Intel has just pushed out its first ever Windows Modern Driver (WMD?! Tread carefully!), otherwise known as a Universal Windows Driver (UWD). These universal drivers allow a single package to be created that works across every type of device, whether that’s your standard desktop PC, tablets, embedded systems, etc. Presumably, this same delivery method will also be used for Intel’s upcoming dedicated graphics cards due in 2019.
“Microsoft is changing the way that hardware drivers work on the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), Windows 10 (and later), and Microsoft Windows Server 2019 (and later),” explains Intel. “Hardware running on these operating systems can use Windows Modern Drivers (also known as Universal Windows Drivers - UWDs). Note that Microsoft requires the use of Windows Modern Drivers for Windows 10 1809 (RS5) and later. Intel will begin distributing Windows Modern Drivers for its products beginning in November 2018.”
In a nutshell, from this moment onward, any and all driver updates for Intel hardware on Windows 10 will be a Windows Modern Driver. Intel says it’s worked with Microsoft to make the driver transition as seamless as possible, with updates automatically downloaded through the Windows Update process.
However, a slight word of warning. Once an Intel driver has been updated to a Windows Modern Driver, rolling back to the older drivers is a “complex process” that can result in system instability, particularly in regards to graphics drivers. WMD indeed. For most users, this should be one-way trip then, no looking back. Let’s just hope nothing goes wrong, but you’ll forgive us for being skeptical when Microsoft is involved in any sort of update these days.
Should you update your Intel drivers to UWD there are a few known issues, but if you’re the sort of madperson trying to play AC: Odyssey, Battlefield V, or COD: Black Ops 4 using integrated Intel graphics, then you’re probably very familiar with performance issues.
Intel Windows Modern Driver version 126.96.36.1994 Known Issues
- Intermittent crashes or hangs may occur in Assassins Creed: Odyssey, Battlefield V, Call of Duty Black Ops IV, and other games.
- Minor graphics anomalies may be observed in Project Cars 2 (with Anti-aliasing enabled), and other games.
- The optimization checkbox for gaming tuning in the Graphics Control Panel does not refresh after restoring settings in some systems.