Microsoft is killing third-party printer drivers in Windows 11

From PC World: Microsoft will no longer provide new drivers from printer manufacturers via Windows Update starting in 2025, the company has announced. Microsoft says doing so will make Windows 11 even more secure.

Up to now, printer manufacturers can have their drivers certified by Microsoft, and Microsoft then distributes them via Windows Update. Starting in 2025, however, Microsoft will no longer accept new drivers from manufacturers. The proprietary drivers, installers, and tools of the printer manufacturers haven’t been necessary since Windows 10 21H2’s release in 2021, because since then Windows has supported Mopria-compliant network and USB printers with the universal Microsoft IPP class driver (Mopria is an association of printer and scanner manufacturers to produce drivers for printers, multifunction, devices and scanners. Windows supports Mopria). There are also printer support apps in the Windows Store that offer additional possibilities.

By switching from the Win32 framework to the UWP software development framework, reliability and performance would increase. Printer manufacturers would no longer have to develop their software from scratch because their printers would be supported by all Windows versions and editions.

Above all, Microsoft wants to improve the security of Windows by using only a few central IPP drivers instead of many different proprietary printer drivers from individual device manufacturers. Security holes in proprietary printer drivers often go unnoticed for years and thus remain in Windows. This makes Windows as a whole more vulnerable to attacks.

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