Windows Update and Driver Distribution Support
One goal for Windows and related hardware support is simple: customers should not have to think about finding drivers or other software to enable their hardware to work with Windows. Windows finds and installs the necessary drivers and software automatically through the well-proven services of Windows Update.
Microsoft has been working with partners for several years to enable the entire hardware ecosystem to use the Windows platform deployment services to service products.
We’ve made advances related to the requirements and redistribution agreements that govern the publication of drivers on Windows Update by providing hardware manufacturers with a scalable infrastructure to service the needs of Windows customers, no matter what hardware they have. Windows Update currently provides a deep pool of drivers to supplement the inbox driver coverage for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. Microsoft will continue to provide those drivers for customers, adding additional drivers that have been tested and submitted through the Hardware Certification submission process. Hardware manufacturers who are enrolled in the Certification Program can view the status of their drivers on the Hardware Dashboard Driver Distribution Service.
For information about Windows Update hardware-related software content policy, see this document.