Today we are beginning our Windows 7 Release Candidate testing project. In the coming weeks we plan to test many of our products on Windows 7 Release Candidate. It is important to note that because Microsoft may make changes to the final release of Windows 7, compatibility claims in this post are only for Windows 7 Release Candidate. While unlikely, it is possible a product will work in the release candidate, but not in the final version. We don't really anticipate that though given that Microsoft has said that for the most part any hardware that works with Vista will work with Windows 7.
For the first of our tests we hooked up an Alfa AWUS036H 500mW adapter. A popup window appeared on the screen saying Windows could not install the product because there was no driver. The only option given was to find out more information. We clicked on that option and it told us we could try installing software from the maker of the device, which we had planned to do anyhow.
We then ran the Setup.exe program for Windows Vista which is found on the Alfa factory CD inside the Vista folder. The program opened fine, and along the way Windows offered another popup explaining that Windows could not verify the maker of the driver package, and asked if we wanted to continue installing the driver or stop. We continued, of course, and the program completed. At one point it looked like it might have been in a loop, because we did get the same popup from Windows a second time saying the maker of the driver could not be verified. However we continued through the process, and the installation completed. We were then able to go online with the device.
Note: while this likely means that other adapters we have which use the same chipset and driver as the Alfa AWUS036H (such as the AWUS036E and AWUS036EH models from Alfa, and the RokOn, RokAir, and Rok500 adapters from Rokland) should be compatible with Windows 7 RC, due to possible differences in firmware we will test each model and let you know the results here on our blog.