Creative Stops Hacker from Improving Their Product

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Creative's sound card drivers for Vista have been horrible. Creative blamed Microsoft's implementation of sound in the new operating system, which may have been part of the problem, but certainly didn't excuse them for taking months after the Vista launch to release sub-standard drivers that were missing features such as Dolby Digital decoding, especially for older Creative sound cards.

A coder named "Daniel_k" reverse engineered Creative's drivers (violating Creative's terms of service) and reenabled many of the features on older sound cards Creative had claimed would not work in Vista. This was tolerated by Creative for a while, but when Daniel_k started taking donations from the community for his time, Creative pulled all references to his drivers from their official forums.

While Creative might have been legally in the right, the Creative forums are up in arms, with many claiming that the company didn't offer proper Vista support for older drivers because they wanted to sell new hardware to customers. No matter what the rationale, it's a baffling decision for a company who makes aftermarket sound hardware that is becoming increasingly unnecessary in modern computers. I have an X-Fi in my gaming machine (which runs Vista) and it's been nothing but trouble. I'm not entirely sure why I even bought it in the first place, but I'll certainly not be buying Creative sound cards again.

Message to Daniel_K [Forums.Creative.com]

See AlsoDaniel_K driver package torrent [The Pirate Bay]
Creative Labs Stops Guy From Making Its Technology Work Better [Techdirt]
PC hardware vendor Creative Labs unleashes PR nightmare in their own message boards. Oops. [Reddit]
Creative Goes After Driver Modder [Slashdot]

Update: A post on the Creative thread that claimed to be from Newegg.com, the popular computer hardware retailer, purported that Newegg would stop selling Creative products. As of this morning, Newegg's customer service department said they had not been aware of any boycott on the part of Newegg and pointed out that almost 300 products from Creative were still available for sale on the site. A call to Newegg's corporate office resulted in a big, fat busy signal. According to the customer service agent, Newegg has been getting multiple calls this morning regarding the letter.

In short, as one could reasonably presume about a major corporate policy change posted exclusively on another company's site, the "Newegg stops selling Creative products" story is almost certainly a hoax.

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