May 24, 2024

Microsoft is sounding the loss of life knell for third-party printer drivers, saying it should not permit them in Home windows by 2027.

Printing is among the most problematic points for working methods, with stability, compatibility, and reliability points typically plaguing customers, with a lot of the difficulty coming from third-party drivers. Microsoft needs to get rid of that ache level, saying it should get rid of them from Home windows by 2027, with security-related fixes being the one exception.

Microsoft developer Jonathan Norman took to Mastodon to tout the advantages:

I’ve been engaged on this for a bit. Within the close to future Home windows will default to a brand new print mode that disable third occasion drivers for Printing. That new system may have fairly just a few huge safety enhancements which we plan to element in a future weblog publish.

Jonathan Norman (@[email protected]) — September 6, 2023

Transferring ahead, Home windows will Mopria-compliant printer drivers, based on an organization weblog publish:

With the discharge of Home windows 10 21H2, Home windows gives inbox assist for Mopria compliant printer gadgets over community and USB interfaces through the Microsoft IPP Class Driver. This removes the necessity for print gadget producers to supply their very own installers, drivers, utilities, and so forth.  Gadget expertise customization is now accessible through the Print Help Apps which might be distributed and robotically put in through the Home windows Retailer. This framework improves reliability and efficiency by shifting customization from the Win32 framework to the UWP software program improvement framework. Lastly, print gadget producers not must rebuild their software program since this resolution is supported throughout all Home windows variations and editions.

With these developments within the Home windows print platform, we’re saying the top of servicing of the legacy v3 and v4 Home windows printer drivers. As that is an impactful change, finish of servicing shall be staged over a number of years. See the next Timeline and FAQ sections for steering on the top of servicing roadmap.

Eliminating third-party printer drivers will undoubtedly current short-term points, however the long-term advantages ought to make the transition value it.