If you were hoping to use a Creative X-Fi series sound card under Linux in the near future, think again. Last June we told you that Creative was planning on Q2'2007 for delivering a binary blob to support the X-Fi series along with delivering full support for ALSA and OpenAL v1.1 with EAX effects. Creative has now updated their open-source page saying that their closed-source X-Fi Linux driver will not even be in a public beta until the end of third quarter or fourth quarter this year. With the beta not even being available until the end of the year, we would be very surprised if Creative Labs will even deliver a stable X-Fi driver this year at all. What's the reason for this delay? It's due to Microsoft's Vista: "It has taken more resources than expect[ed] to redesign our software and drivers for Vista." Keep in mind that the driver they will be delivering to Linux X-Fi owners isn't even open-source.
It was bad enough when it took ATI about six months to deliver a Radeon X1000 "R500" Linux driver, but it will be over two years since Creative first introduced the X-Fi series and we still have no Linux support -- thanks to Microsoft Vista.
According to the ALSA's Sound Card Support Matrix, the Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi series still lacks any form of support from their open-source driver. The only path for Linux support at this time is purchasing the OSS driver from 4Front Technologies, but OSS is only rumored to support the X-Fi Xtreme Audio.