Microsoft Expands Rebootless Display Driver Upgrade Patent

The approach covers three separate steps - first, to stop a display driver from running; second, to activate the Windows default VGA driver (Microsoft Basic Display Driver in Windows 8); and third to start up the new driver that is provided by an independent hardware vendor (IHV).

The patent is fairly new and dates back to an application filed in September 2011 and is apparently an updated version of a patent that was originally filed as an application in 2005 and granted in 2011. What makes the patent special is its scope that is not only limited to Windows in general, but to all "other well known computing systems, environments, and/or configurations that may be suitable for use with the invention." Te patent covers "automated teller machines, server computers, hand-held or laptop devices, multi-processor systems, microprocessor-based systems, programmable consumer electronics, network PCs, minicomputers, mainframe computers, and the like."

Depending on your your definition of "well-known", it refers to operating systems such as Linux and Mac OS, but iOS and Android may be especially affected by this update. One of the most notable additions in this updated patent is the consideration of cloud computing and mobile device environments. According to the just granted patent, the rebootless update now also includes "distributed computing environments where tasks are performed by remote processing devices that are linked through a communications network or other data transmission medium."

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  • alchemy69
    I still remember the good ole' days when you had to reboot just to change screen resolution.
  • Anonymous
    Unlike Apple though, Microsoft would probably be happy to license the patent.
  • Other Comments
  • santiagoanders
    I thought patents had to be non-obvious. Stupid patent office.
  • InvalidError
    If Microsoft patented
    1- transfer control from old driver to generic driver
    2- uninstall old driver
    3- install new driver
    4- transfer control from generic driver to new driver

    This means someone else can still patent:
    1- install new driver in standby state
    2- transfer control from old driver to new driver
    3- remove old driver
  • vaughn2k
    santiagoandersI thought patents had to be non-obvious. Stupid patent office.

    I've been writing patents, and you're right, now this is stupid...