The Publication of Drivers and System Firmware on Windows Update (“WU”) requirement in MDA Milestone 1 was changed for the MDA 2021 program year to allow for any version of a Shipping Driver to be published to Windows Update, as long as the driver is published as an Automatic Driver Update. This change was made to align MDA with the Manual Driver Acquisition already underway, where the behavior of how Windows Update offers drivers will be changing. A key change to the Windows Update behavior will be when Driver Auto-Promotion is turned off for Windows 10 clients, versions 2004 and later. This Driver Auto-Promotion change is expected to deploy in October of 2020.
The MDA Validation Toolkit has been updated in release 2020.09.01.0 to support the validation of program year 2021 requirements, including validation of the updated Windows Update driver publishing requirements. This updated version of the toolkit is not yet capable of determining whether a driver has been published as an Automatic Driver Update until Driver Auto-Promotion on Windows Update has been turned off in October. This can cause a situation where a partner who is self-testing to generate a passing result for the MDA requirement prior to Driver Auto-Promotion being disabled will later be flagged as a failing result when the system is audited and Driver Auto-Promotion has been disabled.
Microsoft appreciates the ongoing effort by OEMs in republishing drivers as Automatic Driver Updates through the Microsoft Partner Center portal. We understand that not having a tool available that can reliably determine if the driver was published correctly is a concern for many of our partners.
In response to this feedback, Microsoft requests that OEMs continue to make a best effort attempt to publish drivers as Automatic Driver Update for all systems, including those with a CSUP.txt date within the 2021 MDA program year.
At the time that Driver Auto-Promotion is disabled, Microsoft will release an update to this partner communication to notify partners in the MDA program that the MDA tool should now correctly display accurate results for this requirement. When Driver Auto-Promotion is disabled, Microsoft will provide a 90-day transition period for OEMs to validate and submit the required drivers to WU as Automatic Driver Update. Systems that are audited after this transition period are expected to be fully compliant with the Automatic Driver Update requirement.
When executing the MDA Validation Toolkit, which uses the public Windows Update API to query for available driver updates, Manual Driver Updates would be promoted to Automatic Driver Updates by Driver Auto-Promotion. However, by default Windows Update will not offer a driver update unless it is a better match than what is currently installed on the local system. This results in situations where the tool would not find driver updates that are still compliant with the MDA requirements.
To work around this issue, the MDA Validation Toolkit instructs Windows Update to ignore any currently-installed drivers when checking for available driver updates. Therefore, when Driver Auto-Promotion is enabled, every driver update appears to the toolkit as an Automatic Driver Update, even if the driver was only published as a Manual Driver Update.
Please submit feedback or questions to MDA help alias at email@example.com.