"I don't think the maturity of Bluetooth technology is good enough to ship the bits when Windows XP is released," said Carl Stork, general manager of Microsoft's Windows division, speaking in an interview at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) here.
"We wouldn't want to ship something that doesn't work, and Bluetooth doesn't yet meet a certain quality level."
The lack of native Bluetooth support in Windows won't prevent PC, notebook and handheld-device makers from building Bluetooth-capable systems.But it will add complexity to the process and could open the door to a greater diversity of implementations.That, in turn, conjures the prospect of product incompatibility.
left the door open to including Bluetooth
in upcoming releases of Windows."It can be turned on without a full OS release.We might include it in a Windows update," he
has a policy against adding new features in so-called service packs, intended as interim fixes between major annual releases of the operating system.
Wireless LAN gets nod
Along with the first use of Internet Explorer 6 and integrated digital audio capabilities, Windows XP will support the second generation of the wireless Ethernet standard, 802.11b, offering speeds of about 11 Mbits/s and a range of about 100 meters.Although the spec was completed only within the past few years, its rapid deployment caught the eye of Microsoft engineers.
"We've made a fairly big bet on support for 802.11b," said Stork
evaluated several wireless-networking formats before deciding on 802.11b, but the technology seems to be stable and demand is healthy."Our corporate customers have been asking for this, and today it's pretty clear that 802.11b is the dominant format," Stork
With the technology included in the operating system, Stork
said that 802.11b-equipped computers could automatically recognize the presence of a wireless-networking node, and then reconfigure themselves to communicate with that net."You should be able to walk into any environment and the machine will self-configure so you can start working," he
corporate vision for the technology includes wireless Ethernet networking in both the home and the office, a view that until very recently would have been strongly challenged by Intel Corp.
The microprocessor vendor had been pushing 802.11b networks in the corporate world and a less expensive and incompatible format, HomeRF, for the consumer world.
However, in recent weeks, Intel
has reversed its position and now supports 802.11b for both the corporate and home environments.Since Intel
was one of the main drivers for HomeRF, that decision that could mean the end of that technology, some industry watchers believe.