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Legacy Audio Drivers

download drivers The term "legacy" when applied to computer systems indicates an older system or device that continues to be used despite its age. For example, if you have an older computer with a basic sound card, the term "legacy audio" might be applied. Likewise, if you install an older sound card into a more modern computer, the audio card is referred to as a "legacy audio card." In this context, legacy audio is not a brand of sound card; it is a category of audio devices.

When you upgrade your operating system, the new operating system may not automatically recognize legacy audio devices. When this happens, you will need to manually reinstall your sound card drivers or accept the generic sound card drivers recommended by the operating system, if any. Windows XP Embedded SP2 Feature Pack 2007 features a Legacy Audio Drivers component which adds support for legacy drivers.

Microsoft played a large role in the movement away from the ISA architecture and legacy devices. In order to qualify for the "Designed for Windows" logo, computer manufacturers had to move away from legacy input/output devices in favor of more efficient interfaces such as USB, PCI, and IEEE 1394 buses. For example, Microsoft would not accept graphics cards that used the ISA bus under the Designed for Windows program. Non-legacy audio devices generally use either PCI or USB.

Legacy audio changes with technology. In years past, AC97 was the cutting edge audio codec. Now, the AC97 standard has become obsolete as computer users expect more from their computer audio devices. This codec has since been replaced with Intel's HD Audio codec which adds support for multichannel sound and other features that reflect the way computers handle multimedia. Today's cutting edge audio technology may become tomorrow's legacy audio as technology continues its march in new directions.

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