'Windows 7 Compatible' is Microsoft's way of approving peripherals for launch
Will the sticker help ease confusion? It didn't help us at first.
Logos and logo stickers are a big deal for companies about to make a big push on a new product, and forgive us for getting this one wrong. Microsoft's Windows 7 Compatible program, which labels qualified products as being Microsoft-approved to work with Windows 7, is designed only for software and peripherals, not the computers themselves. Microsoft plans a separate program for labeling those. Like Apple's "Works with iPhone," it indicates that the device in question works under all conditions that Microsoft deems necessary. That includes being compatible with 64-bit Windows 7 as well as 32-bit, hence the program's focus on that detail.
We previously reported that this might mean Netbooks wouldn't be sticker-slapped, but rest assured that they (and any other Windows 7-compatible or preinstalled laptop) will get their own stickers, most likely that say something quite different but still Windows 7-related.
Needless to say, the landscape can get confusing. But to clarify: Microsoft will let us know more of what to expect on the PC side in the coming weeks, but until then, if you see a gizmo that has the above logo on it, you at least know you'll be able to use it on your Windows 7 computer.
Will this make life easier? As long as we can understand what the stickers stand for, then yes.