Put simply I have to ask why anyone is buying products from Creative Labs in the first place. Yes once upon a time Creative Labs’ sound blaster was the default standard in sound cards but these days not that many people even bother buying separate sound cards anymore compared to the 80286-80386 days when getting decent sound above the built in pc speaker meant shelling out a 100 bucks for a Sound Blaster or an Ad Lib if you were feeling risky or if you were really loaded, a card whose name I dare not even speak.
Creative Labs tried to branch out beyond sound cards into a bunch of other products, from joysticks to speakers to MP3 players and all invariably had one thing in common, they sucked. Buying anything from Creative Labs is pretty much the equivalent of throwing your money in the trash. Every time I bought a non-sound card product from Creative Labs, I had to throw out in a matter of months. Shamefully it took at least two buys before I learned my lesson.
Sound Blaster has become a standard but Creative Labs itself has been in free fall for a while. It’s used its brand name and distinctive packaging to try and move a number of other products, which most shoppers have learned by now are junk. Its sound card market is now linked to people who want performance audio and Vista and the Daniel K incident has pissed off exactly those people. Yes companies have a right to be touchy about independent programmers who create additions or drivers while soliciting donations. But where those additions or drivers are needed, common sense should tell the company to shut up about it and welcome the free outside labor.