Intel drivers and WDDM (development related! not yet another give me aero thread)

Intel drivers and WDDM (development related! not yet another give me aero thread)

Hi,

I'm new to this forum and I got here by searching for the WDDM specifications. I'm one of the many i915 chipset users that are not happy being stuck without Aero on Vista.
I purchased my laptop about 8 months ago, bla bla bla.

However, I thought about doing something about this issue by making a WDDM driver for this myself, and by emulating the missing pieces on the CPU. I hope to be able to use the XPDM driver for this, but right now, I don't know anything about the windows driver models. MSDN just gives me a bunch of features of what it can do, but not how to develop or interface with an XPDM or WDDM driver. Does anyone here know where to get this kind of documentation?

Kind regards,

Wim

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Saw this while looking for something else and thought of you guys:

http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/c33fe91a-9e6f-41f4-ae82-3ed2d5fa2fbf1033.mspx

"I have the right edition of WindowsVista, but I'm still not able to run Aero. What should I do?

Aero also requires a DirectX 9 class graphics processor that supports a Windows Display Driver Model Driver, Pixel Shader 2.0 in hardware, and 32 bits per pixel."

Emphasis mine. The 915G doesn't support PS 2.0 in hardware, even if emulation were available with software.

Also:

http://www.intel.com/support/graphics/sb/CS-023606.htm#5

"The hardware limitations of 915/GMA900 graphics center around not having a large enough memory table to support Vista Aero, a key feature that is part of WDDM driver support. "

Lobby Microsoft to relax their criteria for Aero support. Until that happens, I don't think Intel can do anything for you. If they generated a WDDM-class driver for 915G, it would be rejected by MS because it doesn't meet their criteria.

I know that, and I understand, I just want to make an emulator driver for those features, and the specifications don't matter much in this case. It will just mean performance will be slow. It would also be an exellent oportunity for me to get to know the windows platform a bit better.

Wim

OK, guys, here's the deal.

There's "Vista Ready" and "Vista Premium Capable". Microsoft decides which is which:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/capable.mspx

The 915 graphics chip is "Vista Ready". It runs Vista just fine. It is NOT "Vista Premium Ready". From the above Microsoft site:

Some Windows Vista Capable PCs have been designated Premium Ready. These PCs will provide an even better Windows Vista experience, including the Windows Aero user experience. Features available in specific premium editions of Windows Vista, such as the ability to watch and record live TV, may require additional hardware.

Confusing? Yes. Deceptive? Well, some people think so, and have brought a lawsuit against Microsoft for this exact issue:

http://arstechnica.com/journals/microsoft.ars/2007/04/04/microsoft-accused-of-deceptive-marketing-bait-and-switch-tactics-over-vista

In fact, since that lawsuit, Microsoft has gone back and made a change to that paragraph I quoted. Read about what it used to say:

http://arstechnica.com/journals/microsoft.ars/2007/04/09/microsoft-redefines-vista-capable

So.

To everyone who bought a laptop with Intel 915 graphics, because it was labelled "Vista Ready", you were NOT deceived. It IS "Vista Ready". It runs Vista just fine.

But.

If you somehow thought that "Vista Ready" meant that you could run the cool 3D tab flipper, and the fancy "Aero Glass" high end 3D interface, you were wrong.

I'm sorry you didn't understand what you were getting when you bought a system with an old, low end, legacy graphics chip. I'm sorry the Microsoft marketing material and logo labels confused you. I really am. I wish none of us had to deal with this.

Is Intel ever going to release a "beta"/unofficial driver for 915 graphics?

I'm not the "official" person to answer this, but I'd say "no".

Why?

Because it's an old, low end, "legacy" part. There aren't any people at Intel dedicated to writing new drivers for this part. Intel laid off 10% of its workforce last year - 10,000 people. Ten thousand. The rest of us that are left are trying to get all the work done. Obviously, we can't do the same amount of work. Some things have to get dropped. Decisions have to be made about what projects are going to happen, and which ones are going to get cut. Like I said, I'm not the "official" person to say, but my guess is that there just aren't people sitting around, collecting a paycheck, that could be thrown at writing an unofficial "beta" driver. Wouldn't it cool i
f it happened? Of course. Would Intel like to do it if we had the resources? Certainly! But we live in the same reality that you do, and we have to make our budget balance just like you do. We can't always do everything that we'd like to do.

I hope this serves as a "final word" on this discussion. If you have more questions, please do continue to discuss it here, email me, whatever. But I'm hiding anything or holding anything back - I've laid it all out on the line, here, and I hope it helps you guys understand.

And if I could buy everyone a drink to make you feel better, or a brand new "Vista Premium Ready" computer to run the Vista eye-candy, I would. But there's that whole "reality" thing...

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