Last week Microsoft announced that Windows XP won’t support Bluetooth. Today Microsoft turned its back on another emerging technology when it announced that Windows XP won’t support USB 2.0.

Bluetooth and USB 2.0 have both received lots of publicity, but the reality is that neither one is ready to be rolled out to a mass market yet. Manufacturers have squabbled, standards have been slow to evolve, and alternatives to each have quietly been making headway. The alternative to Bluetooth is a wireless networking standard named 802.11b, which will be supported in Windows XP. And the alternative to USB 2.0 is technology developed by Apple called IEEE 1394 or FireWire. Microsoft can easily add support in Windows XP for Bluetooth and USB 2.0 later, but in this odd world, the lack of support right away could disrupt Bluetooth and USB 2.0 enough to knock them out before they ever get started.

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