Creative charging $9.99 for Vista EAX update?

Creative charging $9.99 for Vista EAX update?

Summary: From the "that's gotta be a dumb PR move" files, Creative Labs decides to try to charge $9.99 for Vista compatible software update for the Audigy range of sound cards.

TOPICS: Windows, Microsoft

[Updated: July 5, 2007 @ 1.40 pm]  Is this update a driver or a software update?  To clarify (or at least reduce on the confusion) I've changed the title to say "update."  You decide whether EAX support is a driver or "software." 

[Updated: July 6, 2007 @ 3.05 pm]  The arguments over whether this is a software update that Creative has released on a driver continues.  To be honest, I'm not going to get involved word games.  Anyone buying a Audigy card would have been provided a CD that contained drivers and software to make EAX work.  Whether that's a driver or software, I'm not sure, but the point is that people who bought an Audigy sound card and who have moved to Vista now have to pay to reactivate something that previously worked.   If the EAX features were controlled by code written by a third party (examples here are say Sage TV for a TV tuner card) then a charge would be acceptable.  Since EAX support is developed and controlled by Creative, and since this support is made available for free for X-Fi cards, making users pay for the Audigy update sounds an awful lot to me like Creative is charging the customer ten bucks because they can.  This charging for software updates comes across as scary to me and could usher in an era where we have to dip out hands into our pockets on a regular basis for updates, whether they are drivers or software.

From the "that's gotta be a dumb PR move" files, Creative Labs decides to try to charge $9.99 for Vista compatible updates for the Audigy range of sound cards.

No, this isn't April 1st and I kid you not.  Creative really does think that people are going to pay money for a driver software update.  Understandably, Creative customers are getting emotional over this.  Destroying your reputation over $9.99 ... bad move.

This charging money for drivers game is getting real old.  Any company that tries to pull this kind of stunt is underhandedly double dipping customers.  There's no excuse for it.  I for one won't be buying any more Creative Labs gear until they get the message that providing drivers software updates is a service that customers have already paid for when they bought the hardware in the first place.

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[Updated: July 5, 2007 @ 8.20 am]  Just to clarify - the update activates the processing of EAX effects which means it's aimed at gamers and Creative does still offer basic drivers for free.  Still, it's a patch that activates a feature specific to the sound card and should still be supplied free of charge by Creative as a courtesy to customers.


Topics: Windows, Microsoft

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  • This is disgusting

    They have some nerve charging.....I guess they have become too successful. I'm going to have to think about alternatives, or stick with built in chips....they have gotten much better.
    • THAT is the crux of the problem..

      [b]They have some nerve charging.....I guess they have become too successful. I'm going to have to think about alternatives, or stick with built in chips....[u]they have gotten much better. [/u][/b]

      More like they've seen their market share erode drastically since the competition's gotten better. Why shell out $100, $200 or more for a high end Creative sound card when the one that came on the motherboard is actually fairly decent - especially when you install a decent set of speakers with it?

      My 3 yr old motherboard only has 2.1 sound capabilities and it's been adequate for the most part. But the mobo I bought a about a year and a half ago, it's got 8 channel sound. I had the option of buying an expensive speaker system for that one, but settled on really nice set of Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers that do the job very nicely.
  • Lets not forget....

    It has been 7 months since the release of Vista, and Creative has still not updated any of their sound card apps and utilities, (ie mixer, graphics eq, etc...) to be compatible with Vista! What could be they be waiting for?
  • Bye Bye Creative

    Used to be a big fan of Creative Labs - but over the years their products have gotten worse and worse - and now this. Bye-Bye Creative Labs - never again
  • I will not be buying

    No more Creative Labs merchandise for me.

    Seriously, has there ever been a company as large as Creative Labs that has been so slow updating and fixing their drivers? I am not talking about Vista here. This is just in general.

    Why should anyone pay $10 for drivers from Creative Labs when the driver is going to be junk anyway?
  • F* up, man...

    I'd charge you $10 for a Linux driver!

    Doesn't matter which OS you use, you p*.
    Grayson Peddie
    • A little upset there?

      You/they/whoever may charge whatever, but it doesn't mean people will pay it, especially when the established standard is that device driver updates for newer hardware is provided at no extra cost.

      I still don't get it why you posted such an angry comment.
      • That's because he responded to a TROLL.

        [b]I still don't get it why you posted such an angry comment. [/b]

        Linux Geek is your basic troll who only job in life, it seems, is to bash Microsoft and spread FUD about Microsoft's imminent demise as well as preach the "wisdom" of using Linux.

        Never mind that Linux, as good as it's gotten, STILL isn't ready for prime time for MOST people. There are NO popular games natively written for Linux. Emulators such as Wine, aren't really that great a solution in may cases either. MOST sane Linux gamers will be the first to admit that they've got a Windows box laying around purely for games or can dual-boot into Windows whenever the urge to frag something comes along.

        As for the nasty retort, Grayson just got a bit upset at Linux Troll's post. He had his fill of Linux Troll's condescending 'tude.
  • Message has been deleted.

    Hallowed are the Ori
  • There is absolutely nothing stopping them

    Creative can charge $10 for Linux, Unix, Mac OS, or any other operating system drivers.

    You make Linux users look bad with silly posts like that.
    • That's his job . . . . ;) nt

  • Stop doing Linux a disservice....

    creative can just as easily charge for linux drivers.
  • Is this representative ?

    Of the Avarage Linux User? i hope not.

    Idiot and stupid peoples are everywhere! Some of them like to show the world how low a human IQ can be! Linux should even sue some fo them for combining total clueless clown with Linux.

    Creative Labs as now join Sony and is now just a common crook.
    Was the best but now is the rest.

    This is on piece of software that need to be on every torrent on the planet (and it will be, so unCreative labs(rat) will spend more money implemeting this scam to steal money from consumer then its worth)

    Jesus man, do us all a favor, this has nothing whatsoever to do with Linux. This is just a vendor going after extra bucks.

    The reference to Linux is totally out of context and provides no service whatsoever to the Linux community, FLOSS or any other community (except the I'm a big troll please hit me community).
    • Have you lot ever considered

      that his paycheck comes from MS? I don't know any REAL Linux users with quite so, umm, unique an attitude.

      As to the topic of conversation, have we thought about WHY this extra charge is being propounded? Have we considered that it is NOT an 'update', but a complete rewrite of the software - caused by the complete rewrite of the audio subsystems in Vista? I am sure even Creative would not be taking this long if they had a choice - but you have to recall that far greater complexity is built into the Vista models for handling ANY content that can be DRM'd.

      I'm not saying I agree with their decision, but at least one can see where they are coming from.

      You should also consider that there is probably not a HUGE market out there of gamers (prime targets for the ultimate sound) going to Vista in the first place. I guess Creative is just feeling the pinch.

      PS: This is NOT an apologia for Creative - I am not impressed with the fact that they haven't even released a basic functionality driver for other OS's at all - and won't say when they will....
  • Let us try to get the facts right -

    According to the [b]Major Geeks[/b] website (, a [b]Creative Sound Blaster Audigy[/b] driver for [b]Vista[/b] has been available for free download sinces March this year. I myself have a [b]Creative Labs[/b] ([b]Creative Technology[/b]) [b]Sound Blaster X-fi[/b] running on a triple-boot (64-bit [b]Ubuntu 7.04[/b], 32-bit [b]Windows XP Home[/b], and 32-bit [b]Windows Vista[/b]) [b]AMD 64 X2 5000+[/b] machine. When I want to listen to audio, I am forced to boot to one of the [b]Windows[/b] OS, for the simple reason that [b]Creative[/b] has not yet issued a [b]Linux[/b] driver, 32-bit or 64-bit, for this card. SB X-fi drivers for 32-bits [b]Vista[/b], which can be downloaded free of charge, have been available at least since the end of February. With regard to support for [b]Linux[/b), [b]Creative[/b] claims ( that ?[i]t looks like the first public Beta will be available end calendar Q3 or early calendar Q4?, adding that ?[i]t has taken more resources than expect[ed] to redesign our software and drivers for Vista?. [i]Summa summarium[/i], it appears that [b]Creative[/b]'s support for products to be used with [b]Vista[/b] is fairly adequate, but that the same, alas, cannot be said for the its support for [b]Linux[/b] users....

    • Still .... He does have a point...

      Even if he maybe just trolling.......
      There is no or Less need to purchase stuff (Hardware/Software) if it does not provide any extra benefit, let alone basic functionality.

      Since my primary systems are Linux, I look for Stuff (Hardware/Software) which best suites the performance/price for my wants/needs. Why spend $xxx for something that provides no (added/real) benefit. Dual SLI as an example are of little benefit/value to me.I prefer unencumbered GPL Stuff (Hardware/Software), and that would be my first choice, yet I am mot completely opposed to Proprietary or even paid for tools~ if they have benefit/value.....

      If DirectX/Win is your primary need/desire so be it.

      In your case as someone who seems to use both, seems Creative (or that particular card) does not support your needs, yet you could use onboard or a secondary card should you have the need or desire.

      Still it seems to me that card has even less value/benefit, if it does support not even basic functionality for other systems.
      (if it did <$10 may or may not be worth it for added benefit without too many restrictions)

      But then again if there are specs? & one is into it? One could do it themselves & contribute?
      • I'm thinking you missed the point...

        The point was that we don't have a clue as to what, if anything, Creative will do with their proposed Linux drivers. Can't assign a dollar figure (if there will be one) for a product that doesn't yet exist. For all we know, Creative might charge Linux users $20 for proper Linux drivers - and at that point, we'll all have a good, hearty laugh in Linux Troll's face.
        • Me and My Arrow...

          The Point being, there is little need to purchase something for $50~300 that provides no extra benefit or functionality, let alone missing basic functionality. If ones uses Linux & Creative chooses not support it on some cards. (a loss for Creative)

          Still if one has the interest/need (like the GP poster) there may be ways to use Linux & X-Fi.

          Apparently some models of the more economical X-fi Xtreme are just rebranded SB Live cards or rather use the same chipset, so should not be that difficult.

          There are also some special drivers/kernel modules like

          Then there are commercial/proprietary packages, that include Free, Demo & paid-for w/support for Linux/Unix & other system from places like
          4Front Technologies

          And yes if you chose one the paid-for w/support options it maybe more than $20.

          It is sad that Creative chooses not to support GPL & even actively make it difficult for those who would do the work (ALSA). They did indicate that sooner or later they will with proprietary drivers only.

          The blog is about the issue with Vista... not XP and not Drivers, but Shims which allow use of EAX with Vista since the architecture is different. BTW shims translate one API/system call to another API/system call. Basically the same as using Wine or Crossover to run windows apps & Games in Linux.

          not that big a deal or that expensive, if interested or have need as they probably sell it as an upgrade kit with a remote or other do-dad....
  • Linux bash! doh

    I'd rather be lazy and point -N- click with wyndoze, Rather than perfom multiple keystrokes to run a app.