The Windows Hardware Quality Labs ( WHQL) are a device by Microsoft for certification of device drivers and complete computer systems. To certify a device manufacturer to test the product or its device driver according to the specifications of Microsoft, and then submits the test protocol. May then be conducted by Microsoft further tests.
After successful completion of the tests of the equipment manufacturer shall be provided with a product logo. In addition, the device driver receives a Microsoft digital signature. Microsoft Windows warns when installing device drivers without this digital signature against possible risks. Furthermore, distributed certified device drivers from Microsoft Update.
Device drivers are deeply embedded in the operating system and can easily cause instability and system crashes on faulty programming. Microsoft intends therefore with WHQL certification to improve the quality of device drivers in order to achieve a better stability of the operating system Windows.
Also complete computer systems and peripherals can be certified. Customers will then feel devices with certification as higher quality.
Since 1 June 2007, Audio -fidelity test with the special measurement equipment Audio Precision SYS - 2722 -AM is provided for obtaining a certificate for computer systems for Windows Vista. Thus, the demands on the quality of the sound should be ensured.
Currently, there are two steps in the Windows Logo Program 3.0: Basic and Premium.
Critics of the program to test impairment of market freedom.