As many of you probably already know, Microsoft will not reissue
their cross-certificates for kernel-mode signing:
For Windows 10, nothing will change, attestation-signing remain
available on MS Partner Center.
But for Windows from Vista to 8.1, the only way to keep the drivers
working will be HLK/WHQL certification. In itself, this idea is
reasonable, but its implementation is terrible. I fully agree the
opinion published on OSR:
Vista and Win 8 are now extremely rare (among my customers, less than
1%). 8.1 is slightly less rare (1-2%). But Win 7 is still noticeably
more common - 6-7%.
There is no doubt that the main goal of MS is to further squeeze Win 7
out of the niches where it still exists.
I tried to use different versions of HCT/HCK/HLK several times,
starting from the middle of 2000s (the last time was three years ago),
and agree that all of them are overcomplicated, heavy-weight and their
use is very costly.
Moreover, in all cases when I submitted various WHQL-certified audio
drivers for testing, the tests reported any errors. I haven't found a
single certified audio driver, including the standard ones from MS,
that would pass all the tests without error. I reported some cases
here, and MS employees have confirmed that the tests reported
these errors falsely.
In addition, there always were problems with certification of a driver
for a software-only (virtual) audio device, since some audio tests
require hardware resources that the virtual device never had. I have
never heard of MSVAD/SYSVAD going through the full certification
process to be at least MS-signed without the WHQL logo certification.
These WHQL/HLK issues were discussed here several times in the past,
but all the discussions died down each time with no reports of finding
reliable and reproducible certification methods.
Have there been any significant changes in modern versions of HLK on
these issues? Has anyone found a reproducible way for an audio driver
(especially virtual one) to pass all the tests and get an MS
signature, even without WHQL Logo certification, just to make PnP
driver installable and loadable in Windows 7?
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