Tutorial :How many device drivers are available for Windows


I'm trying to estimate, for back-of-the-napkin calculation purposes, how many different device drivers are available for Windows. I'm trying to understand what it might take in terms of size of collected data and processing power what would be required to do some statistical analysis of drivers.

Anybody have any references? Ideas? At this point educated guesses would be much appreciated.


Driverguide.com has a little more than 1.5 million drivers and firmware in their database. Most but not all of the drivers are for Windows. So excluding the non-Windows drivers, the firmware, and the duplicates, somewhere around a million is probably a good bet.


http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/archive/2008/11/19/disk-space.aspx might give some pointers.

There are almost 2Gb of drivers SHIPPED with windows, probably 10000% more out in the wild.


The number of different drivers is unquestionably in the millions, especially if you count different versions of the driver (as Nate Bross said).

You might be able to data mine the Microsoft Update Catalog site to count the drivers available on Windows Update. There's a LOT of drivers there :).

This article on the Engineering 7 blog also talks about the numbers of drivers tested with Windows 7.


I would guess on the order of 100s of thousands; potentially approaching a million.

Assuming that a given device may have a driver for Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Server 2003, and Server 2008. And that driver is counted five times, since each is different.

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