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Scanners are quite unique pieces of hardware in that people tend to hoard them and keep them for ever and ever.  The trouble is that over time, manufacturers of those scanners come and go, end support for older devices etc which means that on newer operating systems like Vista, support for the required device drives is tough to find.

It should become easier now however for third parties to interface their scanners with Vista due to the work we are doing in combination with Printer Working Group to incorporate the WS-Scan protocols to aid interoperability.

More information here: http://www.internetnews.com/software/article.php/3750256/Microsoft+Contributes+to+Scanner+Effort.htm