Graphics drivers are a common cause for crashes and other issues on Windows systems. Microsoft uses a system that evaluates graphics drivers, e.g. by measuring crashes and hangs in games, to determine whether the driver should be rejected or pulled.
Microsoft uses the data to determine whether a system should be offered a new feature update version of Windows 10, among other things. The issues list of the recently released Windows 10 version 2004 version of Windows 10 has two driver related issues, one of which blocks the update from being offered on the device.
Microsoft's Windows graphics team has developed three new measures that will be integrated in the evaluation of graphics drivers from June 29, 2020 on. Two of the measures look at crashes in hangs in applications, and the third one at rollbacks of drivers,
The first one analyses the number of user mode crashes in the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge web browser. It measures how often Microsoft Edge crashes because of the graphics driver and puts this in relation to all devices with that particular driver.
Microsoft looks at seven day periods and a minimum population of 30,000 hours of Microsoft Edge Chromium runtime. The calculation is: Crashes in Edge Chromium Normalized by Usage=Total Edge Chromium Crashes / Runtime in Years. The driver fails the test if that result exceeds 1.
The second measure uses a similar method as the first but instead of looking at Microsoft Edge crashes, it is looking at crashes in communication and collaboration applications.
Microsoft uses the following applications for the measure:
Minimum population is set to 10,000 hours of Communication and Collaboration Application runtime and the period is set to seven days again. The final calculation is Crashes in Communication and Collaboration Applications normalized by usage in years=Total Crashes in Communication and Collaboration Applications / Runtime in Years. The driver fails the test if the result exceeds 1.
The third and final measure analyzes driver rollbacks or re-installation in the first two days of installation. The minimum population is set to 5,000 devices and a seven day period. The driver fails the test if there are more than 10 rollbacks per 10,000 devices with the driver.
Microsoft started to work on improving drivers on the company's Windows operating system in recent time and the new graphics drivers measures extend that further (it claimed in 2018 that graphics driver quality was better than ever). The company introduced an option for its hardware partners recently that allows them to request Windows Update blocks for certain drivers.
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