Intel Releases Its First Universal Windows Drivers (Updated)

Posted on November 29, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Windows 10 with 29 Comments

Intel this week has released its first set of hardware drivers that conform to Microsoft’s more modern Intel Universal Windows Drivers specification. Naturally, because this is Intel, they call it something else: Windows Modern Drivers.

“Microsoft is changing the way that hardware drivers work on the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), Windows 10 (and later), and Microsoft Windows Server 2019 (and later),” and Intel document explains. “Hardware running on these operating systems can use Windows Modern Drivers (also known as Universal Windows Drivers – UWDs). Note that Microsoft requires the use of Windows Modern Drivers for Windows 10 1809 (RS5) and later.”

That last bit is of particular importance.

Effective immediately, any new Intel drivers for Windows 10/Windows Server 2019 or later will be Universal Windows Drivers. This should dramatically impact the stability and reliability of Intel display drivers in particular. Which is personally very interesting to me, as I’m having an Intel display driver issue right now. And I’m pretty sure I’m not using the Universal Windows Driver for this adapter. I will be soon.

Microsoft revealed Universal Windows Drivers at Build 2018 back In April. According to its documentation, Universal Windows Drivers enable developers to create a single driver package that runs across multiple different device types, from embedded systems to tablets and desktop PCs. As part of the requirements, hardware makers can no longer bundle Win32 applications or utilities with their drivers.

Better still, they are distributed through Windows Update, and hardware support apps are distributed through the Microsoft Store. This should lessen our reliance on the often-terrible support apps that PC makers bundle with their hardware.

You can find Intel’s first Universal Windows Driver, for its integrated graphics chipsets, on the Intel website. I’ll be installing this as soon as I post this article.

UPDATE: I just got home after doing some errands and found my PC’s display like below. So these new drivers have fixed nothing for me. —Paul

 

Tagged with

Join the discussion!

BECOME A THURROTT MEMBER:

Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Register
Comments (34)

34 responses to “Intel Releases Its First Universal Windows Drivers (Updated)”

  1. Avatar

    Albatross

    Error Message: Computer Manufacturer Graphics Driver Detected


  2. Avatar

    wright_is

    You have a notch on your desktop display?

  3. Avatar

    Bdsrev

    Once they work out the initial kinks and this settles in, this could be important for Surface Pro/Go/Book

  4. Avatar

    Darekmeridian

    I got that on one of my desktop systems tracked it down to an nvidia video driver problem which fixed it. Not sure what video chip is in that machine but I would start troubleshooting from it being a video chip problem.


  5. Avatar

    John Jackson

    The statement ...

    "Microsoft requires the use of Windows Modern Drivers for Windows 10 1809 (RS5) and later."

    ... requires a heap of clarification.


    As usual the unilateral pronouncement comes without warning, after the event. Typical NASDAQ:MSFT crap communication.


    The statement is surely false.

    I have just updated my entire network of devices with a clean install of 1809. All of the machines are at least 5 years old, the oldest 11, and given Intel's list of supported chipsets all my units are 'legacy'.


    Which begs the question about a key MSFT statement: that Windows 10 will be supported for free 'for as long as the hardware is supported by the vendor'.

    • Avatar

      skane2600

      In reply to JackoUK:

      Taken at face value I think you're correct. If true, the statement would effectively mean "Starting with Windows 10 1809, Windows will no longer be backward-compatible with previous versions of Windows including previous versions of Windows 10".

  6. Avatar

    irfaanwahid

    Your monitor's got a notch Paul!!!

  7. Avatar

    skane2600

    I suspect they'll be few hardware makers targeting embedded systems with universal Windows drivers. Any "universal" scheme is likely to "bulk-up" the size of the drivers which is frowned upon in embedded systems. Not to mention that the sort of hardware included in most embedded systems is unlikely to have much in common with desktop PCs. And finally most embedded systems wouldn't be using Windows as their OS unless the system is fairly PC-like (e.g. Kiosks).

  8. Avatar

    spacein_vader

    "This should dramatically impact the stability and reliability of Intel display drivers in particular."


    To be fair he didn't say it would make a positive impact.

  9. Avatar

    MNL

    "Install Failed" 5 or 6 times so far on my NUC  i5-7260U CPU PC.

  10. Avatar

    lvthunder

    So is this new driver model just for Intel or is it for everything?


    "Intel this week has released its first set of hardware drivers that conform to Microsoft’s more modern Intel Universal Windows Drivers specification."

    This makes me think this is just Intel.


    “Hardware running on these operating systems can use Windows Modern Drivers (also known as Universal Windows Drivers – UWDs). Note that Microsoft requires the use of Windows Modern Drivers for Windows 10 1809 (RS5) and later.”

    This makes me think it's everything.

  11. Avatar

    lvthunder

    Paul likes notches so much he has one on his monitor. LOL. In all seriousness that looks to be either a hardware or a cable issue.

  12. Avatar

    gmanny

    Should help with the eGPU scenario if the drivers are really more stable because surprisingly, in my experience it's Intel drivers (and not Nvidia) which cause crashes when eGPU is plugged in or out.

Leave a Reply