New v4 Pprinter Driver Architecture in Windows 8 Simplifies Printing - Seton Hall Provides Windows 8, WP Devices, Office 365 for Education to Students

Seton Hall provides Windows 8 and Windows Phone devices and Microsoft Office 365 for education to incoming freshmen and returning juniors in 2012 and beyond. However, incoming freshman and returning juniors this year will receive Samsung Series 7 tablets or Samsung Series 5 ultrabooks running Windows 8.More than 1,200 students have already received this technology, […]

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Seton Hall provides Windows 8 and Windows Phone devices and Microsoft Office 365 for education to incoming freshmen and returning juniors in 2012 and beyond. However, incoming freshman and returning juniors this year will receive Samsung Series 7 tablets or Samsung Series 5 ultrabooks running Windows 8.

More than 1,200 students have already received this technology, and when school resumes this fall, nearly 2,500 students will be using Windows 8 devices as part of their academic experience.

Seton Hall has also equipped incoming freshmen with the Windows Phone-based Nokia Lumia 900 and Office 365 for education. "Windows Phone aids students with seamless integration with the students' Windows 8 desktop environment, providing them with access to familiar programs and documents on both devices," stated Seto Hall. These tools make the process of keeping up on academic work and connecting with other students and professors effortless.

Also, the Seton Hall be be upgrading the entire campus to Microsoft's communications and collaboration cloud suite "Office 365 for education," which provides email, shared calendars, Microsoft Office Web Apps (such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint), video and online meeting capabilities, and document sharing to academic institutions.

This will "ensure that not just students, but also faculty and staff have a familiar user experience across all their devices, allowing for greater productivity and teamwork, no matter what compatible device they are working on at any given time," the Seton Hall said.

Here are some Windows Phone and Window 8 developers videos webcast:

From retro game programming to modern day Windows Phone 7 development:

In this "Designing Metro Style Line of Business Apps," Robert reviews a Windows 8 app he built. This line of business app provides the ability for employees to create and submit expense reports, and for managers to view and approve or reject them.

Nadine Fox of Macadamian, the design firm that helped create the app's user interface cover a variety of topics, including navigation patterns, the use of app bars (including what buttons go where on the app bar), modal vs non modal data entry screens, notifications, and more.

In the How Do I series of videos -- The "Use the Callisto framework to enrich a Windows 8 Metro application," demonstrates obtaining and referencing the Callisto framework within a Windows 8 Metro (XAML) application. The sample also shows the basic use of a Ratings control.

"Support Page Navigation in a Windows 8 Metro Application" helps you learn to use the navigation pattern in Windows 8 to take control of the user's navigation path, navigate back or forward, and persist their state no matter where they go.

"Add Music and Sound Effects to a Windows 8 Metro Application," screencast will show you how to add Music and Sound Effects to your own Windows 8 Metro Style App using HTML5 and JavaScript. This is done in a fun, immersive way utilizing the free MetroGameKit.

"Add Semantic Zoom for Grouped Data in a Windows Metro application," help you learn how to implement semantic zoom in your Windows 8 application using HTML and JavaScript.

"Semantic zoom allows the user to zoom in or out on lists of data. It transforms the list in a way that helps the user to get oriented and to quickly access what he is looking for."

"Add Settings to a Windows 8 Metro application," video introduces and demonstrates the basic techniques needed to implement the Settings contract in a Windows 8 Metro style application using the WinJS libraries.

You'll see how to create the markup and script to implement and wire up a WinJS SettingsFlyout control that will smoothly integrate your app's settings experience with the Windows 8 settings charm, making your apps settings easily discoverable, and consistent with other Metro style apps.

"Handle Process Lifetime Management for a Windows 8 Metro application," screencast discusses the lifetime of a Metro Style Application and demonstrates what a developer needs to do to plan for the activation, suspension, and resumption of an app.

In yet another blog post, Microsft details Windows 8's print system and show you how it works on ARM-based PCs and in Metro style apps.

And, it also talk about what "we've done to ensure that the maximum number of existing printers "just work"--whether you're accessing them from the desktop, from a Metro style app, or on a device running Windows RT," said Adrian Lannin, lead program manager on the Printing team.

With Windows 8, Microsoft has introduced a new printer driver architecture, called "version 4, or v4," the fourth interation of the printer driver achitecture in Windows that produces smaller, faster printer drivers, and it supports the idea of a print class driver framework--a system that allows people to install their printers without having to locate a driver for that device, in many cases.

"Versions 1 and 2 were the driver architectures for Windows 1.0 through Windows ME. And, V3 was the architecture used from Windows 2000 to Windows 7, and it's actually still fully supported in Windows 8 for device compatibility reasons." So if you "only have an existing driver available for your current printer, then it should still work in Windows 8," said Lannin.

Windows 8 v4 Printer Driver Architecture

Unlike, Vista and Windows 7, which had about 4500/2100 drivers respectively, the new v4 in Windows 8, removes the need for having so many printer drivers. "In Windows 8, we took a radically different approach, and have stopped shipping lots of printer drivers with Windows. Instead, we built a print class driver framework. This framework is extensible, as it supports printing to existing devices, but it also allows manufacturers to include support for new devices, even those that have not yet been designed," Lannin explains.

Besides the increasing number of print devices covered, Microsoft also been able to reduce the resources required when printing in Windows 8. In Windows 8, "the disk space needed to support printers and imaging devices has been reduced from 446MB (Windows 7) to 184MB (Windows 8)."

With the Windows 8 driver model, Microsoft also made significant changes to how printer drivers are installed.

In Windows 8, "we have eliminated the extra copying, which removed quite a bit of disk I/O. The print spooler now just knows how to find the driver in the driver store," he said.

"For a real world example, we compared the installation times for an Epson Artisan on Windows 7 versus Windows 8 (using a relatively small driver on Windows 7): the install time on Windows 7 was 14 seconds, compared to under 2 seconds on Windows 8," Lannin explained.

"In Windows 7 and earlier versions of Windows, all printer drivers are stored in the "Driver Store,"--sort of like a database for all types of drivers. When you plugged in a printer, we would find the correct driver in the driver store, and copy it to a special location where the spooler could use it with your printer."