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ATI, graphics products group of Advanced Micro Devices, on Wednesday released its first unified graphics driver that supports both current-generation Micrososft Windows Vista and XP operating systems as well as next-generation Windows 7 due out later this year. The company becomes the first firm to include Windows 7 support into official drivers designed for consumers, not developers or beta testers.

ATI Catalyst 9.3 is the industry’s first unified driver installation package to incorporate Windows 7 support, including Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) 1.1 compliance, bringing with it a host of benefits for developers currently testing and updating applications using the widely available Windows 7 beta release. Besides, the early release should reassure end-users and customers of ATI/AMD that the company is ready for the final release of Windows 7 operating system.

“Thanks to the incredible expertise within our driver development team, we led the Windows Vista transition with a WHQL-certified unified driver that delivered industry-leading stability. The advanced state of our Windows 7 drivers this far ahead of the final Windows 7 release is yet another proof point of our graphics industry leadership.  We are ready for Windows 7,” said Ben Bar-Haim, corporate vice president of software engineering at AMD’s graphics products group.

It is widely known that Microsoft has been working hard to improve user interface as well as performance in Windows 7 and make the new OS much more user friendly overall. Many reviewers and early adopters agree that Microsoft has succeeded in improving its desktop OS dramatically. It is expected that Windows 7 will boost sales of personal computers and hardware despite of economy crisis. As a result, it is hardly surprising that AMD and other hardware suppliers are tremendously interested in preparations for Windows 7 launch.

“AMD’s expertise in visual computing shines through in the combined experience of Windows 7 and ATI Radeon graphics,” said Anantha Kancherla, group program manager responsible for Windows graphics, Microsoft.  “With today’s release of a Windows 7 unified driver, AMD once again demonstrates its ability to deliver performance and cutting-edge driver support.”

Tags: ATI, AMD, Radeon, Catalyst, Microsoft, Windows

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