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WinXP to get USB 2.0 support after all

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Microsoft is to supply USB 2.0 drivers for Windows XP after all.

Earlier this year, the software giant said XP would not support the next generation serial connectivity system, preferring instead to focus on IEEE 1394 as the OS' high speed peripherals interface

Software support for the won't make it into XP's initial release, so Microsoft hasn't exactly done an about face here. Instead, the USB 2.0 driver will come in an upgrade. Whether that will be through XP's first Service Pack or XP's auto-upgrade mechanism isn't yet known.

Not that that waiting for the Service Pack is likely to inconvenience anyone. USB 2.0 peripherals aren't going to be flooding into the market any time between now and XP's release in October. However, with the specification finalised and initial silicon beginning to filter through to peripheral vendors, the first commercial USB 2.0-based devices and suitably equipped PCs are potentially not that far off.

USB 2.0 - or Hi-Speed USB, as we're all supposed to call it - takes the bus data throughput up to 480Mbps from version 1.1's 12Mbps, putting above 1394 in performance. However, USB lacks 1394's true peer-to-peer nature, though there are moves to add it to the spec. ®

Related Stories

MS confirms WinXP won't support USB 2.0
MS cools to USB 2.0, warms to 1394
USB set to tackle 1394 peer-to-peer advantage

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