This section summarizes design and driver quality practices that Microsoft recommends to ensure reliable, quality experiences for end users.
Implement “Ease of Use” Recommendations from PC 2001
Chapter 2, “Easy PC Initiative,” in PC 2001 System Design Guide, includes specific guidelines for making PCs easy to set up, easy to use, and easy to maintain. Designers should give high priority to implementing these recommendations in order to improve the end user experience and reduce support calls after sales.
Follow the “Designing for Success” Tips in Appendix C
Appendix C of this document provides a series of guidelines to help ensure that system and device manufacturers can create new design that are compatible with Microsoft operating systems.
Microsoft recommends that you follow these guidelines as part of the design process, to ensure that you receive news and feedback from Microsoft that can help ensure the success of new designs.
Ensure that Soft Devices Meet Resource Usage Guidelines
Several types of devices can be designed to migrate functions from peripheral hardware to Windows drivers, saving bill-of-materials costs at the expense of CPU resources. Examples of such devices include soft audio, soft Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) modems (V.34, V.90)and soft asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) modems (G.992.2). There are several risks:
Any soft device may undermine the system, depending on how it uses CPU and system resources.
Any soft device may be vulnerable to failures or performance issues created by other parts of the system, depending on how other device drivers compete with it for CPU and system resources.
A combination of soft devices may be much less stable than either device alone.
Requirements for soft modems are in development. These requirements will reference absolute CPU consumption rather than percentages of the available CPU.
Guidelines for WDM-based Software Modems at http://www.microsoft.com/hwdev/modem/softmodem.htmWindows Management Instrumentation: International Support Overview at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/win2000/winigloba.asp
Ensure that Pre-installed Software Meets Guidelines for Globalization
These guidelines include the following:
Use Unicode as the character encoding to represent text.
Consider using a multilingual user interface: launch the application in the default user interface language, and offer the option to change to other languages.
Use the Win32 application programming interface (API) National Language Support functions to handle locale-sensitive data.
Watch for Windows messages that indicate changes in the input language, and use that information for the spell checker, selecting fonts, and so on.
Use the Script APIs (Uniscribe) to lay out formatted text on a page, to allow display of multilingual text and complex scripts such as Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, Tamil, and Thai.
Test applications in multiple configurations, mixing the system locale, user locale, input locale, and user interface (UI) language.
Design Guidelines: Developing International Software for Windows 95 and Windows NT, by Nadine Kano, available online at http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/books/devintl/s24ac.htm.
Preinstall Only Applications that Conform to "Designed for Windows XP Application Specification"
If any additional stand-alone software is bundled with a device that was not tested with the device submission (for example, a printer that ships with a paint program), that software should pass the requirements for either the “Designed for Windows” Application Logo, as defined at http://www.microsoft.com/winlogo/software/ or the “Certified for Windows” logo at http://www.msdn.microsoft.com/certification if the product packaging is to display the “Designed for Windows” logo.
In the future, this will be a Logo Program requirement.
“Consumer Desktop PC Design Checklist for Windows XP” is provided on the web at http://www.microsoft.com/hwdev/pcdesign/. This checklist provides manufacturers with a list of capabilities and components that deliver the best performance and reliability and that deliver the exciting new end-to-end personal computing experiences that characterize a consumer desktop PC optimized for Windows XP.
Best practices in from the PC Design Checklist include the following:
General Component Guidelines
System does not statically lock UMA memory at boot
All application software components included with the PC system meet the requirements for the “Designed for Windows XP” logo for software
Startup and Power Guidelines
System BIOS and hardware meet Fast Boot/Fast Resume requirements
Power switch implementation ensures ease of use
General Device Guidelines
Control devices are HID compliant
Device Connectivity Guidelines
System includes at least four USB 1.1 compliant ports