Windows Hardware Newsletter
April 26, 2012
This newsletter contains archived content. No warranty is made as to technical accuracy of content or currency of URLs.
From the Editor
In this issue, we cover the Windows 8 Release Preview announcement and address a common source of customer feedback: downloading just the Debugging Tools for Windows. We also highlight Windows 8 touch, the latest release of Microsoft Server Performance Advisor, and the Sensor Diagnostic Tool, along with our regular features. Thanks for reading!
~The Windows Dev Center - Hardware Team
Windows 8 Release Preview Available First Week in June
Earlier this week, Windows President Steven Sinofsky announced the availability of Windows 8 Release Preview at a Developer Days event in Japan. Read more about the announcement and industry reaction:
Tips for Downloading Debugging Tools for Windows
In response to our most recurrent piece of customer feedback, we'd like to provide a few tips on how you can download Debugging Tools for Windows-and only Debugging Tools for Windows-even though these tools are packaged as part of the larger Windows Software Development Kit (SDK).
If you would like the latest, pre-release version of Debugging Tools for Windows (including WinDbg) - which does not support Windows XP, go to:
If you would like the current, released version of Debugging Tools for Windows (including WinDbg) - which does not support Windows 8, go to:
In either case, you must start to install the Windows SDK (by clicking the Download button). After a few clicks in the installation wizard (before you actually download anything more than an installation utility), you should come to a screen that looks like one of the following.
Pre-Release Version of Windows SDK
Released Version of Windows SDK
On the page for selecting features/options, select just Debugging Tools for Windows, and click Next. You will download both the x86-based and x64-based versions of Debugging Tools for Windows without the rest of the SDK. (If you need a redistributable package for the released version of Debugging Tools, you can select that option, as well.)
This process will install the .NET Framework. However, Iif you do not want to install the .NET Framework, you can read more about how to install Debugging Tools without installing the .NET Framework.
News for Hardware Developers
Windows Vista Hardware Logo Programs Closing
The Windows Vista Logo Program for hardware will no longer accept new system and device submissions for logo qualification after the release of Windows 8 Release Candidate (RC). Any hardware products that have qualified for a Windows Vista logo prior to this date can continue to use the appropriate artwork on the product and its packaging for the life of the product per the terms set forth in the licensing agreements, but no new systems or devices will be certified and added to the catalog.
Driver signatures and Windows Update distribution will still be available for Windows Vista. If you use Windows Logo Kit (WLK) 1.6, you can use the Unclassified category to obtain a driver signature. You do not have to run the full Windows Vista test suite for the original category. If you use Windows Hardware Certification Kit (HCK), your device must pass the device fundamentals tests, the bus/connectivity tests, and select feature tests in order to qualify for a driver signature only.
For more information on the Windows 7 Logo Program or Windows 8 Certification Program, please visit the Windows Dev Center at http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/windows/hardware/gg463010.
Subscribe to the Windows Logo Program Newsletter: http://msdn.microsoft.com/windows/hardware/gg462957.aspx
Request for Windows Driver Frameworks (WDF) Compatibility Testing
As we mentioned in the provious issue, the WDF team is working to ensure that the current version of WDF, version 1.11, is backwards compatible with previous versions. You can help by testing your existing drivers with WDF 1.11 on Windows 7 and Windows Vista with SP2. If you find compatibility issues, please let us know at email@example.com.
You can use the VerifyDownlevel setting with WdfVerifier to aid in this compatibility testing. If you don't have WdfVerifier installed, you can manually make the necessary registry settings as follows:
Details of these verifier options can be found at the following locations:
Important: WDF 1.11 isn't released yet, so you can't ship drivers linked to WDF 1.11 at this time. Drivers linked to WDF 1.11 also will not pass certification in Hardware Certification Kit (HCK).
Recently Published for Hardware Developers
Testing for Touch
Earlier this month, our touch engineering team released a series of papers discussing recommended methodologies and equipment for testing touch functionality in accordance with Hardware Certification requirements for Windows 8. Following is a listing of these papers:
This paper provides information about methodology and recommended hardware for measuring touch down hardware latency in accordance with Hardware Certification Kit (HCK) for Windows 8. It provides guidelines for independent hardware vendors to build recommended hardware for reliably and accurately measuring touch down latency for touch screens.
This paper provides information about methodology and recommended hardware for measuring touch panning latency in accordance with Hardware Certification Kit (HCK) requirements for Windows 8. It provides guidelines for independent hardware vendors to build recommended hardware for reliably and accurately measuring touch panning latency for touch screens.
This paper provides detailed setup instructions and procedures to measure touch panning latency in accordance with Hardware Certification Kit (HCK) for Windows 8.
This paper describes detailed setup and procedures to measure touch down latency in touch hardware environments using an acoustic measurement tool in accordance with Hardware Certification Kit (HCK) for Windows 8.
This paper provides information about how to use the Precision Touch Testing Tool (PT3) to execute Hardware Certification Kit (HCK) Touch tests for Windows 8.
Microsoft Server Performance Advisor 3.0
Microsoft Server Performance Advisor (SPA) 3.0 helps IT administrators collect metrics to identify, compare, and diagnose potential performance issues in deployments of Windows Server 8 Beta, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2008. SPA generates comprehensive diagnostic reports and charts and provides recommendations to help you quickly analyze issues and develop corrective actions.
SPA 3.0 features an improved interface design, automated data collection, and a consistent SQL data schema. The SPA framework requires Microsoft SQL Server or SQL Express (free version) but does not need to install anything on the servers under test. SPA can be run entirely using freely downloadable software from Microsoft.
This page provides a brief introduction to SPA 3.0 and links to download the SPA 3.0 software and the accompanying user's manual and development guide.
MBIM-Based Mobile Broadband Requirements for Windows
This paper provides information about Windows-specific expectations in Windows 8 Consumer Preview for mobile broadband devices that are implemented based on the Mobile Broadband Interface Model (MBIM) specification. Included in this white paper: Terms, Union Function Descriptors, MBIM Backward-Compatible Functions, Identity Morphing, and Microsoft OS Descriptors.
Sensor Diagnostic Tool
Microsoft provides the Sensor Diagnostic Tool for driver and hardware developers who need to test their driver software, device firmware, or hardware functionality. The diagnostic tool uses the Sensor and Location API to test data retrieval, event handling, report intervals, change sensitivity, and property retrieval.
Instead of writing an application to perform these tests, you can use the Sensor Diagnostic Tool, which ships as part of the Windows Driver Kit (WDK).
Download the WDK: http://msdn.microsoft.com/windows/hardware/hh852362
What's New in Blogs for Hardware and Driver Developers
"Touch Hardware and Windows 8" in "Building Windows 8" Blog by Steven Sinofsky and Jerry Koh, March 28, 2012
Last September we blogged about experiencing Windows 8 touch on Windows 7 hardware, introducing the story of touchscreen hardware, how it is evolving, and what we expect Windows 8 will bring to the ecosystem of touch. We discussed how our engineering efforts (software and hardware) are driven by key user experiences, how these experiences play a big part in how we evaluate Windows 8 hardware, and how we communicate with hardware partners. Since that post, we've been working closely with our partners to build PCs for Windows 8. With the Consumer Preview, we want to update you on where we're at. This post was authored by Jerry Koh, a group program manager, and Jeff Piira, a test manager, both on our Human Interaction Platform team. -- Steven
How Mobility Is Stressing the Chip Industry
GigaOM, April 21, 2012
Qualcomm can't find enough capacity to manufacture chips designed for mobile phones. These troubles will become more common as the physics that govern how we make semiconductors buckles under the demands of our increasingly mobile lives.
Microsoft's Design Drive
Bloomberg Businessweek: Technology, April 19, 2012
In 2010, Jon Bell was an interaction designer in the Seattle office of Frog Design, the company that created the beige cases for some of the iconic early Apple (AAPL) computers. Like many of his colleagues-and most of his profession-he worshiped Steve Jobs. While he'd owned a series of iPhones and MacBooks, he'd never purchased a Windows-based PC.
Still, in November 2010 curiosity led him to the mall to check out a Samsung phone running Microsoft's (MSFT) brand-new Windows Phone software. It looked different from anything else on the market, a lively grid of different-sized rectangles with smooth transitions between apps. "I just had this spidey-sense that I couldn't put into words," says Bell. He bought the phone. Minutes later, he texted a friend at Microsoft to ask about jobs there.
Windows RT Tablets to Gain Some Management After All
InfoWorld, April 23, 2012
Microsoft will offer a type of network access control (NAC) on Windows RT devices -- that is, ARM-based tablets running Windows 8 -- as a way to protect corporate networks from harm these devices might inflict if put to corporate use. This would provide more capabilities for managing Windows RT devices from Microsoft's System Center 2012 management tool than Microsoft plans to enable for iPads and Android tablets. (Third-party mobile data management (MDM) tools bring those capabilities and more to iOS and Android.)
The newly announced capability will be able to check the devices for compliance with corporate policies surrounding passwords, encrypting data, antivirus, anti-spyware, and auto updates, according to Microsoft's Building Windows 8 blog. This is similar but less comprehensive than what some NAC schemes do to keep devices that don't comply from connecting to networks.
Microsoft's Master Plan to Beat Apple and Google
CNN Money, April 17, 2012
Microsoft is staging a comeback -- and, unlikely as this sounds, it's one Apple and Google should be worried about.
Microsoft's recipe relies on three key ingredients: Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox. The secret sauce, which features a dash of Bing and SkyDrive, is still simmering. But Microsoft is nothing if not patient, and it thinks its trio of core consumer products will blend together in the next few years to form a major new ecosystem.
The Windows Hardware Newsletter provides manufacturers and developers the latest technical details for how to succeed with the Windows platform. Register now, if you're not already receiving the Windows Hardware Newsletter.
In This Issue
Windows Driver Developer Kits, Tools, and Programs
Developing Drivers with the Windows Driver Foundation (WDF)
Events — In Person and Online
June 5-9, 2012
Microsoft TechEd North America 2012
Microsoft TechEd Europe 2012
BUILD 2011: Session Videos