- Aug 17, 2014
Windows users who connect a printer to a PC may notice one of two things: the printer is detected automatically and usable right away, or it is not. It is then necessary in the latter case to go hunting for drivers for that printer to install them manually on the system.
Microsoft just made an announcement that ends printer driver servicing. What Microsoft means by this is that, in the coming years, printer manufacturers may no longer distribute their drivers via Windows Update.
Microsoft wants printer manufacturers to use a standardized printer driver for connectivity and Print Support Apps for functionality. These UWP applications are distributed via the Microsoft Store, and they may be installed automatically if a supported printer is discovered.
As far as the timeline is concerned, Microsoft wants to make the changes in the coming four years. Here are the details:
- September 2023 -- Initial announcement about the end of legacy third-party printer drivers via Windows Update.
- 2025 -- Manufactures may not publish new printer drivers to Windows Update anymore. Existing printer drivers may still be updated.
- 2026 -- Microsoft modifies the ranking order of printer drivers to prefer the standardized drivers.
- 2027 -- Third-party printer drivers may no longer be updated via Windows Update. The only exception to the rule is updates that address security issues.
This article provides information on the end of servicing plan for third-party printer drivers on Windows.