This is a draft of the announcement which will be in the next edition of the WHQL news. Long story short, the HCT will cease to exist shortly after the WDK ships and all qualification testing will be done via the WDK.
Microsoft Announces Changes to Windows Logo Testing Requirements for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 with the Windows Driver Kit
With the release of Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft will also release a new driver kit, the Windows Driver Kit (WDK), which has all the features of previous driver development and test kits. When the WDK is released, Microsoft will no longer release or support the following kits.
- Hardware Compatibility Test kit (HCT)
- Driver Development Kit (DDK)
- Installable File System kit (IFS)
- Display Compatibility Test kit (DCT)
There will be a period of time where both the HCT and WDK may be used to qualify drivers. Then the WDK will be required for all “Designed for Windows” logo testing including Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP, and Microsoft Windows Server2003. Please see below for detail on how this will impact testing requirements for down-level operating systems after the release of Windows Vista.
Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 Devices and Systems:
A set of tests will be provided with the WDK. IHVs and OEMs will use the WDK’s Driver Test Manager (DTM) to execute those tests and prepare a submission package for either a system logo or device logo. The device or system will be granted the appropriate Windows XP or Windows Server2003 logo.
Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Device Program:
A set of tests will be provided with the DTM for Windows Server 2003 and Datacenter devices. IxVs will use the DTM to execute those tests and prepare a submission package. The device will be granted the Windows Server2003 logo based on those results. There will be no Datacenter Driver Program (DCDP) qualification level. Given that IxVs will have had 3 years in which to stabilize their products for Windows Server2003, and should have gained enough experience that new devices should not need the DCDP 14-day qualification testing. Microsoft believes this extra testing and qualification level requirement can be retired at this time. Thus, there will no longer be a requirement, from the date of Windows Vista RTM, to pass the DCDP 14-Day Device Stress test or to submit those results for listing. IxVs can still use the DCDP 14-Day Device Stress test for Windows Server2003 with SP1, version 12.1 as a test tool, but this would not be required for submission.
Windows Server 2003 Failover Cluster
A set of tests will be provided with the DTM for Failover Cluster solutions. OEMs/IxVs will use the DTM to execute those tests and prepare a submission package. Failover cluster solutions will be granted the Windows Server2003 logo based on those results. As above, OEMs/IxVs could still use the retired Server Cluster HCTs for Windows Server2003 with SP1, version 12.1 as a test tool, but this would not be required for submission.
Windows Server 2003 Datacenter System:
A set of tests will be provided with the DTM. OEMs/DIVs will execute tests using the DTM and prepare a submission package. The OEM product will be granted a Server System Logo based on those results. As above, OEMs/DIVs could still use the retired Server and Datacenter HCTs for Windows Server2003 with SP1, version 12.1 as a test tool, but this would not be required for submission.
Given the above changes to the Device test requirement and submission process, there would no longer be a requirement, from the date of Windows Vista RTM for OEMs to include Datacenter Driver Program qualified drivers in their Datacenter systems.
There will be no Datacenter HCT test or submission requirements beyond those required by the Enterprise Qualification Program [EQP]. An EQP vendor will be able to submit their Datacenter configurations as before to WHQL for listing in the Microsoft Catalog as Datacenter qualified systems. Only those vendors participating in the EQP program will be allowed to submit Datacenter system configurations.