After more than half a year of work, Microsoft has reached an important stage with its plans to refresh the resources offered under the Windows Driver Kit umbrella to developers. Jim Travis, group content publishing manager Windows Hardware and Devices, explains that the end of March was synonymous with the republishing of all the Windows Driver Kit documentation on MSDN Library. The move is designed to align the source docs to the same XML-based content management and authoring system leveraged by the Windows SDK team. However, Travis underlined that the refreshed documentation was not only set up to kick up a notch the authoring and content management system for Microsoft, but to also benefit developers by offering them updated syntax and header information, enhanced abstracts for search results, and better content formatting.

“The kit documentation contains over 32,000 topics. The former system, which we called CAPE, used a hybrid of Microsoft Word and a very loose XML schema. Without a straightforward way to map between XML elements in the old and new schemas, transforming that much content introduced all sorts of issues. It took at least 30 people to get us to the point where we’re comfortable republishing this content, and much of what they had to do ended up being painstaking, manual, page-by-page repairs,” Travis stated. More »

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 »

With the next iteration of the Windows client having hit the Release Candidate stage, Microsoft has introduced an update to the resources designed to streamline development and testing of drivers for the successor of Windows Vista. Developers will be able to take advantage of refreshed documentation for the Windows Driver Kit via MSDN. The update to the Windows Driver Kit was introduced to keep up the pace with the evolution of Windows 7, which is available for public download as Release Candidate Build 7100 since May 5th, 2009.

“The WDKUA team is pleased to announce that we have refreshed the WDK documentation for Windows 7 RC on MSDN,” revealed Kevin Shirley, WDK programming writer. “We have also provided an improved feedback mechanism with this documentation refresh. Near the bottom of each WDK documentation topic is a “Send feedback on this topic” link. You can use the link to provide targeted topic feedback to the WDK documentation team. Please note that while we attempt to address relevant submissions in a timely manner, it may take awhile for us to update any given topic.” 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 »

1. Hardware Support for Windows 7

2. XP to Windows 7

3. XP SP3 RTM and Vista SP1 RTM

4. 10 Tips to Make Your Computer Run Faster

5. Problems of Internet Explorer 7

6. IE8 Beta in Windows 7

7. Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit for Windows 7

8. Top 10 – January 2009 Popular Tips

9. Windows 7 Sensor Windows Driver Kit

10. From XP SP3 and VistaSP1/SP2 to Windows 7
More »