Microsoft’s official statement is “Windows RT uses class drivers and in-box drivers exclusively, departing from a common driver added scenario on the x64 or x86 architectures.” (see Microsoft policies). There is no DDK. Officially, installing drivers on Windows RT is not supported.
That said, it turns out there is at least oneWindows ARM driver that exists (probably built and extracted from a full Windows RT platform development kit), and as a user you can install those drivers on a normal, unmodified Microsoft Surface device at least.
Whether Microsoft will close this mechanism in the future is unclear.
But for now, these steps show how to install a driver on the Surface to get wired ethernet support for particular devices like ours.
Below is a more complete list of all the Plugable devices which can and can’t be made to work with the surface today. Most use the drivers already built into the RT, so none of the above is a concern — but Windows RT is “special” so check for compatibility before assuming a device will work!
What devices work out of the box with ARM-based Windows RT (without a 3rd party driver install)?
USB hubs, including
- Plugable 7 port USB 3.0 hub
- Plugable 4 port USB 3.0 hub
- Plugable 10 port USB 2.0 hub
- Plugable 7 port USB 2.0 hub
- Plugable 4 port USB 2.0 hub
USB extension cables, including
USB storage devices, including
USB keyboards and mice, including
What needs a driver package, but don’t have one for ARM-based Windows RT devices
Anything with a USB graphics function, including
- Plugable USB 3.0 Universal Laptop Docking Station
- Plugable USB 3.0 HDMI / DVI adapter for Multiple Monitors
- Plugable USB 3.0 VGA adapter for Multiple Monitors
- Plugable USB 2.0 Universal Laptop Docking Station
- Plugable USB 2.0 Thin Clients like the DC-125
- Plugable UGA-2K-A USB 2.0 to DVI / VGA / HDMI adapter for multiple monitors
- Plugable USB-VGA-165 USB 2.0 to DVI / VGA / HDMI adapter for multiple monitors
Quite a few other devices with driver installs required, such as
- Plugable USB 2.0 Gigabit Wired Ethernet Adapter
- Plugable USB Serial DB9 adapter
- Plugable Windows Easy Transfer Cable (Although Windows Easy Transfer is available on Windows RT devices, the driver for USB Easy Transfer cables is not. Kind of surprising since on Windows XP – 8, this is a driver developed and provided by Microsoft in the box)
What needs a driver package and has one available for ARM-based Windows RT devices
Feel free to add additional information in the comments, if you discover anything new or find any errors.