Microsoft releases Windows Me-compatible DDK

Microsoft announced this week that it had released the long-awaited Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me) Device Drive Kit (DDK), which will enable software developers to write drivers for the new OS. Unlike previous versions of the DDK, which were OS specific--Microsoft used to supply different versions for Windows 2000 and Windows 98, for example--the new Windows DDK supports all current versions of Windows, including Win2K and Windows Me. The Windows DDK specifically addresses Windows Driver Model (WDM) modem driver development, DirectX 7.0, and other driver issues that affect both Windows Me and Windows 2000.

The Windows DDK includes a driver verifier tool that performs extra testing and validation on Windows drivers, Windows File Protection/System File Protection information, digital driver signing capabilities, and integration with Visual C++ 5.0/6.0. The kit also enables the creation of WDM drivers, which are designed to run on both Windows 9x/Me and Windows 2000. WDM drivers can be created for almost any hardware device, though display adapters are specifically not supported because of differences in the Windows 9x and Win2K display architectures.

The current version of the Windows DDK does not support the 64-bit version of Windows 2000 (Windows 2000/64), though this support will be added in a future release. Whistler 64 beta testers have access to pre-release versions of the Windows 2000/64 DDK. Previous OSes, such as Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 98, are still supported with their own DDKs. For more information and the free DDK downloads, please visit the Windows DDK Web site

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