Paul Watson, PC Technician Friday, November 5th 2010
Windows Can Be Set To Retrieve Driver Updates
Microsoft realized a long time ago that their flagship product had a major vulnerability over which they had virtually no control: third-party driver updates. Aside from a limited number of peripherals, Microsoft doesn’t make hardware. They make software.
The software they make runs the computer itself, and they also make a large number of applications. Since they don’t make hardware, they don’t make Windows drivers – which tell Microsoft’s software how to operate a piece of attached hardware. A problem may arise when Microsoft changes its operating system software. Hardware drivers may not work properly, and Microsoft must rely on hardware manufacturers to make the necessary changes to support their devices under the updated (or upgraded) operating system.
Microsoft doesn’t make changes without notice, in most cases. Security issues may be corrected without much warning from Microsoft, but in terms of operating system upgrades, the manufacturers have plenty of notice that changes are coming. Unfortunately, some manufacturers may not make the necessary changes to support older equipment. Sometimes the age of the hardware has nothing to do with a manufacturer’s decision to support or not support OS revisions.
When the vendor makes Microsoft aware of a new hardware driver, Microsoft can distribute it as a “critical update.” Microsoft doesn’t always get the latest hardware drivers from third-party vendors, which ultimately means that some users who think their computers are up-to-date are mistaken. Windows driver updates can pass by unnoticed.
That’s why I use and recommend Driver Detective. Driver Detective is a driver management software program that seeks out, downloads, installs and monitors hardware drivers. Driver Detective keeps track of the drivers your computer uses, and detects and corrects problems before they become a problem for you.
Driver Detective keeps a backup copy of the most current driver and monitors driver performance to ensure that your computer hardware will work correctly all the time. Driver Detective saves a lot of time and effort on the user’s part. With Driver Detective installed, you don’t have to go out to the manufacturer’s Web site to determine whether a driver update is available. I’m all for anything that saves time and effort, which I why I’m all for Driver Detective.
Photo Credit: quinn.anya, via Flickr