Windows 8 V4 Printer Drivers

New Generation of Printer DriversWindows 8 V4 Printer Drivers

Windows 8 in general, and Metro-style apps in particular, benefit from the new generation of Microsoft's V4 printer drivers.

Windows 8 V4 Printer Drivers

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V4 Print Drivers

The v4 printer driver class, or framework, brings new concepts and capabilities for printing from Windows 8.  I cannot work out if ARM processors and Metro-style apps was responsible for driving v4 printer development, or whether Microsoft were going to bring improvements anyway.  The upshot is that Windows 8 on ARM, and the new generation of apps, were both the happy beneficiaries of this new printer technology.

Windows 8 V4 Printer Driver Goals

In a nutshell, Microsoft developed the core component of V4 printer drivers to take advantage of technologies that have sprung up since v3 drivers were developed for XP.  This involves adding new components to the printing architecture.

  • To integrate with Metro apps, and take advantage of their user interface.
  • To perform on low-power ARM environments.
  • To improve printer sharing.
  • To create an architecture which permits backwards compatibility with v3 drivers.

V4 Printer Driver Architecture

Windows 8 V4 Printer Drivers

Note: The blue elements are new in the version 4 architecture.  The new rendering sub-system is particularly interesting.

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More New Print Features in Windows 8Windows 8 Printer Problems

PortPrompt Replaces Print to File
In XP programs such as Word for Windows offered an option to Print to file.  Here in Windows 8, PortPrompt is an improved port type that replaces the option to 'Print to file'.  Naturally, PortPrompt works with the new v4 printer drivers.

Automatic Detection of Printers
Windows 8 has a new wizard which automatically installs any printer that it detects it on the network.

Troubleshooting Windows 8 Printers

Printer Software Problems
Try printing from a different program.  Also, try sending a print job to the same printer but from a different machine.

Inspect the default printer.  Sometimes it gets switched from the desired printer to the Microsoft Document Writer.  The answer is to select another printer from the device's print option.

See more on Windows 8 printer troubleshooting »

Summary of Windows 8 V4 Printer Drivers

The v4 printer driver class brings an upgraded architecture for printing from Windows 8.  Metro-style apps and ARM processors will particularly benefit from the new generation of Microsoft's V4 printer drivers.

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Microsoft Windows 8 Troubleshooting Topics

Windows 8 Overview  • Windows 8 Event Viewer  • Windows 8 Shutdown  • Mobile Admin

Windows 8 Task Manager  • Windows 8 MDOP and DaRT Tools  • Windows 8 Printer Problem

Win 8 Troubleshooting  • Windows 8 V4 Printer Drivers  • Windows 8 Sleep Problems  • Tookit