Microsoft is running a survey about the Windows Software Logo Program to find out how it can be improved. For Windows 7 the program was streamlined for developers to make it easier for them to get on board. There is, however, one area that remains challenging for smaller development shops - you know, precisely the one's that IT admins would love to have focused on building platform compliant software? You can help by showing your vote...
Microsoft has wisely eliminated submission fees for the software logo program, but there is one place where some odd play of self-interest continues to create a challenge. When you submit your software for logo certification, you must code sign your software - which helps with the ever prevalent problem of code-injection into executables. You may sign your software with an Authenticode signing certificate from any recognized Root CA. If you do your home work you will find that there are inexpensive options as cheap as $99/year.
Many software developers start making headway toward the logo certification by obtaining one of these certificates only to run into a challenge when they go to submit their software for the logo program. It turns out that you must also signup for the "Winqual" website to be able to submit your software for logo certification. Part of this process is to sign an EXE and submit it. For this purpose, only a Verisign code signing certificate is acceptable. There are no technical or security reasons given for this and years of requests by software developers seem to fall on deaf ears.
For a software developer who has invested the time and energy into obtaining a certificate from a different CA, it is very disappointing to consider spending that time and energy again. The ongoing cost is much higher as well, although Microsoft has a discount that allows the Verisign certificate to be purchased for $99 for the first year, the yearly renewal is over $300/year.
If you feel relieving this requirement would help all of us with better quality software, please take the survey here before April 9th. At any time you can vote for this change on the Software Logo Program Feedback item here.
Topic: Application Management,Windows Installer, Win7 / Vista