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Intel Corp. on Wednesday said that it was making pre-production Windows 7 driver for its graphics cores available to original equipment manufacturers as well as software developers. The company appears to be among the first among suppliers of graphics adapters that releases drivers for the next-generation Microsoft Windows 7 operating system.

“Intel is making available for testing its preproduction WDDM1.1 graphics driver, enabling the full Windows 7 experience. The driver is the result of an ongoing collaboration with Microsoft to provide OEMs and developers with drivers that deliver all of the required WDDM1.1 features for Windows 7. As a result of the collaboration, OEMs and beta users can stay in step with Windows 7 prereleases for smooth product development,” a statement at Intel’s web-site reads.

Microsoft Windows 7 operating system is projected to feature very similar driver model as Windows Vista, therefore, it is unlikely to be hard to create Windows 7-compatible drivers. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that Intel is already making the driver available well ahead of the OS’ launch.

Microsoft have advised both OEMs and developers to start testing of hardware and software with Windows 7 as soon as the system is made available for partners of the world’s largest software company. Microsoft released pre-beta Windows 7 in late October.

Although the WDDM 1.1 driver from Intel hardly supports forthcoming code-named Larrabee discrete graphics processors and probably only supports modern built-in graphics cores, its release emphasizes the importance of high-quality graphics drivers for the Santa Clara, California-based chipmaker.

Tags: Intel, Microsoft, Windows, Larrabee

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