2 min Devices

Microsoft puts an end to third-party printer drivers in Windows Update

Microsoft puts an end to third-party printer drivers in Windows Update

Microsoft has created a timeline to remove third-party printer drivers from Windows Update. The timeline runs until 2027, when these third-party vendors must provide updates through another channel.

Microsoft wants to move away from the outdated way in which printer manufacturers release their own updates for printer drivers. It is encouraging an already existing universal printer driver standard to come into place.

End date 2027

To encourage printer manufacturers to embrace the universal printer driver standard, Microsoft decides to end third-party printer drivers in Windows Update starting in 2027. It marks the end of the support period for legacy v3 and v4 Windows printers. In the blog, the Windows creator still indicates that the end date may change.

That’s the endpoint of a timeline starting in 2025. A year and a half from now, the tech company will already stop pushing new printer drivers to Windows Update. Printer drivers already enrolled in the tool can still receive updates. Starting in 2027, that will end, and only security-related updates will be allowed. The updates will then have to be offered to the customer by the printer manufacturer in an alternative way.

Mopria standard

The universal printer driver standard that Microsoft wants to give extra attention to in this way is Mopria. The standard has been around since 2013 and was carried by Canon, HP, Samsung and Xerox. Microsoft later joined the alliance, as did Epson, Lexmark and Adobe.

Mopria has been in Microsoft’s operating system since Windows 10 21H2, released in late 2021. “This eliminates the need for printer manufacturers to provide their own installers, drivers, utilities, and so on,” the tech giant stated.

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