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Windows Certification Newsletter

July 2, 2013

This newsletter provides up-to-date news about the Windows Certification (formerly Logo) Program and often provides info you can't get anywhere else. Did you get this from a friend? Subscribe now so you don't miss any important updates or changes.


Windows 8.1 Preview ready for hardware developers

Windows 8.1 takes another critical step with the public availability of Windows 8.1 Preview. You can use Windows 8.1 Preview to test your devices for Windows 8.1 certification by using the new Windows Hardware Certification Kit (HCK) for Windows 8.1.

Download the kits, bits, and tools that you need to develop, assess, and certify hardware and drivers with Windows 8.1 Preview. Enjoy new capabilities and technologies that help you design and develop devices with the latest advances in displays, battery life, and performance.

With Windows 8.1 Preview, you can enrich the feel and functionality of your devices through elements like clearer display resolution; faster boot, resume, and app launch times; easier or automated security and identity; improved wireless connections; even cooler photo features; and fluid, intuitive touch experiences.

Get details on what’s new for hardware developers in Windows 8.1 Preview, and access related downloads and guides that will help you develop drivers and devices – from sleek phones, tablets, and notebooks to high-performance workstations or all-in-ones – that will give your customers a seamless experience whether at home, work, school, or play. Find everything you need in the Windows Dev Center - Hardware site.

Submissions for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 begin now!

As soon as you download the new Windows HCK for Windows 8.1, you can start testing and preparing for certification submissions. The Dashboard is ready for your Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 certification submissions.

The new Windows HCK for Windows 8.1 supports certifications for these operating systems:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2

Digital signatures available for legacy operating systems in the new Windows HCK for Windows 8.1

When you successfully complete testing for a client certification of Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1, use the Dashboard to create a submission package for uploading - the same process that you’ve used in the past. And, if you’re using a uniform driver that’s properly decorated to include Windows Vista and Windows XP, the dashboard has check boxes for free digital signatures.

If your Windows XP or Windows Vista driver isn’t the same binary as used with the newer operating systems, test it by using Windows HCK 2.0. If you test for certification on Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2012 R2, the Dashboard won’t have check boxes for free digital signatures for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003. You can get digital signatures for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003 by full testing your driver with the WLK 1.6 test kit.

Fast-track Windows 8.1 certification

You can fast-track Windows 8 certified devices listed in the table below for Windows 8.1 certification if:

  • The device was previously certified for Windows 8.
  • The device's binaries haven't changed since the submission for Windows 8. Only the INF is updated to reflect the new Windows version.

If the device meets these criteria, here's how you can create a submission:

  1. Use the new Windows HCK for Windows 8.1, create a Windows 8.1 project, and run the Device.DevFund INF test.
  2. Use the Dashboard to package the results for submission upload.
  3. Include the previous Windows 8 submission ID in the README file.
  4. Reference errata ID 2657, "Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 driver certification update special," in the README file.

Submissions are reviewed for these items:

  1. The earlier Windows certification referenced in the README file. 
  2. The DevFund INF test passes.
  3. No driver binary changes occurred (by using WinDiff).  

If the review is successful, there's no cost for the submission. 

Certified Windows 8 devices and drivers that can be resubmitted for Windows 8.1 using the plan above
Digital Video Camera
Digital Media Renderer
Digital Still Camera
Distribution Scan Management Enabled Device
Enterprise WSD Multifunction Printer
Game Controller
Generic Controller
Graphics Tablet
Hard Drive – HDD, SSD
Multifunction Printer
Optical Drive
Pen Digitizer
Removable Storage
SDIO Controller
Signature Tablet
Smart Card
Smart Card Reader
Storage Array
Storage Controller (Client)
Storage Spaces Adapter (Client)
Storage Spaces Drive
Storage Spaces Enclosure
Touch Monitor
WSD Multifunction
WSD Printer
WSD Scanner

New or changed drivers require testing for Windows 8.1

If you’re submitting a new device or driver not listed in the table above (or if you’re submitting an updated driver that was previously certified), you need to test or retest the driver for Windows 8.

There are steps you can take to request a Windows 8 signature without completely retesting with Windows 8. To do this, you'll need to prove that the INF is well formed for Windows 8 by:

  1. Using the new Windows HCK for Windows 8.1, create a Windows 8.1 project, and run the full certification suite of tests.
  2. Using the new Windows HCK for Windows 8.1, create a Windows 8 project and run only the Device.DevFund INF test.
  3. Package the results of the projects for submission uploading by using the Dashboard packaging tools.
  4. Reference errata ID 2656 “Windows 8.1 to Windows 8 driver certification downgrade special” in the README file.

A submission is reviewed for these items:  

  1. The Windows 8.1 test results.
  2. The Devfund INF test passes for Windows 8.
  3. The same binary is used in both projects.

Transitional plan for submitting with WLK 1.6 and HCK 2.0 kits

You can use the Windows HCK for Windows 8.1 Preview until it’s replaced by an updated version of HCK for Windows 8.1 released at RTM. The Windows 8.1 Preview will get QFEs as needed, all of which will be rolled into the RTM kit. There will be a 90-day transition period after RTM before the HCK for Windows 8.1 Preview retires.

After the same 90-day transition period, HCK 2.0 will be retired. WLK 1.6 will continue to be available for Windows Server 2003 devices and drivers, Windows Server 2008 devices and drivers, and Windows Server 2008 R2 until those programs retire at a later date, to be announced.

The portal no longer directly supports WLK 1.6-based submissions for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. If this change impacts you, contact for details about an alternative method for submitting your client WLK 1.6 logs. WLK 1.6 tested Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 submissions will be accepted using the alternative plan until 90 days past Windows 8.1 RTM.

8 GB SSHD support in Windows 8.1

Support for host-hinted solid state hybrid drives (SSHDs) is new in Windows 8.1. Windows 8.1 requirements for SSHDs state specific capacity and performance metrics.

To date, SSHDs with less than 12 GB of NAND have been excluded from certification because of initial concerns around user experience, as well as flash lifetime. Recent testing has indicated that the areas of concern are not problematic on the tested 8 GB SSHD implementations. As a result, Windows 8.1 will support 8 GB SSHD implementations with host-hints for a predetermined period of time.

These performance requirements will apply:

Erratum ID1649, 16481647
NVM cache size (GB)>= 6 and < 12>= 12
Seq. read (QD: 1)90 MBps90 MBps
Seq. write (QD: 1)15 MBps40 MBps
Random read (QD: 1)8 MBps8 MBps
Random read (QD: 8)N/AN/A
Random write (QD: 1)3 MBps3 MBps
Random write (QD: 8)N/AN/A

Random IO performance requirements with a queue depth of 8 won't be enforced under this erratum.

The errata with IDs 1647, 1648, and 1649 will take effect on June 17, 2013, and be valid until Jan 1, 2015. After Jan 1, 2015, performance and capacity requirements – as published – have to be met for certification.

To certify a hybrid with less than 12 GB of NAND, apply errata 1649 and 1648.

To certify a hybrid with 12 or more GB of NAND, apply erratum 1647.

New HCK for Windows 8.1 training videos are available on MSDN

Check out these new videos, hosted on the pages below, for information on how to set up distributed testing and how to run the USB topology compatibility test: