Its a continuum of going forward and being unhappy with Creative's most loyal consumer base. Look at NVIDIA, nobody has screwed more people with broken chipsets, non-working features, and premature obsolescence than NVIDIA.
And yet NVIDIA keeps logging record revenues and profits each quarter. One year ago, it was "Man, that totally sucks NVIDIA won't support NForce2 and 3 under Vista. So I ordered a new 680i SLI board today. It was a bargain at only $250!"
Six months later, it became "Man, that sucks my 680i SLI board can't support 45nm Quads. I cannot believe NVIDIA...hey that new 790i SLI board is looking pretty good, and a real bargain at only $350!"
Yeah, you have a good point here. NVIDIA has had way to many issues that Intel chipsets didn't, such as the aforementioned 65nm Quads + 4GB RAM combos that couldn't work right due to chipset or mainboard design, or the 45nm Quad issue. There was a reason after all they extremely quickly dumped 590 for 680, which isn't mentioned oft anymore. It is the reason I still have only ever purchased Intel chipset motherboards.
However Creative brought this upon themselves, and despite daniel_k's crediblity and expertise, the sad fact is he produces far more stable drivers than Creative ever bothered
to do, for both old products and new. Such as this: http://www.madshrimps.be/vbulletin/f22/creative-driver-debacle-rumbles-43200/
Even amongst enthusiasts and tech-geeks how many research a company's driver support before purchasing a sound card, motherboard, or other device? Honestly, do you? I think it is safe to say almost no one does, I don't even.
The fact that people buy Creative's sound cards and either don't realize they are being ripped off on the driver support side or realize it only in hindsight doesn't excuse Creative in the least from what they are doing. Nvidia's faults and problems aside (And ignoring that it took them a long time to get on track with Vista drivers, which they eventually did
catch up on) they have good and very stable drivers. Creative on the other hand doesn't, for X-fi cards to Audigy to their basic sound cards. Even Realtek makes some extremely sound (excuse the pun) drivers.