In a new Building Windows 8 blog post, Microsoft details the new v4 printer driver architecture in Windows 8. According to Microsoft, this new architecture produces smaller and faster printer drivers and supports the idea of installing printers without having to locate a driver for that device.
“Ideally, when you plug a new printer into Windows, it just works, without your needing to go off and find drivers,” Microsoft stated in the blog post. Basically, Windows Vista had about 4500 drivers while Windows 7 had about 2100 drivers. With Windows 8, the new v4 printer driver architecture removes the need for having so many printer drivers. “In Windows 8, we took a radically different approach, and have stopped shipping lots of printer drivers with Windows. Instead, we built a print class driver framework. This framework is extensible, as it supports printing to existing devices, but it also allows manufacturers to include support for new devices, even those that have not yet been designed,” Microsoft explains. There is also reduction in the resources used when printing. In Windows 8, the disk space needed to support printers and imaging devices has been reduced from 446MB (Windows 7) to 184MB (Windows 8). Head over to the source link for a more indepth look at the new printing architecture.