Market-leading companies have long seen the value in providing a logo program for the third-party products that integrate properly their products. Standards for these programs have varied wildly, and customers have not always understood them. As the software industry matures, standards for software and hardware are more critical than ever. End users are demanding higher levels of reliability and manageability. As a result, there is a trend to upgrade logo programs to more rigorous certification programs, and there is even a trend to "Certify" ASPs and ISPs.
An overview of "Certification" within the industry will be presented, along with a focus on Microsoft's efforts over the years. Created by Microsoft and VeriTest in 1994, the "Designed for Windows 95" logo test was comprised of a relatively simply array of tests performed against a small set of requirements devised by the Windows logo team at Microsoft. With the advent of Windows NT 4.0 came the "Designed for Windows NT and Windows 95" logo program in which the requirements, written by the Microsoft Windows team with input and edits from the logo team at VeriTest, became more stringent. This evolved into the "Designed for Windows NT and Windows 98" logo test, and the testing process became even more in depth and demanding.
To license the new "Certified for Windows 2000" Logo, products must undergo extensive functionality testing in addition to compatibility testing. Applications qualifying for this logo must be shown to provide the highest level of reliability, security, and manageability available. Compliance with the Application Specification for Microsoft Windows 2000 for desktop applications is strictly enforced and the Windows logo team at Microsoft closely monitors the needs of developers and consumers before allowing any variance or making changes to the requirements.
For 9 years, Marc Zasada has been the Vice President of VeriTest, one of the world's most respected independent labs. Since 1994, Marc has helped craft the global software certification strategies for the Microsoft Windows, Windows CE and BackOffice logo programs, and is now working closely with Microsoft in rolling out the "Windows 2000 Application Spec" testing program at VeriTest worldwide. VeriTest was acquired by Lionbridge in 1999.