Protocol Implementation (pen-protocol-implementation)

This section provides guidelines for pen protocol implementation. Integrated Windows pen devices are expected to use the Human Interface Device (HID) protocol to communicate with the host.

A good understanding of the HID protocol is needed to be able to understand the information presented here. See the following resources for information about the HID protocol:

Windows includes a HID class driver and corresponding HID I²C, HID USB and HID BTH miniport drivers. So there is no need to develop 3rd-party drivers for integrated Windows pen devices that use one of these buses. In fact, the Windows 10 Hardware Lab Kit (HLK) doesn't even allow the testing of 3rd-party drivers for Windows pen devices that connect via one of the buses mentioned previously. However, if you want to use a 3rd-party bus controller, or develop your own to use with your Windows pen device, you can do that.

If you want your pen device to connect via an alternate bus, then a 3rd-party HID mini-port driver might be required, and would be allowed according to the Windows 10 HLK requirements. You only need to report the usages described in this topic, in the firmware for your integrated Windows pen device. Windows will use your firmware and its own HID drivers to enable pen and inking capabilities for your device, and also provide Windows applications access to your device.

A sample descriptor is provided in the Sample Report Descriptors topic.

In this section

Topic Description

Required HID Descriptors

This topic presents the required HID descriptors (and device attributes) for a Windows pen device in Windows 10 and later operating systems.

Required HID Top-Level Collections

This topic discusses the required HID top-level collections that are used for pen reporting in Windows 10 and later operating systems.

Windows Pen States

This topic discusses the pen states for a Windows pen device in Windows 10 and later operating systems.

Sample Report Descriptors

This topic presents a sample report descriptor and some sample descriptor excerpts for a Windows pen device.