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In the pursuit of technological progress, adaptation is key to staying relevant and efficient. Recently, Microsoft made an announcement that marks a significant shift in their approach to printer drivers. By 2027, Microsoft plans to end support for third-party drivers on Windows–a pivotal moment for the printing industry. This news points to trends around advancement and streamlined processes for businesses and individuals alike. Read on as we explore the reasons behind Microsoft’s decision and how Mopria Alliance is already providing a seamless solution for users.

Microsoft’s plan to sunset support for third-party print drivers is rooted in the pursuit of enhancing security, reliability, and performance for Windows users. The reliance on third-party drivers opens the door to complexities and potential vulnerabilities that can compromise system integrity and user experience. By consolidating support to native Windows drivers and Universal Print, Microsoft aims to simplify printer management, reduce compatibility issues, and bolster overall system security.

“Collaboration with the Mopria Alliance will enable us to provide better security and quality for Windows users when printing at home, work, or school,” said Issa Khoury, Principal Program Manager Lead for Microsoft Print at Microsoft. “By reducing driver dependency and management, we will also make it easier for IT Admins to support printing in their organizations whether they are using Windows server or Universal Print.”

This transition also aligns with the broader industry trend toward standardized printing protocols. The Mopria Alliance, for example, comprises over 20 members from the industry’s leading printer and scanner manufacturers and software adopters and supporters, all of whom have agreed upon universal standards for a streamlined print and scan experience. Embracing standards such as Mopria’s ensures interoperability across devices and platforms, fostering a more cohesive and user-friendly printing experience. With Mopria certification, Android, Windows, and Amazon Fire tablet users can expect consistent performance, enhanced compatibility, and access to advanced printing features–regardless of the device they’re printing from.

So, what steps can users take to prepare for this transition away from third-party drivers on Windows? The answer lies in embracing Mopria certified printers and multi-function printers (MFPs). Mopria certification guarantees compatibility with a wide range of devices and operating systems, including Windows and Android. Plus, Windows automatically installs Mopria certified printers, meaning there’s no need to manually install any additional software or drivers. By investing in Mopria certified hardware, users future-proof their printing infrastructure and ensure seamless integration with evolving technology ecosystems.

Moreover, Mopria certification goes beyond mere compatibility–it reflects a commitment to excellence in printing standards. Mopria certified devices follow a detailed Certification Program in order to carry the Mopria brand, thereby optimizing the user experience and ensuring future and legacy interoperability. Whether printing documents, photos or graphics, users can trust Mopria certified devices to deliver exceptional results consistently.

In addition to hardware considerations, users can also leverage Mopria Print Service, a versatile mobile printing tool with advanced print customization and security features for Android devices. Mopria Print Service enables easy printing from Android smartphones and tablets to Mopria-certified printers, empowering users to print effortlessly from their mobile devices. This is particularly useful when printing from multiple printers–at home, work, a friend’s place, etc. With Mopria Print Service, users can enjoy the convenience of wireless printing wherever they are, without sacrificing quality or reliability.

As the industry continues to evolve, embracing standardized printing protocols becomes increasingly essential. Mopria Alliance stands at the forefront, championing interoperability, reliability, and user-centric design. By aligning with Mopria standards, users can navigate transitions like Microsoft’s end of support for third-party print drivers with confidence, knowing they have a robust and future-proof solution in place.

In summary, Microsoft’s decision to end support for third-party drivers underscores the importance and prioritization of standardization and interoperability in the printing industry. By embracing Mopria certification, users can ensure seamless integration, optimal performance, and enhanced security across their printing infrastructure. As we embrace the future of printing, Mopria Alliance remains committed to empowering users with innovative and reliable solutions that elevate the printing experience for all.

Here are a few recommended next steps as we transition away from third-party drivers:

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