Paul Watson, PC Technician Friday, June 7th 2013
You still need Windows drivers
For the most part, you’ll need drivers to connect your Windows hardware to your computer, but Microsoft is trying to improve the mobile experience for users-on-the-go. In that respect, the move away from drivers is on for certain functions of the operating system.
One such function is printing. It’s always been a long, difficult slog to get Windows printing to work the way you want it to. On a home or business network, the effort isn’t always bad, but try dropping a device onto a foreign network and you could be in for trouble!
Microsoft hopes to eliminate the uncertainty of mobile printing with the upcoming update to Windows 8. Taking advantage of near-field communications (NFC) capabilities supported in Windows 8, Microsoft will introduce “tap-to-pair” printing for mobile devices using wireless networks. Users simply enable NFC-enabled Windows 8 mobile devices, then tap the device on any NFC-tagged printer and the mobile device will pair for printing services.
Additionally, direct wi-fi printing capabilities in the Windows 8.1 update will allow users with mobile devices to set up what is essentially a peer-to-peer network with a compatible printing device. A brief introduction and some handshaking is all that’s necessary to gain access to a printer through a Windows 8 mobile device. No additional drivers are needed, which makes the prospects for printing from mobile devices a lot better!
The new update will be unveiled “for show” at the end of June, and should be available to consumers by the end of 2013, though no firm consumer release date has been announced.
What does this mean for non-mobile users? Not much, though the prospects of using wireless printing in the office are pretty exciting. For the most part, Windows 8 has implemented a new printing model that relies less heavily on individual manufacturers’ Windows drivers, and more on built-in standards that devices will need to meet.
Driver maintenance will still be an issue for most Windows hardware, including graphical displays, keyboards, mice, network adapters and other essential devices. For driver maintenance in Windows 8, I recommend Driver Detective. Driver Detective, which has been downloaded millions of times, will help you locate, download, install and maintain all of the drivers required for your PC. Driver Detective supports all versions of Windows, including Windows 8. Download your copy today!
Photo Credit: Microsoft