This would theoretically put an end to third-party drivers for the company.
The situation of device drivers for printers has always been a cardinal issue on every operating system, and the fact is that their operation is not smooth at all. This is obviously clear to Microsoft as well, and the company has now developed a strategy to reform the management of printers within Windows.
According to Redmond’s concept, Windows 11 will drop the offer of third-party drivers through the Update service and instead use the Microsoft IPP Class Driver for Mopria-compatible devices. The latter is the essential factor, as the company will require Mopria certification for all HLK (Hardware Lab Kit) hardware, i.e. the ultimate goal is for the printers to become a kind of PnP, i.e. Plug and Play device.
Of course, the transition does not happen immediately. The company has only announced the plan at this time, and the current schedule is for 2025 to be the time when manufacturer print drivers will no longer arrive within Windows Update. From 2026, the Windows IPP device driver will be preferred, and from 2027, it will be possible to provide a third-party package for previously purchased printers only for security updates.
Of course, manufacturers can use their own device drivers on their own channels, but basically the Microsoft IPP Class Driver is beneficial for them as well, as it reduces the cost of developing the software background.
It is also worth noting that this change really only simplifies local support. In fact, this allows manufacturers to continue to tie certain capabilities of printers to different services, but standard functions can work more efficiently.
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