Windows Image Acquisition

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This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.


Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) is the latest imaging technology introduced in Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me), and is included in later versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system. WIA provides extensive operating system support to enable imaging devices, such as scanners and digital cameras, to communicate with imaging applications (for example, Microsoft Picture It! 2000 and Adobe Photoshop).

Before WIA, there was little operating system support for imaging devices. Most of the components for imaging devices were provided by the manufacturer, and used the TWAIN industry standard.

With WIA, operating system components are provided, and the manufacturers only need to write a WIA microdriver to allow the device to work. This is analogous to the standard achieved in printing where manufacturers provided a minidriver, and the other print components were supplied by the operating system.

With WIA, independent hardware vendors (IHV) can concentrate more time on writing code to improve device features, rather than dedicating valuable time writing code to enable the device to interoperate with the Windows operating system.

More Information

For detailed information on Windows Image Acquisition, please view the following Web site:
For information on TWAIN, please view the following TWAIN Working Group Website:

Article ID: 270157 - Last Review: Jun 19, 2014 - Revision: 1