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Microsoft

Microsoft Shuts Windows On Bluetooth Support 154

Posted by timothy
from the watchyer-fingers-if-you-rely-on-redmond dept.
kilrogg points to "a story from eetimes.com on Microsoft's refusal to include Bluetooth support in their next versions of Windows. They seem to think (as most of us) that 802.11b has a better chance of succeeding." The article cites the recent flopped Bluetooth demo at CeBIT. I'm pretty neutral on Bluetooth, but when's the last time a new technology's first big public demo was perfect?
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Microsoft Shuts Windows On Bluetooth Support

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    We all know M$ will release a stealth version of whatever they need to when Bluetooth devices become available. That is what they did with Windows 95. When Apple ships new stuff this summer with bluetooth chips (rumored and desired), I'll be trolling for Bluetooth headsets, PDA add-ons, and the like. 802.11 was only the beginning. FireWireLess will extend all of this to high speed storage. We may even someday see native FireWire hard drives (maybe thats asking too much.)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    With the exception that FireWire was actually developed by Apple.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If they hadn't integrated TCP/IP at all, there would be no FP trolls at slashdot.

    Now I wonder what kind of trolls bluetooth in MS Windows would generate.

    Tooth-fairy trolls ?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    i'm all for open standards, but don't you think that 802.11b needs a catchy name to have the hype that bluetooth had?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    XP is due out end of year.
    Terminal Server appeared after SP4 I believe. It wasn't part of the service pack. It was a new release of NT Server altogether.
    Get your facts straight before you open your mouth next time, bigot.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Apple maybe good at selecting new technologies. MS is good at making them generally accepted standards. The GUI, for example, would never have been standard on the desktop if it wasn't for MS.

    Criticize MS all you want for their extreme abuse of the word innovation, but many of Apple's innovations would never have grown beyond niche status if it weren't for MS's adoption.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Apple also sponsored the original FCC petition for the unregulated personal frequency spectrum that both 802.11 and bluetooth uses about 10 years ago.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    but when's the last time a new technology's first big public demo was perfect?

    April 20, 1998. Bill Gates's big Comdex demo of Win98 [cnn.com] was perfect by my standards. How would you improve upon that performance?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I think people might be mistaken when they make the comparison between bluetooth and 802.11 . Yes they are both wireless communcation standards. But bluetooth seems to engineered to be leaner, requiring way less power and cheaper to integrate. 802.11 is fast (by comparison) but probably wont run on AAA bats anytime soon. Its like ethernet vs serial. Sure, you want ethernet everywhere but sometimes that's just not practical.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Does this mean that XP won't ship with a DVD player?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02, 2001 @04:31AM (#320997)
    >What major annual releases? XP isn't out until next year is it?
    XP will be on shelves in time for Christmas.

    >And didn't Terminal Server - a fairly big deal - appear in SP6.


    Not even close. Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server Edition is a separate NT product from Server and Adv. Server. There is a separate SP6 for it. In Windows 2000, Terminal Services is a builtin service for all versions of Server.
  • Idiot? Perhaps. Careless? Certainly. You could even go so far as to use the word "Noodle-head". Bigot? Hardly.
  • That's a bullshit argument, considering you can run any network protocol (NetBEUI, IPX, IP, AppleTalk) over 802.11 networking. It doesn't in any way depend on IP - it's like Ethernet, to it, IP's just another packet it transports from point A to point B.
    _____
  • I think there's some inherent limitations to BT (at least in its current incarnation) which would keep it from being as popular as maybe they'd like, as well.

    For example, the guy doing the presentation was talking about a scenario where someone with a BT enabled device could walk into a room, and his device would know about the other devices available to be used as BT peers. That sounds great, except that you can only have so many devices in a room before things fall down and go boom... thus, BT would not be suitable for applications that might need to scale.

    Problems like that would present nasty obstacles for widespread commercial adoption. If every TV and VCR and cel phone is going to have one of these things in 'em (the BT "grand vision of the future"), I can tell you that in MY 10 meter radius, my home, I'd have easily enough devices to overload the levels that are currently being discussed.

    Security needs to be definitively addressed too. The concept of someone camping on my doorstep and using my printer doesn't much appeal to me... ;)

    --
    rickf@transpect.SPAM-B-GONE.net (remove the SPAM-B-GONE bit)

  • At a recent presentation of bluetooth to the local users group, I made a comment to a colleage that even though the presenter made it pretty obvious that things were still clumsy and in development I still thought that bluetooth would probably make it to widespread commercial rollout with at least moderate success.

    Within the last week though, finding out that A> the devices don't interoperate properly and B> one of the major players in the game doesn't wanna play any more has made me think otherwise... and it makes me wonder about what's going to happen with all that sticky 'intellectual property' crap the presenter was talking about being all tangled and impossible to discern whose was which. Fuss over that could scuttle things in a heartbeat.

    Unless some major positive things happen for BT real soon, I'll be suprised if anything more than a bare few handfuls of peripherals will be made available commercially.

    --
    rickf@transpect.SPAM-B-GONE.net (remove the SPAM-B-GONE bit)

  • Implementing a full IP stack for my keyboard sounds stupid. The whole point of Bluetooth is that devices that work on battery should be able to communicate without wires. Having a wireless mouse and keyboard is just great, and I don't think a 802.11 solution could continue to run for months using simple AA batteries.

    The IP address is plain stupid when you consider the benefits you get from the piconet technology. Imagine that you sit down on a train. Pick up your GSM phone, which now is connected to the trains piconet, and tell it to wake you up when you are five kilometers from your end station. The train will compensate for any delays and tell you when you are almost there. Try doing the auto-piconet method with a solid IP address.
  • Actually the only thing about Linux that threatens anybody is the price.

    In the latest round of year 2000 marketshare reports, both Linux and Windows NT showed market growth. Linux is cutting into commercial Unix market, which historically has been more stable and secure than their Linux counterparts.

    Why would I choose Linux if I could instead choose Solaris or HPUX? The only answer I can conceive of is cost.
  • Does Linux have more applications available?

    My 4 years of professional experience with Unix revolved around a product called Arc/Info. It's a GIS package from ESRI. At the time it was $18,000 and only ran on Unix workstations.

    Today Arc/Info is also available for NT/Win2k. It is still available for Tru64 Unix, HP-UX, Solaris, AIX, etc.

    Yet there is no mention of a Linux port.

  • I'd be willing to be that the majority of working 802.11b wireless networks in use today are Apple systems.

    That wasn't true at the last place I worked. The base stations were all Ciscos (formerly Aeronet or something like that). Almost all of the laptops on it were wintel boxes (a fair number of them running some sort of Unix though). The only Mac that I knew of on them was my own personal box (which I got to play with OSX on).

    I'm going to guess that given the vast wintel market share that most laptops are wintels, and even if only 20% of them have airports and 100% of the Macs do, there are still more wintel 802.11 boxes then Macs.

    We still probably have Apple to thank for subsidizing, or at least taking no profit on the 802.11, and making the antenna built in (my PowerBook gets much better range then my Viao, and I never er worry about the antenna getting snapped off!).

  • With Bluetooth it's possible to use a standard printing "profile".

    On the other hand, if you are a printer maker you not only need to add bluetooth hardware, you also have to make your printer conform to the profile (or do so in one mode), which reduces your ability to make your product "different and better".

    That's mostly better for the consumer, but worse for the printer makers.

  • However, the lack of initial communication with IBM and DR was due not to Kidall being out, but his wife being paranoid about what IBM might want them to sign. They hooked up later, but momentum had already been lost to MS (Bill probably would have signed away his soul, in blood for that contract - maybe he did ;)

    Eventually, though, IIRC, DOS was dirt cheap and CP/M very expensive, which ended that little chapter very quickly; who wanted to blow several hundred bucks on CP/M?
  • GUIs have never sold themselves.

    The Xerox Star in 1981 flopped. The Apple Lisa in 1983 flopped. The Apple Macintosh in 1984 flopped. (more on that in a moment) GEM could have worked out, but Apple killed it, and MS would have worked to kill it later. The Amiga in 1985 flopped. Windows 1 and 2 in '85 and '87 (?) flopped. NeXTStep in '89 flopped. BeOS in '96 flopped.

    The Mac achieved decent success, but honestly has been declining in significance (this coming from a long time Mac user) since the very early 90's. It's just about toast now. However, until compelling applications - i.e. DTP - and reasonable hardware - i.e. the Mac Plus - came along, the Mac was a failure.

    Windows has succeeded largely because it is incrementally better than running plain jane DOS, but doesn't interfere with the ability to do so. No significant reinvestment in hardware or software was necessary, because compatability was prioritized higher than functionality. It seems to have worked. Certainly MS has wanted people to use NT since it's arrival, but it's taken the better part of a decade to get people there and it's not all done yet.

    What sells computers is really a combination of Applications, Compatability/Standards/Mindshare, Performance and Price. All tempered by the perception of those attributes, which frequently override the realities.

    (Oh, btw, pretty much everyone in the Lisa and Mac projects at Apple knew about PARC. Taking them there was a ploy to get managerial support; they were already familar with the details and had a good idea of what they wanted to do.)
  • Simply said Bluetooth is a whole new protocol, new Applications and a lot of trouble from the perspective of a OS-developer.

    802.11 is "yet another Ethernet". So what. Should take one week of work for a good programmer, inkl. some tools and apps.

    Moores Law makes it reasonable that 802.11-Devices become much cheaper, smaller, less powerhungry way before Bluetooth hits the road.

    Seeing how ugly most USB, PCMCIA etc implementations run under most OS I am glad Bluetooth will be doomed from the beginning.
  • by JimRay (6620) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `yarmij'> on Monday April 02, 2001 @05:00AM (#321010) Homepage
    So what happens if Apple leads the way here, again? Let's assume that come Macworld in July, Apple unveils wireless keyboards and mice that are compliant with the (published) bluetooth standards? I can picture Steve Jobs, black turtleneck and all, "Now, every mac we ship after today will be bluetooth enabled, to take advantage of the coming devices."
    Remember USB and FireWire? Microsoft is STILL catching up with those. Microsoft has had a chance to innovate several times but decided instead to follow along after the innovation happened. This is another time where maybe it's better that someone else innovate so that OPEN standards are created that Microsoft has to abide by. Otherwise, MS could implement their version, flex monopoly muscles, and make everyone else follow along.
  • by JanneM (7445) on Monday April 02, 2001 @03:14AM (#321011) Homepage
    802.11 is a wireless replacement for ethernet. Bluetooth is a replacement for short-haul cable like serial cables, wireless phones, and such. They are not in direct competition, but complement each other. 802.11 is high speed, but expensive and power-hungry, while bluetooth is short range, low speed, cheap and power efficient (an important requirement for PDA:s, phone handsets and other gadgets with a limited battery life). You wouldn't use Bluetooth as a replacement for cable networks, and you won't want to use 802.11 as a replacement for serial or parallel cable.

    I don't want either 802.11 or Bluetooth, I want both -- and use them for the different things they are meant for.

    /Janne
  • Yes, and MS finally met the Amiga's performance some ten years after the Amiga was released. Ooooh, ooh, I can connect to other computers, listen to music and play games at the same time! Neat-- for 1985. I'm just glad they finally caught up to the rest of the industry. *yawn*
    ---------------------------
  • No, I just said it was 1995 before MS caught up to the Amiga, and lo and behold, the "other" 90% of computer users could finally multitask and leave EGA & Beeping internal sound systems behind (because they were all obsolete, finally).

    Just because MS is around now doesn't mean shit as to where they where 5, 10, 15 years ago.

    x86 hardware / MS software couldn't touch Amiga hardware/software for 10 years after the Amiga's release in '85.

    And yes, now we all use windows. Whoopdee-do. I'm truely glad PCs caught up. Finally.

    ---------------------------
  • Well, to be technically acurate, 1985 only saw the release of the Amiga 1000. It wasn't untill late '86 that the 500 and 2000 were released. Though these still are not the best amigas released, the 500 can be upgraded to a 50Mhz 68040 and the Amiga 2000 can go all the way to a G3 PowerPC (though it wasn't untill the Amiga 3000 that saw 32-bit expansion busses). AmigaQuake won't run on the old OCS/ECS graphic chipsets-- you'll either need an AGA chipset ('89) or a graphics card. Finally, you'll need a SCSI port, harddrive and extra memory for the 500 and a CD-ROM to load the game. The 2000 will need some extra RAM as well.

    At this point, you can run AmigaQuake. From my own personal experience, I'd say the 500 would pull about 4fps at 320x240 and the 2000 perhaps 8 or 9 (w/ an 060) or 10-15 with a PowerPC board. An Amiga 3000, 1200 or 4000 w/PowerPC will close in on 24fps.

    Cheap? HELL NO. However, a '86 Amiga CAN DO IT.

    Now, do you think an '86 x86 computer can do it? I went ahead and checked. Compaq released a 16Mhz 386 in '86. Probably had EGA graphics (VGA if you bought an expansion card) and an ISA bus. Do you think an '86 PC can run Quake? Or how about a pre-emptive multitasking OS with a GUI and a CLI (Command Line Interface)? Or how about displaying 4096 colors on screen while listening to a mod and running a BBS at the same time?

    Listen, I agree with you when you say that PCs won. That much is obvious. But believe me, they SUCKED SO HARD FOR SO LONG. Like I said, I'm glad they caught up, finally.
    ---------------------------
  • no, usually we wonder what took them so long.

    It people like you who get to be bitter while the other kids have better toys.


    ---------------------------
  • Ah yes, well you could probably add a Voodoo card to the Amiga to help boost the framerate. The fps I was quoting is all from software-based rendering. I don't know what you had in '95, but my experience tells me that '95 computers (P1 166Mhz??) cannot do 800x600 at 30fps. But I digress.

    Now that we're starting to see eye to eye. I've conceded that modern PCs kick modern Amiga's asses. You've conceded that classic Amigas kicked classic PC's ass. Perhaps now you can concede that the whole world standardizing on Bill Gate's wet dream has put the world of personal computer development back 10 years. Specifically in the areas of GUI, multitasking and multimedia performance. This is what I was trying to say when I said this:

    Yes, and MS finally met the Amiga's performance some ten years after the Amiga was released. Ooooh, ooh, I can connect to other computers, listen to music and play games at the same time! Neat-- for 1985. I'm just glad they finally caught up to the rest of the industry. *yawn*


    By "...[meeting] the Amiga's performance" I mean having a decent OS and the hardware catching up. The rest of the statement was mostly me trolling. I spent my entire highschool career logging onto PC BBSes and starting huge PC-religious flame wars. It was so much fun. And I always won (from my viewpoint anyway). I don't have a leg to stand on anymore (moved from Amigas to Mac when my 3000 died in '96) against PCs because, like you said, they finally got the momentum of 100,000 engineers working on improving the Wintel design. The most amazing part (to me, anyway) is that I should be able to take a program written for a 1979 IBM-PC 8086 and RUN IT. If anything, that's one of the most amazing things about PCs.

    P.S. if you want to see a graphics demo I wrote for the Amiga (on a stock '86 Amiga500 w/ extra 512K ram and 105M HD) in AMOS (a basic/pascal hydrid language for the Amiga), please see http://ieee.ece.utexas.edu/~john/multimedia/Strobe II.mov. My Amiga HD crashed (multiple times even) so I've lost everything. However, I entered this demo in a contest, won and still have the VHS tape.
    ---------------------------
  • Bluetooth has never been in the MS best interest. It is in the interest of Sony, JVC, and other entertainment and home equipment vendors. They (for example look for the interviews with Sony's boss) will eat MS alive the moment they can and they hate it. They will have most of the profit margin. Microsoft will not earn from it. Even if it could they will not let it.
  • I haven't seen anything about IBM shipping a USB Bluetooth adapter, but they are shipping a PC Card (PCMCIA) adapter. There is information (and pricing) for it on CNet [cnet.com]. I ran across this product during my searces for support of Bluetooth under Linux [matlock.com].

    A quick hunt through IBM's website turns up the PC Card adapter under their wireless products section, but no mention of USB. My guess would be they don't have anything shipping yet.

  • There have been a lot of these "poof" events lately. Product pages at both Intel and 3Com have gone away. Motorola still has a products page up, but it provides next to no information. The only idea I can offer up is that when these products were based on the 1.0 Bluetooth spec and were pulled to retool for the 1.1 spec.

    Anyone who does have working links for Bluetooth products, please send them to me to be put on my Bluetooth on Linux [matlock.com] page. Also, consider visiting the Bluetooth topsites [topsitelists.com] list to keep Linux high on the links list.

  • On the other hand, if you are a printer maker you not only need to add bluetooth hardware, you also have to make your printer conform to the profile (or do so in one mode), which reduces your ability to make your product "different and better".

    It is possible for a device to support more than one profile. In the case of a printer, in addition to the "printer" profile, the device could also support the "serial tunnel" (or whatever the proper name is) profile. Once this serial tunnel is established it will look like the printer is directly connected to the computer trying to print. With that, any advanced features can be taken care of.

    Rather than being a limitation, the profiles act to give verstatility without as much overhead.

  • Bluetooth is what IRDA should have been.

    That is the most profound, and appropriate, statement I've read on here today! People have to remember that different products have different aims. Look at all the promises made about IRDA a few years back and most of them can be applied to Bluetooth. IRDA is one technology that Bluetooth is likely to completely replace in a few years.

  • until there's atleast an x86 motherboard out there with a Bluetooth transceiver built into it!

    Would you settle for a laptop? I believe Sony and at least one or two other companies have announced models that include integrated Bluetooth capability. I'll lay odds we will see PC motherboards with Bluetooth within a year.

    Obligatory plug: Information on Bluetooth under Linux [matlock.com] and general Bluetooth information is available at the Bluetooth topsites list [topsitelists.com].

  • Left to themselves, vendors are likely to come up with all sorts of imcompatible implementations (as they've already done). However, if Microsoft provides the de facto standard implementation, every vendor will write to that "standard".

    This is very similar to how the TCP/IP interface under Windows evolved with WinSock. In the early days, each TCP/IP utilties vendor had their own IP stack. If you bought a 3rd party application, you had to check which stacks it supported. When WinSock came out, that all changed. Apps could be written for only one interface. However, this did kill off the various IP stacks. Probably not a great loss, but it is of note.

    Bluetooth will likely have a similar evolution. The value-add will be in the higher level apps rather than the core protocol stack.

    Obligatory plug: Information on Bluetooth under Linux [matlock.com] and general Bluetooth information is available at the Bluetooth topsites list [topsitelists.com].

  • The typical range would be something like 10-15 feet, not the 150 feet you can get out of 802.11B.

    Actually, base station class devices such as LAN access points have a range up to 100' or 200' (sorry, can't remember which right now). These devices require more power than a handheld would provide, but will be used to bring point of presence service to larger areas. I imagine the convention floor was using devices of this level. The potential for too many people in too short of range goes up quite a bit. Still, I imagine it was more trouble with the 1.0 to 1.1 spec conversion than range and population issues.

    Obligatory plug: Information on Bluetooth under Linux [matlock.com] and general Bluetooth information is available at the Bluetooth topsites list [topsitelists.com].

  • And Digianswer has announced that they will promote the creation on Bluetooth Drivers for Linux and I believe they announced that they plan to open their source code in the future.

    Sorry to disagree here, but Digianswer appears to be more interesting in getting the open software community to help them develop a closed driver. This quote from the announcement makes this pretty clear:

    "The source-code will, under no circumstances, be freely available."

    I'll lay odds on the Axis stack being the standard interface for Linux with a mixture of open and closed hardware level drivers that bind to the bottom of it. There is already a USB driver out there and some support for various PC Card adapters.

    Obligatory plug: Information on Bluetooth under Linux [matlock.com] and general Bluetooth information is available at the Bluetooth topsites list [topsitelists.com].

  • by decaym (12155) on Monday April 02, 2001 @03:21AM (#321026) Homepage

    Bluetooth also provides a higher level abstraction than 802.11. When printing over a standard network you have to know the model of printer at the other end. With Bluetooth it's possible to use a standard printing "profile". This keep you from having to carry 200 printer drivers on your PDA to handle any situation you walk into. Similar profiles exist for other environments such as file transfer and serial port tunneling.

    For those wanting more information, I have a page on using Bluetooth with Linux [matlock.com]. Also, you can get more information about Bluetooth in general at a Bluetooth topsites list [topsitelists.com] that is available.

  • by decaym (12155) on Monday April 02, 2001 @03:42AM (#321027) Homepage

    It's a little early in the life cycle to be declaring Bluetooth dead and buried. The hardware is only just now starting to show up. Software is under active development. Even though Microsoft is sitting on their back side, other companies are developing Windows support for Bluetooth. There is also work underway to support Bluetooth under Linux [matlock.com]. I've already seen reports of success connecting Linux and Windows machines using Bluetooth for file transfers.

    Microsoft is not making a mistake in holding off in shipping Bluetooth enabled versions of their OS. They are making a mistake in not commiting openly to providing Bluetooth support as a service pack after the product ships and Bluetooth standards settle down. This can probably be written off as another marketing blunder.

    There is a big difference between Bluetooth and Betamax. Bluetooth is an open standard. Sony wanted to collect a royalty of use of Betamax. If you had drawn a comparison between Fireware (with Apple) and Betamax it would have been more appropriate.

    More resources on what Bluetooth is (and is not) is available from a Bluetooth topsites list [topsitelists.com] which contains a few dozen links to Bluetooth sites.

  • by decaym (12155) on Monday April 02, 2001 @03:14AM (#321028) Homepage

    Microsoft isn't alone here. Several vendors are getting squirrely when it comes to Bluetooth support. 3Com had an actual products page for Bluetooth up until about a week ago. Now, the link just circles back to their home page. Intel took their Bluetooth info down somewhere before that.

    I've been collecting links for Bluetooth under Linux [matlock.com] for the last few weeks. Oddly, some of the information is going away as fast as new information is coming online. The good news, however, is that with Microsoft's latest move we will see Bluetooth for Linux support well before Bluetooth for Windows support at the kernel level. If Microsoft doesn't include support, it will be up to each individual vendor to come up with their own OS API implementation.

    For people wanting to get more information on Bluetooth, there is a topsites list [topsitelists.com] of links to information resources. Please, help to keep the Linux links high on the list. :)

  • OFFTOPIC: Why even bother putting your email address up if everyone has to take so many steps in order to contact you?
  • Did your parents deprive of you air when you were younger as to cause the MASSIVE FUCKING BRAIN DAMAGE YOU'RE CURRENTLY EVINCING? Bluetooth is bunko dude. Who the fuck cares if Linux supports it. Microsoft said they won't endorse the technology not that they won't provide any support for it. This means they aren't going to roll out Windows XP and say "hey look now your cell phone can talk to your PC without wires!" They are doing this because Windows XP is going to be released during a period of little market growth for OEM computer manufacturers. People aren't going to buy a new PC with Windows XP on it, they are going to upgrade which means any new and fancy technology Microsoft endorses will make people grumble cuz they don't have it and don't want it. The marketing people in Redmond aren't idiots unlike some other people I can now think of. Fuck you and your bluetooth lobbying.
  • So you're telling me the Skyline card in my laptop doesn't work on battery power? Come off it man. 802.11 needs little more processing power than wired networks because 12Mbps is a pretty low volume data stream. Besides the processor only has to buffer a maximum of one megabit because its always hopping frequencies.
  • It is also very hard to process a 12 Mbps datastream on a microcontroller that runs at any speed less than ~200 MHz (do the math).

    This doesn't sound right, there existed 10Mbps Ethernet and 16Mbps Token Ring before there existed any ~200 MHz processors. Maybe you are referring to {en,de}crypting a 12Mbps stream with a low power ASIC but even that doesn't seem like it would be as taxing as you postulate.

    One, or probably both, of us do not understand this fully. Anyway, at least to me, 802.11 does sound like a good standard. I hope that it can be implemented in the kind of small, lightweight, equipment that Bluetooth was intended for. Maybe we will end up with a high-power and low-power 802.11 standard or something.


  • 802.11 is a wireless replacement for ethernet. Bluetooth is a replacement for short-haul cable like serial cables, wireless phones, and such. They are not in direct competition, but complement each other. 802.11 is high speed, but expensive and power-hungry, while bluetooth is short range, low speed, cheap and power efficient (an important requirement for PDA:s, phone handsets and other gadgets with a limited battery life). You wouldn't use Bluetooth as a replacement for cable networks, and you won't want to use 802.11 as a replacement for serial or parallel cable.

    Doesn't surprise me at all.
    Windows 2000 doesn't support IrDA.
    At least, not the old way.
    And Apple is working to support Bluetooth with MacOS X.
    Second, IBM has made a small Bluetooth transceiver which fits into an USB-plug.
  • The Keyboard layout is still not the same, and no more similar than it is to any other qwerty layout.
  • I saw this plug, it's actually made by intel, but I looked for it on their website --and poof, it appears to be gone.
  • Ethernet != Internet.. that's just what we tend to use it for. And Bluetooth can be used the same way.

    But the point is.. you hook printers to the network because its' FAST. You use bluetooth because it's tiny, low-power, and convenient.

    Bluetooth is what IRDA should have been.

  • by mindstrm (20013) on Monday April 02, 2001 @03:23AM (#321037)
    802.11 and Bluetooth are *totally different*.
    It makes me sick to see all this 'bluetooth networking'.

    802.11 is for wireless lan.

    Bluetooth is for simple data communications between portable devices.

    SHEESH.

  • by mindstrm (20013) on Monday April 02, 2001 @05:16AM (#321038)
    Bluetooth is good because it can be implemented in 1 or 2 chips, with the antennae and transmitter in the chips..... so it is *cheap* to wirelessly enable a device. That was the whole point of bluetooth.. so all these pda developers and shit could easily and cheaply make stuff communiacate.
  • by jilles (20976) on Monday April 02, 2001 @03:57AM (#321039) Homepage
    It is in their interest, it would be a reason for users to upgrade to XP. And considering there are very few other reasons to do so, it would be a good idea to include this feature. On the other hand, bluetooth seems to be a moving target right now and I agree with MS that it would be a bad idea to include a beta product with XP (assuming they have no intention of further delaying XP). IN addition, vendors of bluetooth enabled devices might include their own drivers for bluetooth, there are even open source versions of bluetooth drivers (ok they are for linux, not for win32).
  • Can anyone say "blue screen of death"?

    BlueTooth of Death?

    - Sorry, couldn't resist...
  • It's against their policy to add new featurs in an service pack. . .
  • No, 802.11B is also an ethernet variant. It is _not_ the same thing as BT. (Yeah, I realise that the CNN page say so, but if the PR department on Microsoft can't get it right then why should CNN?)



    What you are looking for is 802.15 [ieee.org]. That is a "Personal Area Network" thingy by IEEE.



    Remember, BT is not aimed at wireless connections it is aimed at "wireless wires" so to speak. The wires that hook your mouse and keyboard to your 'puter. Or the IR link from a remote to a VCR. (Well, the latter is mostly overkill, but the principle is the same.)


  • by claes (25551) on Monday April 02, 2001 @07:43AM (#321043)
    Microsoft probably do not want Bluetooth to sync devices. That does not fit their .net strategy. Instead, they want you to sync your data through some service, so that all information passes through their portals. For example, if you want to sync your Palm with you PC, they rather want you to connect to palm.net (or something like it) and then download your information to your pc from there, rather than letting the palm sync with the pc directly.
  • "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." Yeah right, that WAS funny!!!! HAHAHA
  • (I love trolling back when someone picks on my messages!)

    Does that mean that Windows does ship with a DVD player?

  • Apple maybe good at selecting new technologies. MS is good at making them generally accepted standards. The GUI, for example, would never have been standard on the desktop if it wasn't for MS.

    Criticize MS all you want for their extreme abuse of the word innovation, but many of Apple's innovations would never have grown beyond niche status if it weren't for MS's adoption.

    Question: why dit it become standard through Microsoft?
    Answer: because Microsoft already owned the OS market at that time, through MS-DOS.

    MS adopted this UI because Apple was successful with it; the real reason MS dominates the market is the MS-DOS installed base, which was an accidental gift from IBM.

  • by CSC (31551) on Monday April 02, 2001 @03:11AM (#321047)
    Just like Firewire, 802.11 is adopted first by Apple, then picked as the technology of choice by Microsoft.

    In a way this is a good sign for Apple: they are leading again, just like the elder days of look&feel... (which might come again with XP vs. OS X)

  • Could be. I've always thought that ethernet was rather inefficient, but that the lack of rigidity more than made up for it. Ironically of course, ethernet was based on work done with the AlohaNet radio networking project.

    Actually, Ethernet is pretty efficent if there aren't many devices who want to talk -- the extreme case being two devices talking over a private collision domain full duplex. In that case there isn't any need to even wait before you talk; except for the ethernet headers it's almost pure gravy. Ethernet is designed to use an unloaded medium efficiently. Other technologies like FDDI (which I don't have much experience with) and token ring are designed to degrade more linearly when large numbers of devices want to talk, at the expense of considerable overhead when few do.

  • by hey! (33014) on Monday April 02, 2001 @05:48AM (#321049) Homepage Journal
    From the article:

    Because 802.11 uses the Internet Protocol (IP) for communications, it can rely on IP systems services in the operating system. Bluetooth, however, does not use IP, and thus must rely on application-level support for communications.

    Isn't this backwards? That is to say IP over 802.11 uses 802.11 for link level and physical connectivity, and 802.11 looks at the IP packet headers as just another kind of meanignless payload? You should be able to put any kind of protocol built to be layered this way on top of 802.11, shouldn't you? In fact I have an 802.11 LAN cards in my SOHO and it appears that I can bind any protocols I want to them.

    If what I learned way back in school about this stuff is correct, the issue is whether 802.11 is a good way to share the wireless medium -- in this case a piece of radio spectrum.

    Somebody who understands 802.11 is welcome to correct me, but I've been told that 802.11 is basically Ethernet over radio. It seems to me that if this is true, I'd expect 802.11 to be a poor thing for ubiquitous interdevice networking. You could gin up small demonstrations that'd work great, but they just wouldn't scale. The reason why is Ethernet's Listen Before Talk method of sharing the medium. Managing wire LANs that work this was is a bit easier, because collision domains have limited numbers of devices, have limited extent, and can be easily separated. Without this ability, as the packet rate grows larger devices spend more time waiting to talk (and this is nondeterministic, to boot). As the LAN gets physically larger, the number of unavoidable collisions also increases.

    Back in the late 80s when thinwire Ethernet was still common and large 10BaseT hubs were a common backbone solution (and when I was more up to date;-) a lot of people had doubts about the scalability of Ethernet over the next decade. The advent of cheap 100BaseTX and affordability of large switches with massive backplane bandwidth solved this problem for most people by keeping collision domains small and capacious.

    However, if you imagine a large convention center full of bluetooth cell phones, computers, pdas, and miscellaneous peripherals, all sharing a common transmission medium, anything that worked remotely like Ethernet is going to fail: too many devices waiting to talk -- no guarantee of fair queueing -- no defined physical LAN extent.

    Even leaving aside issues of cost, complexity, and power consumption, 802.11 would be a poor choice. It might work well in a SOHO or small LAN environment where there wasn't much interference from nearby wireless LANs.

  • My question is: why do we need Bluetooth when 802.11b already has a pretty good foothold, and does support low power chipsets? Additionally more versatile higher powered drivers could be used, but run at lower power (programmatically) while still allowing the potential for longer range communication if desired. Not to mention that 802.11b is in relatively widespread use, and the technology works, as demonstrated by this posting.
  • by macpeep (36699) on Monday April 02, 2001 @05:38AM (#321052)
    The emphasis is on MICROSOFT. I can go to a store TODAY and buy a Toshiba bluetooth PCMCIA card and plug it into my laptop and install the drivers for it and it will work fine with my Nokia 6210 phone with bluetooth (it's an add-on). I couldn't care less if Microsoft supports it or not. Just like Microsoft doesn't have to support my Sony monitor - as long as Sony has drivers for it that works with Windows.
  • by macpeep (36699) on Monday April 02, 2001 @05:33AM (#321053)
    ha-ha. Instead of sarcasm, why can't we be glad to see that Microsoft finally sees to have understood that quality matters. If you look at their pages about Windows XP and even Windows 2000, there's a lot of emphasis on stability and quality. They show benchmarks showing that they are more stable etc. etc. Judging from my own experience, it's true too.. Microsoft really seems to have shifted a lot of focus to quality and stability. It may or may not be because open source and Linux etc. but it's a good thing and I for one applaud that.
  • However, if you imagine a large convention center full of bluetooth cell phones, computers, pdas, and miscellaneous peripherals, all sharing a common transmission medium, anything that worked remotely like Ethernet is going to fail: too many devices waiting to talk -- no guarantee of fair queueing -- no defined physical LAN extent. Even leaving aside issues of cost, complexity, and power consumption, 802.11 would be a poor choice. It might work well in a SOHO or small LAN environment where there wasn't much interference from nearby wireless LANs.

    Part of the reason that bluetooth could or would work well in the convention center environment is because it is very low power. The typical range would be something like 10-15 feet, not the 150 feet you can get out of 802.11B.

    So, your wireless collision domain is controlled by virtue of the low power transmitter.

    Bluetooth will fade away, IMO. 802.11b could easily adopt a low-power mode to limit itself to Bluetooth-y application use, while also allowing for larger-range use.

  • This will effectively kill bluetooth. The lack of support for it in the OS will not allow it to prosper. What will the creators think of this blatant shafting by MS? Moreover, might this shafting be due to said creator's acceptance of Linux?

    -------
    CAIMLAS

  • See subject for the question.

    Please don't start a flamewar ... I'm just curious as to what problem BlueTooth is trying to solve.
  • Yes, Apple does know some things very well. Great. They can't implement jack for shit. I've used MacOS, I've used Windows 3.11 through Whistler beta2, and yes, Microsoft rips them off, but always, as far as I'm concerned, makes it better than Apple's. In hardware, Apple makes cool toys, but can't get enough people to buy them to make economy of scale happy, and it fizzles, then the Wintel side pulls it off, and you guys get bitter.

    -----------------------

  • Obviously Microsoft's advance to that stage was insignificant, because everyone who wanted a computer had an Amiga and was using it's nice GUI to set up networks, play Quake, and do work. This caused Windows 95 to fail in the market and Microsoft to go out of business.

    Get a clue.

    -----------------------

  • I'd like to see an '85-era Amiga run Quake 1.

    -----------------------

  • That doesn't even leave an UPGRADED '86 Amiga at nearly the performance of the '95 PC, I know i was getting at least 30 fps at 800x600 in quake in '95. I concede your point that Amigas were much better, but in the future, please try to keep it realistic.

    -----------------------

  • Oh, I'm not bitter, none of the Apple-freaks I've known ever had the better toys, they were always wishing they could play noteworthy games. Yes, they can now, but only recently. Apple never seems to get it quite right, the Wintel side then manages to get a usable version out the door.

    -----------------------

  • Shouldn't MS have to include bluetooth support?

    By not including it, aren't they really just using their monopolistic practices to advance a technology of their choice? If bluetooth is an innovative technology, then isn't this just more proof of the same argument about the MS monopoly stifiling progress?

    Lobby congress now! FOrce MS to include Bluetooth support!

  • There are a lot of comments that are pointing out the semantic differences between 802.11b and Bluetooth. Ethernet vs Serial, or Different Uses, or Bluetooth Networking makes me sick.

    My question, why split hairs? The point of both is to get two or more devices to talk by radio. The point of both is to be able to exchange data in that conversation. The point of both is to make devices interoperable.

    The wifi or 802.11b approach is the extension of the network: give it an address and a standard suite of protocols, and the software support will explode. Why can't my cellphone have an IPv6 address? Why can't my mouse have an IPv6 address? Why can't my digicam or webcam or weather station or Palm XII or stereo have IPv6 addresses on my wireless home network?

    Make the distinction of 'heavy' nodes and 'light' nodes go away. Sure, current 802.11b is power-hungry, but I expect there's ways of making "short haul" 802.11b work in the two meter desktop range where Bluetooth is supposed to win.

    Maybe I'm missing the point. Educate me. Why shouldn't teeny handheld devices speak the same protocols that the desktop and servers speak? Why should we make yet another 'dumb device' protocol/transport like RS232, USB and Firewire? The 'dumb devices' seem to be evaporating.

  • One of the problems with supporting Bluetooth under Windows, for MS or anyone else, is that it doesn't fit neatly into MS's existing software architectures, whereas 802.11 'looks' so much like ethernet that it's a no-brainer to adopt.

    Bluetooth has several protocol layers involved, and if these layers aren't standardized then you'll never get two Bluetooth applications to work on the same PC because they'll each want to install their own protocol stack. Think what would happen if every ethernet vendor and/or network application developer wrote their own TCP/IP stack....that's where Bluetooth is headed if MS snubs them.
  • Microsoft has never been a supporter of Bluetooth to start with. I was involved in Bluetooth development for a short period over two years ago, when the BT SIG was trying to complete development of the 1.0 spec's. MS was completely absent from the meetings and could not be convinced to attend. One possible reason for this was because the SIG had a rule that all intellectual property put into the standards became freely licensed to all SIG members. If I remember correctly they had actually planned to remove this rule after the 1.0 specs were finished to entice MS into joining the SIG to work on V1.1 - but then I moved off BT work so I don't know what happened.

    Another possible reason is that Bluetooth is just not a PC-centric technology, and as much as some of the SIG members tried it's not a great LAN technology. From a user's point of view it might seem great to have all these devices talking to each other, but MS at the time only wanted to talk about PC issues and the investment required just so someone could hotsync without a cable probably didn't seem worth it. I have no idea where the WinCE group was - I think this was during the period when they were taking a bit of a market pounding (ie their first two releases)...I don't remember seeing them involved at all.

    Disclaimer : my involvement in Bluetooth work was short and now seems long ago, so my observations may be a bit fuzzy.
  • If they didn't, why the need for Windows NT Service Pack 6a?
    Yeah, silly Microsoft. Lord knows that Golden Haired Linux would never need any sort of patch, update, 'service pack,' or bug fixing release [slashdot.org] because the people who work on linux are special magical humans who don't make mistakes. Unlike the fine folks at Microsoft who are more normal humans, and do make mistakes. Those who can, do. Those who can't, post ignorant statements to Slashdot.
  • Search your hard drive for 'dvdplay.exe' which both 98 and 2000 ship with. Not to mention Windows Media Player.
  • Bluetooth and 802.11b have two very different applications. The goal of Bluetooth is to connect all kinds of different mobile equipment with some speed and very high reliability. 802.11b is made for speed, and I can't see a them getting 802.11b on chip, but getting bluetooth on a chip has been the goal all along.

    I think this is only microsoft being angry for not being invited along in the first place.

  • bluetooth is ... cheap

    I'm still holding out for that low-cost all-in-one-chip $5 bluetooth solution. Any ideas where it is? Perhaps in one of those flying cars we were all supposed to get by now?

    Seriously, if it doesn't get major support from major induustry players, how likely is it that it'll really ever become "cheap"? Microsoft not having support for it is a bad sign... sort of like those years with the "U" of USB meant Useless.

  • by cyber-vandal (148830) on Monday April 02, 2001 @03:49AM (#321088) Homepage
    However, Microsoft has a policy against adding new features in so-called service packs, intended as interim fixes between major annual releases of the operating system.

    What major annual releases? XP isn't out until next year is it? And didn't Terminal Server - a fairly big deal - appear in SP6. Journos shouldn't believe everything the PR department says.
  • by duvel (173522) on Monday April 02, 2001 @03:32AM (#321095) Homepage
    I don't think it's surprising that Microsoft should choose not to incorporate BlueTooth capabilities in their new products. One has to remind himself that BlueTooth technologie is still far from stable.

    Slashdot had a story [slashdot.org] on this only 1 week ago. Biggest problem at this time seems to be that a BlueTooth 'standard' has yet to be implemented (there is even talk of creating a new standard that would merge the 'standards' that are now set by the different manufacturers).

    Without a single standard that everybody is willing to adhere to, the sad truth is that BlueTooth may have the same destiny as WAP. Gartner Group and others proclaimed WAP to be The-Future (tm) and the Solution-to-all-your-Problems (tm). When WAP showed teething problems, it was immediately dumped by those same people. This may also happen to BlueTooth, if industry watchers will again show to be unwilling to value the technologie to its merits, and not by just trying to find the 10 reasons why BlueTooth doesn't solve the world's problems.

    As long as Microsoft (and any other company) is faced with these uncertainties (BlueTooth standards still under development + public acceptance and succes far from sure) then it's only logical that they are not prepared to pour money in this.

  • Well, I'm not a big fan of Bluetooth either, until it becomes more of a standard and less of a "good thing on paper" (remember Firewire, aka ILink, aka God knows what other marketing term they came up with?)

    I have a 802.11b residential transmitter in my home and it works wonders. Fast speeds (11 Mbps), works with virtually every OS including Mac and Linux, and 128-bit encryption strength. The technology's not foolproof, but for what I do it works.

    Then again, though, the whole draw to Bluetooth was using it in areas where close range contact was not only possible but essential. Like in front of a vending machine. I don't want the Pepsi machine down on the other side of the mall knowing that I'm buying from a Coke machine here. It's bad enough that I have to give up my privacy for one company (one of the cost "benefits" of Bluetooth) but two?

    802.11b also has other problems. Most 802.11b client antenae are huge (the one on my Dell laptop bulges a good inch out the side, presumably to cut down on radio interference). Bluetooth, from my knowledge, can actually be imbedded pretty well in a phone. That might become a factor, considering the issues involved with 802.11b antenae ranges [slashdot.org].

    Who knows. Redmond, don't be a dick and support both anyway.

  • So IBM, who's been greatly supporting Linux etc., brings out a new tech - and M$ thanks them by not supporting it? This smells very fishy to me, looks more like M$ is trying to punish IBM. Guess it's yet another maneuver by them to hurt competitors, and it should be brought to the attention of whoever's working the antitrust case against M$.

    I've got several computers at home, each one with tons of cables I'd love to get rid of - Bluetooth would be just the thing. IEEE 802 something for the networking part, Bluetooth to interconnect the devices, adios serial, parallel, scsi, keyboard etc. cables. There are still some technical problems? They'll be worked out, no doubt. I certainly trust Big Blue more to get this done than M$. I'd love to get to use this tech. Good thing I won't have to wait for M$...

    I've seen some comments as how M$ wouldn't want to bring out sth that wasn't (yet) working - BS. They've got tons of resources, and if they only just wanted to, I bet they could have something pretty nice up & running quite soon. I've seen quite some incompetence in IT departments, but I cannot imagine M$ not to have at least some cool geeks around.

  • MS adopted this UI because Apple was successful with it; the real reason MS dominates the market is the MS-DOS installed base, which was an accidental gift from IBM.

    Yes it was a gift from IBM but not accidental. It is widely believed that Gary Kildall of Digital Research went flying when IBM came knocking making IBM to choose Microsoft. Instead Gary did meet with IBM and they sold DR's product CP/M along with Microsoft's then unheard of DOS with the first PCs. DOS sold at a much lower price than CP/M and Microsoft won the day.

    What Microsoft has managed to do is hold on to and grow that market. Sometimes by using questionable means, sometimes by adopting useful technology.

    Back to the GUI. MS adopted it after seeing the Apple Lisa (a huge failure for Apple). They announced Windows in 1983 (a year before the Mac appeared) and delivered version 1.0 in 1985.

    So did MS adopt the GUI because Apple was successful with it? No, it was because, like Apple, they saw a future in it.
  • by otter42 (190544) on Monday April 02, 2001 @03:11AM (#321106) Homepage Journal
    I don't think they'd want to build technology into their product that they will be forced to troubleshoot and tech support for the next 5 years. They're better off to build the wireless network capability into a service pack.

    Although knowing M$, they'll charge a $100 "upgrade" fee for this capability.

  • by java_sucks (197921) on Monday April 02, 2001 @04:12AM (#321109)
    WAP died because it sucked. WAP was a classic example of a "technology" which big business tried to tell the public that that wanted, but the public knew better. WAP was a sham from the start, the phone.com people are laughing all the way to the bank too. Now that the PCS industry has realized that they can't shove WAP down the throats of Joe Consumer they are moving away from it. It also shows that the Gartner Group doesn't know squat, if you have enough $$ you can have the Gartner Group rave about your stuff too.

    Bluetooth might have problems but it's not because it sucks, it's just not a mature technology.
  • ...and hold my bitching at Microsoft regarding Bluetooth, until there's atleast an x86 motherboard out there with a Bluetooth transceiver built into it!
  • So essentially, without support from Microsoft or the *nix/BSD community, Bluetooth will go the way of Betamax. Of course, IBM (Bluetooth's biggest promoter, from what I've seen) will still try to hold on, but then again, they did so with PC-DOS, OS/2, and the Aptiva. And look where those three are now.
  • by rongage (237813) on Monday April 02, 2001 @03:08AM (#321118)
    Hmmm, isn't this like the one technology demonstration, given by our friend "Bill", regarding USB support for Win98?

    Can anyone say "blue screen of death"?
  • by Jas26785 (244834) on Monday April 02, 2001 @08:02AM (#321120)
    If I may...

    I'm a softare/hardware engineer in the RF (wireless) engineering business. Primarily, I work with embedded products, so I can tell you that I'd be willing to use both 802.11 and Bluetooth. Whichever one wins out on any individual product is entirely dependent on the requirements of the product.

    Power, size and price are always the driving factors when it comes to embedded products, mainly because the products are often battery operated. RF transmit power is a major concern when it comes to power consumption, but not the only concern. Processing power (and thus, what you can handle in terms of network protocols and bandwidth) is the other major concern.

    Bluetooth would be great for embedded products that don't require more than 10 meters of operating distance. Also, you don't require as much processing power for Bluetooth as the transmission speeds are much lower.

    802.11, on the other hand, has higher transmission speeds AND longer distance specifications. I've used 802.11 transceivers and they pretty much require you to have access to the good old 60 Hz line power we all know and love. It is also very hard to process a 12 Mbps datastream on a microcontroller that runs at any speed less than ~200 MHz (do the math). Even a custom IC or ASIC optimized for I/O processing would consume a fair amount of power processing such a datastream. Don't expect to see 802.11b on a handheld device unless it has access to line-power a significant amount of time or is a bastardized version of 802.11.

    The primary factor for Bluetooth's slow industry acceptance is the price. While it doesn't operate at 12 Mbps, it is significantly fast and, with its convoluted master-slave networking protocol, requires either a ton of engineering time or expensive "blackbox" transceivers. We are ready to adopt it as soon as a customer is willing to pay the price; so far, they've liked our custom solutions instead.
  • i'm all for open standards, but don't you think that 802.11b needs a catchy name to have the hype that bluetooth had?

    That name is WiFi. The idea being that in addition to supporting 802.11b all WiFi products should interoperate. It is a bit like the rechristening of Firewire as iLink after it turned out that many Video cameras with alledged Firewire did not work with most firewire PC boards.

  • Bluetooth is good because it can be implemented in 1 or 2 chips, with the antennae and transmitter in the chips..... so it is *cheap* to wirelessly enable a device.

    That is the propaganda. However an integrated antenna is useless if the antenna is on the inside of a Faraday cage - which many if not most microprocessor based devices need to pass FCC interference tests.

    The cost difference is likely to be a temporary issue. I can't see any reason that 802.11b should be vastly more expensive to produce. Ultimately the marginal cost of manufacture for both are a certain amount of processed silicon.

    A PDA that only speaks BlueTooth will be useless to me, I have 802.11b in the house.

    What Bluetooth propaganda comes down to is that I will buy a Bluetooth basestation for several hundred dollars to duplicate my 802.11b basestation just so I can save $5 on buying a PDA that does less and has lower range.

    802.11B is an incumbent technology, Bluetooth is attempting to displace it from one sector of the market on the basis of a marginal cost advantage. I don't see that happening.

  • by Zeinfeld (263942) on Monday April 02, 2001 @08:11AM (#321128) Homepage
    I think folk are missing the point here. The Microsoft announcement is all about endorsement of a technology, it has nothing to do with support for a technology or ability to use it.

    People will be able to use bluetooth devices with Windows regardless of the level of Microsoft support. What Microsoft has declined to do however is to positively endorse Bluetooth and encourage people to buy Bluetooth devices. That is important because it will make it harder for Bluetooth to gain mind share and hence critical mass.

    Regardless of how many slashdotters bleat that the two don't compete, the fact is they do. There is absolutely nothing Bluetooth can do that WiFi/802.11b cannot. Bluetooth's advantages of a marginal cost reduction and lower power have yet to be demonstrated.

    The biggest problem with Bluetooth is that it isn't ready for prime time yet. The warring camps have not come together on a common interoperable standard. They are currenlty planning to launch two incompatible variants.

    The next biggest problem is that nobody can make out a coherent case for the technology. There is absolutely no reason for my laptop to talk to my cellphone (apart from downloding the address book which already works via Ird). If my laptop wants to talk to the Internet I will get it a GPRS modem. As the glut of cellular bandwidth hits the US as it hit Europe the same type of calling plans will be available - allowing pooling of subscriptions across several phones.

    Same goes for my PDA which won't be talking to my cellphone because it will be my cellphone. I would much prefer a slim calculator shaped form factor for the single handheld device I carry with me. I almost always use the headset in any case.

    Having redundant technologies killed off is a good thing. There is nothing worse than having a Betamax/VHS type standoff causing companies to hedge their bets, wait to deploy etc. What Microsoft has done is a good thing, they have in effect declared that they consider one technology the winner. Rather than waiting for Bluetooth to mature to the point of actually working the market is likely to focus on using 802.11b to solve their problems.

    I don't want Bluetooth to continue to die a lingering death. It is time for someone to announce that they have failed, have no reasonable prospect of success and that the situation is unlikely to change in the future. Microsoft has done this, we should hope that more companies follow their lead.

  • by deran9ed (300694) on Monday April 02, 2001 @03:26AM (#321129) Homepage
    Citing a former [slashdot.org] post on this topic, I'd say its only a slight bit of time before others follow suit along with MS. Especially with the downturn the markets have taken in recent months, many companies are going to be looking to conserve their funds, as opposed to blindful spending.

    Although having two antennas in close proximity can be a problem, Siep said that most users won't actually place the two systems next to each other.
    For someone to just base this statement with no supportive information is deadbeat. Just think of the typical comp user who doesn't understand upper level technology, and how to configure things.
    When interference does occur, it manifests itself as slower transmission rather than a broken connection. Users are already conditioned to accept this, Siep said. It's the same problem that occurs with analog modems that sometimes connect at 33 kbits/second and sometimes at 28 kbits/s, and Siep believes consumers will be willing to live with the same experience in their wireless networks.
    This notion that people are willing to accept a substandard product are misconceived. Think about the people who are moving off 56k connections to DSL, Cable, etc., they've moved because obviously their concerned with speed, so for these industry people to say, people will pay x amount of dollars when they know they're buying a substandard product... Who do they think theyy're kidding? Once people read about little quirks like this, they'll be likely to wait before diving into bluetooth, and if the problem isn't addressed fast, bluetooth will die entirely.

    My two cents without going into the other issues in the article.

    bluetooth free [antioffline.com]
  • If it supports Blue Tooth in its current incernation, they will have to add a lot of things, because it's not complete yet, and you'll be angry about them for embracing & extending the technology.
    If they wait for Blue Tooth to become stable, you'll be angry about them for using monopoly power to strungle technology.
  • by isa-kuruption (317695) <kuruption.kuruption@net> on Monday April 02, 2001 @04:33AM (#321135) Homepage
    Who says Microsoft has to include support for every device on the market? Why are they required to include a driver for some hardware they do not necessarily want to? Do they not have the right for themselves to determine what hardware they want to support on their O/S?

    If the Bluetooth companies want to write a driver for their devices, that's fine... but that doesn't mean MS MUST support the driver or the device.

    On the same note, when was the last time Linus "supported" a hardware product? If I have a problem with a driver in the kernel, the first response back from the devel group is "then write a patch."

    I'm sure if and when Bluetooth became popular that Microsoft will have a Compatibility Update for it or a service pack, then you restart your machine and the ability to use it at the kernel level would be there, but in NO WAY is Microsoft REQUIRED to include Bluetooth support in the first or any subsequent release of any of it's software.

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