Given the long ramp up to the launch of Windows Vista it's hard to believe that some companies didn't use that time wisely to come up with drivers that performed well under the new OS. Well, it looks like NVIDIA didn't give the task of developing Vista drivers the attention that the project deserved and this has left gamers frustrated.
The problem revolves around NVIDIA's current set of Vista compatible drivers, which include the v96.85 drivers for the GeForce FX series, the v97.46 drivers for the GeForce 6 and GeForce 7 series, and the v100.59 beta drivers for the GeForce6, GeForce 7 and GeForce 8800. Gamers have been reporting that these current series of drivers aren't fully compatible with Microsoft's new operating system and that they cause computer games to lock up and crash.
NVIDIA has acknowledged that these drivers aren't up to the standards it demands. In a statement NVIDIA spokesman Brian Burke said that the development of robust Vista drivers was now "the highest priority in our company" and that "over the coming weeks, Nvidia and our partners, along with the industry will continue to update Windows Vista drivers to ensure maximum performance on 3D applications and add feature support."
One anonymous customer has set up a website called NVidiaClassAction.org so that those affected have a place to voice their concerns about Vista compatibility and also to act as a gathering place for those who might be interested in participating in a class action lawsuit against NVIDIA. However, the creator of the site is being clear that they aren't in this to make money - what they want is for NVIDIA to respond publicly and apologize for the issues, provide an anticipated release date for stable drivers and offer some token gesture for the hassle that this has caused gamers.
While I feel for the gamers affected, and feel surprised that NVIDIA spent time of packaging hardware in boxes that declare Vista compatibility before actually making sure that the drivers are effective, it's still early days on the Vista front. Good drivers do take time to develop and no matter how much beta testing you put anything through, the real test is release. I've written before about the fact that ATI's drivers for Vista are pretty good but they're nowhere near as good as the XP drivers. It takes time to refine these drivers for all the games out there.
Any readers having problems with NVIDIA drivers under Vista? What issues are you finding? How much of an impact is this having on your Vista experience?