Does anyone know what are the benefits of installing the Intel drivers for Bluetooth vs just going with the stock Microsoft drivers included in Windows 8.1? To simplify our image deployment process, we are considering just going with the generic drivers, asking the end users to download and install Intel drivers if they should need any additional profiles or features. For our use (mostly Microsoft Sculpt Comfort Mouse) there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of difference - we have to disable the Bluetooth radio power management for the mouse to keep a stable connection no matter what drivers we apply.
You're thinking is correct. Use the Microsoft Bluetooth drivers included with Windows 8.1 unless there is something (features) that the Intel drivers provide that Microsoft does not.
For more info, check out this page: http://www.intel.com/support/wireless/wlan/sb/CS-034935.htm Intel® Wi-Fi Products — Supported Features of Intel® PROSet/Wireless Software for Bluetooth® Technology
Intel recommends that you obtain and use the software/drivers provided via your laptop manufacturer, as in most cases they include customizations for the OEM computer.
OEM Software Download Locations: http://www.intel.com/support/oems.htm Listing of Laptop Manufacturer's Web sites.
As second option, you may obtain the driver from http://downloadcenter.intel.com/search?keyword=Intel%C2%AE+PROSet/Wireless+Software Intel® Download Center.
There are some key differences between the MS Windows* driver and the Intel driver:
- Support for profiles and features is different for Intel® PROSet/Wireless Software for Bluetooth® and the Windows* driver. For more information about this, you can check the http://www.intel.com/support/wireless/wlan/sb/CS-034935.htm Supported Features of Intel® PROSet/Wireless Software for Bluetooth® Technology.
- The recent versions of the Intel driver include fixes and enhancements to prevent problems and improve the functionality of the device.
Slightly differing recommendations from the Intel guys there - but reading the referenced documentation seems to affirm my position that Windows 8.1 does indeed provide native support for the Bluetooth profiles that most enterprise users would be expected to need. While we definitely prefer using OEM drivers, there seem to be a certain challenge in getting the Intel Bluetooth drivers to apply in the image deployment scenario (e.g. Dell still do not include them in the Enterprise driver CABs for their Latitude line-up). There is also the added complexity that one would sometimes/always need to power cycle the laptop before the new Bluetooth drivers will be properly applied.
One question still remains: Would going with the generic Microsoft BT drivers in any way be detrimental to the WiFi performance/stability of the 7260/7265 chip? (for that part we are using the Intel drivers supplied by Dell).