Hardware certification submission fees update

To help our hardware partners achieve certification qualification, the Windows Certification Program team is pleased to announce that all hardware certification fees will be dropped starting on 1/1/2014. Any hardware certification submissions that arrive on 1/1/2014 or later will not be invoiced for submission fees.

This is a great opportunity to lower your development costs by downloading the latest Windows Hardware Certification Kit (HCK) and testing your system or device for submission at this time.

The Windows Hardware Certification Policy document will be updated shortly to indicate that no hardware certification fees will be charged after 1/1/2014.

Comments (17)

  1. D J Smith says:

    This is very welcome news. But can we please see the requirement to use only a Verisign/Symantec code signing certificate relaxed. Here are the 1 year prices for code signing certificates:

     Symantec (ex-Verisign) $499

     Thawte $299

     Comodo $120

    I cannot understand for a minute why Microsoft insist on a Verisign/Symantec certificate!

  2. Don Burn says:

    To expand on the comment by D J Smith, not only is there the challenge of the cost but the fact the problems of getting a Symantec cert if you are not an fully incorporated firm.  Especially when you consider that in the last 10 years, WHQL has gone from almost all the data (including errata) being available to anyone, to putting almost all the information behind the dashboard which requires a login with the cert to get to.

    I am a one man consulting shop and try to get my clients to WHQL their products.  But I no longer share the test results with them since, they want perfect results, and I can't get at the filters!  I also, cannot explain to them the process and the challenges since so much is behind the dashboard.  I've looked at the cost of getting my business to the point it would clear the symantec hurdles and it is where I live many times the cost of the cert.  Many of my customers are embedded, 10 years ago, I made sure their product could WHQL if they wanted to do the submission, now I run the tests for bigger contracts, and see if there is something that stands out.   Overall this is a regression in quality.

  3. Mark Hughes says:

    The feedback related to the VeriSign ID's is being discussed with the Dashboard site PM's at this time.    

  4. Mudit Garg says:

    Great Move by MSFT. New Year gift 🙂

  5. cpbain says:

    wasn't there a $99 special on the VeriSign/Symantec certificate? Is that gone now? Perhaps just bring that back…

  6. It is more than the $99 cost says:

    In Massachusetts, the last time I looked by the time you pay for the corprate fees and the accountant costs (since corporate taxes are a mess), the verisign costs is well less than 10% of the total yearly expense.  And that is purely monetary, if you add in the time it costs versus lost income from actually working for a 1 man shop the percentage drops to less than 1%.

    Now it is hard to tell your customer to spend any price so that they can understand the challenges and the benefits of WHQL.   Even telling someone they need to submit their corporate info to get a Verisign cert at $99 bucks, to then have one of their people who is trusted root around the dashboard and collect the info they need and the latest filters, is more than most firms will put up with.  Note: that since Verisign provides a ton of warnings about how no one but a senior trusted official should have access to the cert, this just makes it harder.   Most of the small companies I deal with just say "why bother with these WHQL bozo's", this was taken from an email in the last couple of weerks.

    WHQL needs to put as much data in the public as it reasonably can, and then only have the submission process and error reporting behind the firewall.  This was the case 12 years ago.   Add to this providing alternate means to identify peoiple, and they would solve the problem.  It is ironic that for years as a DDK MVP (before they eliminated the program) I could access the Windows source code, but I could not get data on WHQL or the filters to know if the tests worked!

  7. pmathan says:

    "The Windows Hardware Certification Policy document" – When the document will get updated and where can we get that document?

  8. Mark Hughes says:

    All editing on the policy document is completed and just waiting for the final posting to take place at this time on the following link.  


    Then open the Windows 8.1 certification hardware policy document.   The following will be updated on the new posting once it takes place.

    1.  Billing submission fees removed

    2.  Updated touch testing policies

    3.  Updated graphics testing polices

  9. Steve Leo says:

    Hi Mark,

    I have review the latest Windows 8.1 Hardware Certification Policy, and I cannot finds any information about "WHQL submission".

    Does the mean all device/system never pay submission for Microsoft WHQL submission fee?



  10. Mark Hughes (MSFT) says:

    As of 1/1/2014 no more fees are charged for any certification submissions.  This dos cover both device and system submissions.    The policy document updated on 1/10/2014 to reflect this new policy.  

  11. Steve Leo says:

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for your information.


  12. D J Smith says:

    To answer cpbain the $99 is a first year only discount and cannot be used in subsequent years. If Microsoft could negotiate that as being permanent then great.

    As for it being a "small part of the cost" of overall certification effort, that may be true, but it's an annual ongoing additional cost to the certification effort and so should not be ignored as an unwelcome high rate compared to certificates available in the market but disallowed for use by Microsoft WHQL.

  13. Don Burn says:

    I guess I don't have a big a problem with the $300 to $300 a year for the cert as I do with the requirements around the cert that will code me $5000 to $8000 a year.  It would be nice to get rid of both of them, but cert is well within the range one spends yearly for mainenance of some tools.

  14. Lyndon Bethel - MSFT HCK Support says:

    I don't understand something related to your comments Don. I have always been able to access the certification filters without a Sysdev account for a short time these were on connect which required a connect loigin that was available to anyone but now they appear freely available: msdn.microsoft.com/…/hh998024.aspx


  15. Timo Witte says:

    We actually have a Veri Sign Cert and don´t have the problem the above commentors have. However i also think that microsoft should not support a business scheme likes VeriSigns one, which makes money out of their position in the market. A Certificate is nothing more than some bits, and a verification of a person / company isn´t that complicated and won´t cost 499$.

    I would suggest a 2 year certificate period with ~20-50$ fees which is a more reasonable price.. A follow up cert should be cheaper as the CA can somehow skip the verification of the person.. For example StartSSL is a company which sells certificates for the price they are really worth.. Most of the big CA´s just missuse their position in my opinion. Microsoft should not support such schemes…

  16. Jens Bohrmann says:

    I couldn't find any further document that contains information about fees concerning hardware certification.

    Does that mean that the whole certification is free now, except from the costs for the digicert/symantec certificate?

    Does that include driver distribution?

    Thanks for your help


  17. Swapnil says:

    Is there any fees for submission using WLK 1.6 on Server 2003 or Server 2008 operating system.

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