It may not even have a firm release date just yet, but it looks like Microsoft is already taking a pretty hard line on Windows 7, with it reportedly now warning hardware makers to begin testing their devices on the OS as soon as the first beta becomes available or risk not qualifying for its certified compatibility program. As Information Week points out, that move is likely being done in order to avoid the mess stirred up when so-called Vista-capable systems went on sale in advance of Vista's release, many of which, as we all know, turned out to be anything but.

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Microsoft warns hardware makers to begin Windows 7 testing ASAP