Windows Driver Kit (WDK) for Windows 8.1: New for driver development

Windows Driver Kit (WDK) 8.1 comes with several improvements and new features. The provisioning and deployment experience has been improved, and the kit includes the WDK Test Target Setup MSI that you can use to prepare a test computer for provisioning. You can run Windows Hardware Certification Kit test suites inside or outside Microsoft Visual Studio.

WDK and Visual Studio Express

Windows Driver Kit (WDK) 8.1 Update works with Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows Desktop, which is a free version of Microsoft Visual Studio. WDK 8.1 Update also works with Microsoft Visual Studio Professional 2013 and Microsoft Visual Studio Ultimate 2013.

Frameworks, extensions and DDIs

Windows Driver Frameworks (WDF) has a new unified model that includes version 2.0 of the User-Mode Driver Framework (UMDF). The display driver model has new device driver interfaces (DDIs) to query capabilities of the graphics processing units (GPUs).

Windows 8.1 includes version 2 of the serial framework extension, SerCx2, to simplify development of drivers for serial controller devices.

With Windows 8.1, kernel-mode drivers can use the new ExXxxTimer routines to manage high-resolution timers and no-wake timers.

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