

Creative to free Audigy Windows Vista compatibility app

And buyers to be refunded

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register
Bentley found in a hedge gets WW2 lump insertion
What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight
You fought hard and you saved and earned. But all of it's going to burn...
Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids
Stylish Googlephones for not-so-deep pockets
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.