What happens if a company delivers supposedly sub par products to customers, and tries to stop a competent individual from providing solutions to make said supposed sub par products work? You guessed it: mayhem ensues. At least, that's what's happening right now for sound card manufacturer Creative Labs.
So what exactly happened? According to the angry forum posts and threads that littered Creative Lab's forums, Creative was marketing certain sound cards to be Vista-ready, but that some of the functions that worked in XP are still not supported in Microsoft Vista.
However, a modder by the name of Daniel_K was able to do some modifications on the said drivers, and made them function properly on the Vista OS. Not only that, Daniel_K was able to reactivate some features that Creative Lab claimed couldn't function under Vista, making the sound cards work with optimum performance compared to just using them, unmodded, out of the box with Vista.
Not pleased with his work, Creative's VP of Corporate Communications Phil O'Shaughnessy posted a lengthy message to Daniel_K in their forums, part of which said:
In principle we don't have a problem with you helping users in this way, so long as they understand that any driver packages you supply are not supported by Creative. Where we do have a problem is when technology and IP owned by Creative or other companies that Creative has licensed from, are made to run on other products for which they are not intended.
We took action to remove your thread because, like you, Creative and its technology partners think it is only fair to be compensated for goods and services. The difference in this case is that we own the rights to the materials that you are distributing.
This was Daniel_K's response to O'Shaughnessy's message:
The funny thing is that you are faster "protecting" your technologies and intelectual properties than providing improved drivers and softwares for your customers.
You purposedly crippled and ruined the Audigy/Live! (Emu10kx) and the Audigy LS/SE/Value/Live!24-bit (P17) drivers for Windows Vista.
This just proves you don't really care about what your customers and what people think about you.
Several, if not legions, of other users rallied behind the modder, saying that they will never again support Creative's sound cards or any other product. Most of them even went so far as claiming that the company should have hired Daniel_K instead of silencing him. Creative Lab's forum is currently in shambles with negative posts and threads created by irate users at this point.
Will Creative be able to fix this PR nightmare, or will the users get what they want in the end? Stay tuned for more updates.
Thanks to X-Ravin for the tip!