Microsoft to axe third-party printer drivers in Windows

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Microsoft has announced that it will phase out third-party printer drivers in Windows by 2027, and will replace the drivers with its own universal class driver, designed to be more reliable and easier to use.

According to Microsoft, the universal class driver will work with all printers that support the Mopria standard, which is a universal printing protocol. Microsoft adds that it will provide manufacturers with an alternative means to distribute printer drivers to their customers.

The key driver behind this transformation is the Mopria Alliance, a consortium formed in 2013 by industry heavyweights Canon, HP, Samsung, and Xerox, with subsequent participation from Epson, Lexmark, Adobe, and Microsoft. Since Windows 10 21H2, Microsoft included Mopria support, which means printer makers don’t need to provide separate installers and drivers. You can customize your printing through Print Support Apps in the Windows Store.

Microsoft will begin phasing out third-party printer drivers in 2025. By 2027, no new third-party printer drivers will be published to Windows Update. Existing drivers will still be supported, but they will no longer be updated.

The sources for this piece include an article in TheRegister.

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