XP to Support USB 2.0 and Bluetooth

By Mary Kathleen Flynn  |  Posted 2002-01-03 Print this article Print

Microsoft is planning some significant updates to its XP operating system.

Later this month, Windows XP users will be able to take advantage of devices that use the fast 480-Mbps USB 2.0 standard. Later this year, XP users will be able to use Bluetooth peripherals, marking the first time Microsoft has supported the wireless connectivity standard. Microsoft says it did not include support for USB 2.0 and Bluetooth initially, because "we didnt think there were enough devices to test the quality of the drivers at XP launch," explains Kristian Gyorkos, a Windows XP product manager.
This month, users can download the USB 2.0 Windows XP driver from the Windows Update site. Most customers, however, will receive the driver with USB 2.0 peripherals such as digital cameras, storage devices, and scanners. Gyorkos says USB 2.0 may become standard on PCs by the end of the year. Gateway begins shipping Windows XP PCs with USB 2.0 support this month.
Microsoft expects to make Bluetooth support available to end users by summer 2002, likely through Windows Update, but the details have not been announced yet. Rob Enderle, a research fellow at Giga Information Group, considers Microsofts announcement good news for end users and peripheral makers. "As we move to these new standards by dropping support into the native OS, it makes it much easier for folks to use the standards," says Enderle.

Mary Kathleen Flynn is a print and broadcast reporter who has covered technology and its impact on consumers for more than 15 years. She is currently writing and editing articles about a wide range of topics including business, technology, history and travel for a variety of publications and publishing companies, including Newsweek, The New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, PC Magazine, eWeek, Baseline, State Tech, CSO Magazine, Popular Science, Brattleboro Reformer, Southern Vermont, Conde Nast and Primedia. She is also producing videos and writing and editing textbooks on subjects including history, civics, and economics.

Previously, she was a technology correspondent for CNN and CNNfn. She served as a correspondent for CNN's 'CNN.COM,' a half-hour weekend consumer technology program, co-anchor for CNNfn's 'Digital Jam,' the first daily television program dedicated to technology news, and as a substitute anchor for other CNNfn programs, including 'Biz Buzz,' focused on the media and entertainment industries.

Prior to joining CNN, Flynn was a technology correspondent for MSNBC, contributing segments to NBC's 'Today' show and many other shows on MSNBC and CNBC, including the evening 'NewsChat' show and 'The News with Brian Williams' in prime time.

Before working at MSNBC, Flynn served as a senior editor at U.S. News & World Report, where she launched the On Technology column in January 1994, one of the first weekly magazine columns to focus on technology. She spent five years at PC Magazine in a variety of positions that included editing the Trends section and heading up the editorial team that produced the magazine's annual printer roundups. Flynn has also worked at Datamation magazine and Random House's Ballantine Books. She has a B.A. in English from Vassar College.


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