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It seems like an obvious question, but I’m having a difficult time finding out if Windows 8, with all its changes, will require new, specialized drivers. I see that a lot of manufacturers have started releasing Windows 8-specific drivers for their hardware, but what about those that are not, will Windows XP or 7 drivers work or have they changed the driver/system/security architecture again, thus requiring new drivers?

The closest thing I could find to an answer was a thread in which it was mentioned that the display driver model was again updated, thus requiring new display drivers, but not much else (e.g., audio cards, printers, chipsets, etc.)

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Hit-and-run down-/close-voters should explain their reasons. –  Synetech Oct 27 '12 at 16:17

3 Answers 3

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Of course the brands will release official driver for more compatibility with new hardware for better performance, but you can use the Windows-7 driver till for the Windows-8.

Most programs that worked in Windows 7 should work in Windows 8, though. Microsoft has a Compatibility Center Web site where you can check for specific applications and hardware devices that have been certified to work in Windows 8. When you launch the upgrade installation, you will also receive a compatibility report.

PCPro has a article how to get old drivers work in Windows-8.

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Hmm, that’s strange. A couple of days ago I looked for a Windows 8 version of the Windwos 7 Compatibility Center, but there was none. They must have just released it yesterday. –  Synetech Oct 25 '12 at 17:00
    
@Synetech I'm not sure about that though but I think it has been release before that. –  avirk Oct 25 '12 at 17:02
    
@Synetech I think you will like to take a look on this. –  avirk Oct 25 '12 at 17:03
    
> I think it has been release before that. @avirk, then it had not made it into Google as of this past weekend. :-| The PCPro link (whose icon looks exactly like that of PCMag) is good. You should edit it into your answer. –  Synetech Oct 25 '12 at 17:07
    
@Synetech done! –  avirk Oct 25 '12 at 17:31

Not a lot has changed with regards to driver requirements in Windows 8 from Windows 7, so for most devices a Windows 7 (or even Windows Vista) driver of the appropriate 32- or 64-bit flavour should work.

However some installation programs may detect Windows 8 as an unsupported operating system. They can sometimes be convinced by making use of compatibility mode, or by extracting the driver and installing manually via Device Manager.

One area you could struggle however is with graphics drivers - Windows 8 drops XDDM driver support in favour of WDDM so if you haven't been able to source a newer graphics driver than a Windows XP one you could have problems. (Source: social.msdn.microsoft.com)

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> Not a lot has changed with regards to driver requirements in Windows 8 from Windows 7, so for most devices a Windows 7 (or even Windows Vista) driver of the appropriate 32- or 64-bit flavour should work. So, then most of the big changes with Windows 8 are just skin deep? –  Synetech Oct 25 '12 at 17:01
    
There has been some polishing around performance, but driver wise they are still using the same driver model. –  Graham Wager Oct 25 '12 at 17:03

When the preview version of Windows 8 came out there were little to no Windows-8 specific drivers available. However, most of the Windows 7 drivers still worked. The XP to Vista change was much more drastic than 7 to 8.

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> The XP to Vista change was much more drastic than 7 to 8. That was obvious for Vista⇨7, but everything keeps making it look like 8 is a big change. I guess it’s just skin deep. –  Synetech Oct 25 '12 at 17:02

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