Today, Microsoft released the RTM of the Windows Driver Kit (WDK) to developers and beta testers and is available for download on the Microsoft Connect website. The Windows Server 2008 RTM WDK is used to create drivers for Server 2008 as well as earlier operating systems like Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista. Microsoft advises everyone that this is the supported platform for the development and release of all production drivers.
WDK was earlier known as Windows Driver Development Kit (DDK). With the release of Windows Vista last year, Windows Driver Foundation (WDF), Installable File System Kit (IFS) were added and a separate Windows Logo Kit (WLK) was also created for signing the drivers.
A few highlights in this release are:
- A new wait/wake policy for parent drivers
- New samples
- New Tools
- Now supports Windows Server 2003 along with Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, and Windows XP
- New debugger extensions
- New and updated samples
- WDF 1.7 is native on Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista SP1
- WDF 1.7 is completely backward compatible with WDF versions 1.0, 1.1, and 1.5
- SDEL has been added to WDTF to make querying simpler and easier
- SDV supports KMDF drivers in addition to WDM drivers and parallelization over rules. Now, rules will be verified in parallel.
- PFD is enhanced with driver-specific annotations that make it an even more powerful tool.
- USB Power Management and now more robust and stable
- New look of the WDK documentation for Server 2008/Vista SP1
- new docs for Viridian and Kernel Transaction Manager
- Subset Filtering (allows you to search by technology subset such as Audio)
- Requirements Block information for all new topics
- Kernel Reference technical scrub and TOC restructuring
After I downloaded, the new documentation felt simpler for navigation and allows easier understanding of the process of creating drivers. This release will be useful for all the hardware vendors who will be creating the next version of the drivers using this RTM release. I'm currently trying to find some mention on creating friendlier drivers supporting virtualization for Microsoft's new Hyper-V, but its surely not in the bold-print and would be useful if someone can point it out to me!!