Windows 10X is intended to fix a lot of what is wrong with desktop Windows by offering a much more reliable, secure and easy to update experience.
It appears one of the ways Microsoft plans to achieve this is better quality drivers.
A Microsoft support document found by WindowsLatest confirms Microsoft is dropping the old Universal Driver classification model and will soon be classifying drivers as either Windows Desktop Drivers or Windows Drivers.
Windows Drivers need to meet strict reliability and service requirements and can be used on both Windows 10 and Windows 10X.
Otherwise, drivers will be classified as Windows Desktop drivers, and these can only be used on Windows 10 2004 and above. Windows Desktop drivers do not need to be certified by the Windows Hardware Compatability Program, whereas it is mandatory for Windows Drivers.
Windows Drivers need to follow the following guidelines:
- Compliant with DCH Design Principles.
- Follow the principles of Driver Package Isolation.
- Follow API Layering Requirements.
- Certified with Windows Hardware Compatibility Program Certification Process using the Hardware Lab Kit.
Given that Microsoft will only be selling Windows 10x devices pre-installed on hardware, it seems likely that all the drivers will be Windows drivers, but the news does raise concerns around whether Windows 10X will lack support for 3rd party hardware which needs older drivers.
The document can be read here.