You must be patient when waiting for Microsoft, as I had to be. But at last, Microsoft has posted at its Windows 7 Compatibility Center confirmation showing that Behold has attained Compatible with Windows 7 status.
I’ve been talking about getting a logo certification for quite some time. You do have to make sure your program meets certain Windows requirements. I talked about that in a blog post back in November.
I also checked to see what genealogy software was listed at the Windows 7 Compatibility Center. Several were, but only 3 had met the logo requirements: Family Tree Heritage, Embla and Gaia.
Behold becomes the 4th.
I bit the bullet and purchased the Verisign Code Signing certificate I needed to sign up at Microsoft’s Winqual site so I could submit my test results. I’ve complained previously about the need to get the certificate. It looked like they had a special offer. For only $99, you could get the certificate for use for Winqual only. Regular price is $499. The $99 wasn’t too bad so I went to Verisign to get it. I finished the registration, and the price at checkout was $499. What was going on? Well, I couldn’t sign up as a business, since I did not have official business designation that was required. I could only sign up as an individual. The $99 special did not apply to individuals.
I looked around for a better price. I came up with certsforless.com. I worked with them on the phone and I was able to get the Verisign certificate set up with them for $350. I needed to get the signature of a notary public to prove that I am me and fax that to them along with two pieces of ID.
Once that was done, I was able to sign up with Winqual. I had to email Microsoft several times to work out what the next steps were. They were not clear. I had to sign some legal agreements at the Winqual site. I had to update permissions. Then I could submit my test results.
I submitted my logo test results on November 25, the day after Behold 1.0 was released. They would only accept full versions – not beta releases, so this was one reason (Tamura) why I had to make the jump to version 1.0.
Okay, my results were submitted. I couldn’t see anywhere on the Winqual site that said the status of my submission, or instructions on what to do next. I emailed Microsoft again. It turns out I had to. They verified the submission and set it up so that I could manage my submission at Winqual. I could also download the logo artwork. The status of the submission was “signed” so no other action was required from me. In other words, here it was November 25th, and Behold had officially obtained rights to use the “Compatible with Windows 7 Logo”.
But there was no proof for anyone but me that Behold qualifies for the Logo. I wanted to get Behold listed at the Windows 7 Compatibility Center prior to displaying the logo on the site. Shouldn’t be too tough, since I have the logo status, right? I submitted my software for listing at the Compatibility Center. I waited a couple of days, but it didn’t show up.
I emailed Microsoft again to find out what was going on. They told me first I had to add the submission details to my account on the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN). I had to wait 3 days from the date of signing to do that – so I had one more day to go.
The next day, I went to MPN and tried to add the submission details and it said: “The Logo Verification Report is not available at this time or cannot be displayed. For further details please contact the submitting company.” I emailed Microsoft again. They said: “Please wait few more days there is an issue going on MPN side. Once they fix the issue then I will let you know.”
A week later (December 5) after checking every day, and not receiving anything from Microsoft, I emailed them back. The said they sent my details to the MPN team and hope this will be fixed today or tomorrow.
I waited another week (December 12) and emailed them again. At least they always responded quickly, within a could of hours. It was always someone different responding. This time they told me: “Not only your submission has this issue. No customer now add their submission details to the MPN. MPN will fix the issue at the earliest.”
This time, again after checking almost every day, I waited 2 weeks before emailing them (December 27).
I did not get an email back from them this time until January 12., The response was: “You can now go ahead and add your submission details in MPN. The issue is now fixed.”
It took me like 30 seconds to do the submission at MPN. And another minute to then submit Behold at the Windows 7 Compatibility Center using a 4-step web form. At the end of that form, there was no feedback, and I did not receive any email confirmation about it. So I emailed Microsoft again. The response was: “It will take 1 month to display in the Win7 Compatibility Center.”
I sent an email back and asked: “Is this an actual one month delay from the date of submission, or is this just a lengthy procedure that takes approximately a month to complete? Will I be informed (via email or otherwise) once the submission is accepted and displayed?”
I got the following response: “We have performed all the necessary backend process for displaying the below requested product in the W7CC site. This would be reflected after the next update cycle. So kindly check the site after this time frame. Due to backend system updates, combined with the previous holiday season, your submission will be reflected on the Windows 7 Compatibility Center website during this quarter. We appreciate your patience. Please let us know if you have further questions.” That email was from Ramya, the Program Manager of the Application Experience Team for Windows 7. I’m having some experience all right!
I replied: “Thank you very much.I’ll be checking every day. I hope by ‘this quarter’, you don’t mean: ‘possibly as late as March 31st’”.
7 days later (February 1), I got a response to that email which said: “The changes done would be reflected in the W7CC site before Mar 31st. So kindly check the site after this time frame. Please let us know if you have further questions.” That email was from Sravani, the Program Manager of the Application Experience Team for Windows 7. Do you think they fired Ramya and hired Sravani in that seven day time frame?
Off I went to RootsTech. I even checked the site when I was out there. But last night (February 7th), there it was – Behold was listed!! Today I added the logo to the Behold website, and felt the need to put up this blog post.
What a simple procedure. Now I understand how Microsoft works with its software partners for their mutual benefit. You just have to keep hitting your head against the brick wall, and you’ll eventually make a dent in it. Nothing can be more pleasurable than an experience such as this - because it feels so good when it’s over.