Author: Subodh Bhide

Posted On May 12, 2010   |   4 Mins Read

We all test our products and have high quality standards. But is the end user aware of our standards? Does he trust our claim of delivering flawless products? I am sure that in majority cases, the answer is going to be a NO. Unfortunately, end users just don’t trust the manufacturer’s word on quality. However, there is one way to increase users’ confidence.. and that is through compliance testing.  Windows Logo Test is one such compliance program that is designed for ensuring strict compliance with Windows OS design and standards. From my personal observations, the buyer’s anxiety level is drastically reduced  when they see a Microsoft Logo artwork on the product. It gives them the confidence that the product will be of great quality, as Microsoft themselves have certified it.
So, Windows Logo testing is a critical stage in the life cycle of product development. However, on many products, such testing is considered as “optional” or “good to have”. Based on Harbinger Systems’ experience working with product vendors, we see that the Windows Logo Testing thought process goes through the following stages. Some vendors drop out midway through the process, while others do walk the entire distance and come out on the other side.

  • Awareness – We start our list with the lack of awareness. Many product designers are unaware that such test programs exist. Even if they have heard about it, they are not sure what these tests do and what their results conclude.
  • Cost Benefit – The next question that crops up is around the cost of certification. Obviously the program is not going to be free. But on the other hand, certification is an investment which when used to its full potential can help attain higher sales and better user reviews. This is because, after certification the product is robust and can sustain all critical user scenarios. Also important is that users trust Microsoft certification.
  • Knowledge – After agreeing that there is significant ROI for the logo testing and willingness to give it a shot, after reaching this stage of the thought process.
  • Time – One of last reasons for not proceeding with Logo testing is the lack of time. Product cycles are so stringent that there is little room left for any kind of conformance testing. However, what the product companies should understand is that logo testing programs can be executed independently of their existing test cycles. If expertise bandwidth is an issue, then Microsoft permits the use of 3rd party test agencies for running these tests on behalf of the company.
  • Infrastructure – So far we addressed some key hold-ups like awareness, cost and time. Another show stopper is the test infrastructure. The question we often get asked is, ‘Is it worth having an elaborate test setup costing thousands of dollars for a product portfolio that has very few products?’ Well, the answer is not straight forward, but an easy way out is to use a 3rd party test agency that has dedicated setups with the right mixture of architectures, hardware and OS versions to perform exhaustive testing. This can be done without spending huge amounts on infrastructure.
  • Expertise – The final step is the expertise needed for such a conformance testing program. I wouldn’t say that executing and triaging such tests is a child’s play, but surely external help is available if the expertise cannot be cultivated in-house.

I am quite sure that many of you can visualize yourself at one of these stages when it comes to Windows Logo Testing. Hopefully, some of the pointers shared above will help you proceed to the next level.

Are you a product developer thinking about Logo Testing? Which stage of the above thought process do you find yourself in? Do let us know or contact us here if you have questions for us.