Call it foresight, but Microsoft is equipping Windows 8.1 with a big, significant feature: native support for 3D printers.

As a part of its ongoing unveiling of Windows 8.1, Microsoft announced that the upcoming update will come with device-specific APIs for not only scanners and point-of-service devices but 3D printers as well.

While that’s a bit jargon-heavy, essentially what it means is that Microsoft is treating 3D printing in Windows 8 just like it treats 2D printing. By building 3D printing support into Windows, Microsoft is giving the technology a major vote of confidence. 3D printers will just work. 

We don’t have much info besides that, but the most obvious conclusion to make here is Windows 8.1 is going to make life a lot easier for designers and 3D printer owners. And that’s good news for the 3D-printing industry.

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