A new release of the Windows Driver Kit documentation associated to the latest iteration of the Windows client from Microsoft is currently available for download. According to the Redmond company, the next update to the Windows Driver Kit resources will take some time to be released as the infrastructure behind creating and offering the documentation to developers is being reworked. The software giant did not say when the next refresh for the WDK documentation will be offered, however, the latest update was made available at the end of 2009.

“It’ll be a little while before we do another update, because we’re taking some time to rework our authoring and publication systems. Stay tuned. You can download the offline version of the documentation (in HxS and CHM!!! format) here,” revealed Jim Travis, senior content publishing manager, Microsoft.

The Redmond company usually updates the Windows Driver Kit documentation both MSDN and Windows Hardware Developer Central (WHDC) in bi-monthly intervals, especially between major releases. It sounds like the updates are going to be put on hold, at least for a while. The latest MSDN Library documentation can be accessed here. More »

The Windows 7 driver store includes a small collection of drivers for legacy devices, mostly older printers, modems, scanners, infrared ports, PCMCIA controllers, and other oddball devices that don’t use Plug and Play connections. As you might suspect, Windows will not automatically set up such devices, and you’re rolling the dice if you find one of these old but still worthwhile devices and try to install an old driver.

But what if the device in question is valuable to you and can’t be easily replaced by a newer, supported one? Then by all means give it a try. Download the most recent hardware drivers you can find (ideally, for Windows XP or Windows Server 2003), and then use the Add Hardware wizard to complete the hardware setup process. Follow these steps:

1. If you’ve found a downloadable driver package or a CD that came with the device, look for a Setup program and run it. This option places the driver files on your hard disk and simplifies later installation steps.

2. Connect the new hardware to your computer. In the case of an internal device such as an add-in card, turn off the computer, add the device, and then restart. More »

Dell has produced the first drivers for select desktops and laptops running Windows 7 RTM. The US computer maker did not detail the specific products for which it now provides full driver support in concert with the gold release of Microsoft’s latest Windows client. However, customers can of course look for Dell Certified Windows 7 drivers via the company’s official Dell Online Windows 7 Support website. Of course, the search for Dell Certified Windows 7 drivers would have to be done in accordance with the Dell desktops or laptops they are running.

“Dell is jumping in to help business (commercial) customers get ready for Windows 7 by offering Windows 7 drivers for their commercial desktop and laptop PCs. They are posting their Windows 7 drivers (see Drivers and Downloads on left-hand navigation),” revealed Brandon LeBlanc, Windows communications manager on the Windows Client Communications Team. “By offering drivers for their commercial desktop and laptop PCs, Dell is helping business customers with Dell PCs in their environments prepare for Windows 7 deployments.” More »

Shuffling Through Program Windows.
If you’re running a number of files from the same program, such as multiple documents in Microsoft Word, Windows 7 allows you to switch through these windows with ease. Simply press down on the Ctrl key while clicking the icon from the taskbar. Each click will change the window to the next in the sequence, in the order that you opened them.

Managing Your Windows.
Windows 7 simplifies document and program management by allowing you to “dock” a window or manipulate its size with one mouse maneuver or a simple keystroke. To dock your window on one half of the screen, drag it to the left or right and it will change its size to fit that half of the screen. To manipulate the vertical size of a window, drag the window to the top to maximize it, or double-click the window’s top or bottom border to maximize it vertically while keeping the same width.

You can also perform all of these functions with keystrokes: More »

With the availability of Windows 7 Beta, Microsoft is also offering developers the necessary tools and resources to start building and adapting software and hardware products to the next iteration of Windows. One illustrative example in this context is the Windows Driver Kit (WDK) Beta for Windows 7 Beta Build 7000. In addition, the Redmond company is also delivering extensive documentation accompanying the latest WDK release for Windows 7 Beta, in an effort to provide developers with the necessary resources to help them tailor their drivers to Windows Vista‘s successor.

“You’ll be pleased to know that you can now download the Windows 7 Beta WDK documentation in either hxs or chm format. Both downloads contain the same documentation bits that shipped in the Windows 7 Beta WDK.

Alternatively, you can access the Windows 7 Beta WDK documentation online,” Ted Hudek, Sr. content publishing lead, Microsoft. “Releasing in chm format is an experiment for us, and as such is currently just a one-shot. If we get feedback that folks like it, we’ll probably go ahead and refresh the chm at major OS milestones.” More »