Reminder: Many peripherals don't work (yet) with Windows RT

One of the big things in favor of the Windows RT version of Surface is its standard USB port, something that the iPad and many Android-based tablets don't have. That means, in theory, a large number of USB-based products can be connected to Surface.

However, the reality is that Windows RT is an all new operating system from Microsoft that is running on ARM-designed processors. As a result, the Windows RT version of Surface, and indeed any Windows RT-based product, could have a number of compatibility problems with USB-based devices.

PCWorld.com reports that, according a list from HP, the majority of its 200 currently supported LaserJet and ColorJet laser printers will work with Windows 8, but only 34 of them are compatible with Windows RT. A list of 110 laser and inkjet printers from Dell shows that only 34 of them work with Windows RT. That includes just two of Dell's inkjet printers.

The good news? Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64, says that even with those low compatibility numbers, Windows RT-based devices like Surface will work with more printers than other tablets, saying, "Most people who have been buying tablets to date, including Android and iOS tablets, they hardly ever print ...".

Source: PCWorld.com | Image via Microsoft

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derekaw said,
It sounds like Vista all over again.

You mean an OS that sold more copies than all of the Macs and copies of OS X sold in the history of Apple? That kind of 'Vista'?


In my opinion having a tablet should rule out needing a printer in a lot of cases. You can just take your digital copy with you.

This probably means that plugging in a mobile SIM internet usb-stick won't work as well, unless the mobile wireless provider has written a specific driver for RT
I love the Surface concept, but with no support for SIM connection and a minimal number of metro apps compared to iPad, the Surface should be priced considerably lower than iPad.
I would love to have a tablet to read my daily news paper and magazines, but it will be a long, long time before the same number of magazines and newspapers will develop subscription services for RT/Surface.

Fred77 said,
This probably means that plugging in a mobile SIM internet usb-stick won't work as well, unless the mobile wireless provider has written a specific driver for RT
I love the Surface concept, but with no support for SIM connection and a minimal number of metro apps compared to iPad, the Surface should be priced considerably lower than iPad.
I would love to have a tablet to read my daily news paper and magazines, but it will be a long, long time before the same number of magazines and newspapers will develop subscription services for RT/Surface.

Actually they made touch screen and mobile boardband USB sticks generic. Old ones may not work, but all new ones from now on will work.

As far as I'm concerned, it's the printer manufacturers' faults for such shoddy work. I mean, there's a variety of printing standards (PCL, PostScript, etc.), which will all be supported by Windows RT's new printer driver system. The problem is that the printer makers, whether to save money, or to force you to install their bloated drivers, keep using proprietary crap that isn't based on the standards.

Of course, that doesn't help the user who just wants to print something in Windows RT, but at the same time, it's not really Microsoft's fault either.

jhoff80 said,
As far as I'm concerned, it's the printer manufacturers' faults for such shoddy work. I mean, there's a variety of printing standards (PCL, PostScript, etc.), which will all be supported by Windows RT's new printer driver system. The problem is that the printer makers, whether to save money, or to force you to install their bloated drivers, keep using proprietary crap that isn't based on the standards.

Of course, that doesn't help the user who just wants to print something in Windows RT, but at the same time, it's not really Microsoft's fault either.

Some printer MFRs do use their own internal universal standards, like Epson for example where a 199x ESC/P driver still works on 99% of their inkjet printers.

The problem with PCL is HP owns it, and charges for it, and ironically the don't even use it for their own Inkjet printers, instead they implement very device specific drivers, as they do more processing on the computer than in the printer (so how ink drop placement is defined is often done on the PC, etc.)

Postscript/PDF are too dated and limited to handle output of modern printers unless they are being passed a fully rasterized and screened image to output, which kind of defeats the use of the language.

thenetavenger said,

they implement very device specific drivers, as they do more processing on the computer than in the printer (so how ink drop placement is defined is often done on the PC, etc.)

Thanks, that fills in the blanks a lot. I wasn't quite so much even referring to things like Epson's standard; my guess is if most of their printers are supported by one driver, Microsoft has support for that. My problem is more with the cheap HP and Dell and other printers that as you say, are very device specific.

Personally though, it doesn't matter to me either way, because my Brother wireless printer works out of the box with Windows 8, and I don't expect it to be any different with RT.

In the end, I feel Windows 8 RT will do a disservice to Microsoft as it is now, for the following reasons.

The majority of people will not know the differences between RT & Pro, and thus the inconsistencies will hurt MS.

1. Someone on a Pro device will say "Hey, I got this app from the store", and then someone from the RT version will say "I don't see the app here, wtf". (I think every Metro App needs to be compatible across RT/Pro, but if its a desktop app, this could apply)

2. As mentioned in the article, (Which I didn't know), if a device is Win8 Certified, it doesn't mean its RT Certified. This is the WORST Decision that could have been made, and will be a DISASTER for MS. They should have made it a requirement that for Win8 Certification, it should be compatible for both versions. Now, people are going to be mad when they buy a Win8 Certified device, and it won't work w/ their RT Tablet.

Love/Hate metro all you want, but this is the biggest change to Windows ever, not necessarily b/c of Metro itself, but b/c you are forced to use it. This will be a major learning curve for most people that just buy traditional PCs. (Don't call me a hater, I happen to love metro) The main reason MS is pushing Metro (from a business sense), is to push the Microsoft store. If they can use their dominate market position to say their store is on 90% of all PCs, that will go along way for them.

I think they should have approached the store differently tho. They should have made the metro interface optional for traditional PCs, and make a 'desktop' version of the Windows store. (Which w/ all previous Windows, you could always put it 'back' to the old way if you wanted, XP Start menu could be converted back to the 'classic' menu if someone wanted). W/ the desktop version of the Windows store, users could access the store through (maybe IE interface) and d/l apps. If an app was a Metro app, when a user launched it, it would just open the app Full screen (like it does now). This would, I think be the best of both worlds. The user could have their traditional Start Menu, and still be able to access Metro apps, without seeing the Metro Start screen.

greensabath said,
In the end, I feel Windows 8 RT will do a disservice to Microsoft as it is now, for the following reasons.

The majority of people will not know the differences between RT & Pro, and thus the inconsistencies will hurt MS.

1. Someone on a Pro device will say "Hey, I got this app from the store", and then someone from the RT version will say "I don't see the app here, wtf". (I think every Metro App needs to be compatible across RT/Pro, but if its a desktop app, this could apply)

2. As mentioned in the article, (Which I didn't know), if a device is Win8 Certified, it doesn't mean its RT Certified. This is the WORST Decision that could have been made, and will be a DISASTER for MS. They should have made it a requirement that for Win8 Certification, it should be compatible for both versions. Now, people are going to be mad when they buy a Win8 Certified device, and it won't work w/ their RT Tablet.

Love/Hate metro all you want, but this is the biggest change to Windows ever, not necessarily b/c of Metro itself, but b/c you are forced to use it. This will be a major learning curve for most people that just buy traditional PCs. (Don't call me a hater, I happen to love metro) The main reason MS is pushing Metro (from a business sense), is to push the Microsoft store. If they can use their dominate market position to say their store is on 90% of all PCs, that will go along way for them.

I think they should have approached the store differently tho. They should have made the metro interface optional for traditional PCs, and make a 'desktop' version of the Windows store. (Which w/ all previous Windows, you could always put it 'back' to the old way if you wanted, XP Start menu could be converted back to the 'classic' menu if someone wanted). W/ the desktop version of the Windows store, users could access the store through (maybe IE interface) and d/l apps. If an app was a Metro app, when a user launched it, it would just open the app Full screen (like it does now). This would, I think be the best of both worlds. The user could have their traditional Start Menu, and still be able to access Metro apps, without seeing the Metro Start screen.

You concerns have been a topic of discussion, and Microsoft is well aware of the possible confusion. However with people knowing a 'Tablet' is not always a computer, they don't buy an iPad and expect to load the OS X version of Photoshop. So they are hoping consumers are a bit more understanding and educated than they were in the past.

As for #1 on your list, this will be a rare example, as the majority of software in the Windows App Store will run on ARM, x86, x64 - there will always be exceptions, but as many as you seem to think.

#2 I agree that Microsoft should have force RT (aka ARM) device driver support and certification, like they did for 64bit. It was this push by Microsoft that gave the industry the full compliment of both 32bit and 64bit drivers from device and hardware MFRs, as they couldn't get Microsoft's certification/logo without ensuring they had the 64bit drivers, even before 64bit computing was highly common.

Microsoft may have to step in and require ARM certification; however, lets hope that device MFRs will want the business of Windows RT customers and just supply them without much incident.

There is also the notion that Windows RT users are going to be not expecting to dock it and run Crysis, like the Windows Pro tablet users will. So there are going to be far fewer requests for obscure device support.

Also remember the universal driver interfaces for input devices that Windows uses is in Windows RT, so needing a specific 'mouse' driver will not be necessary to use the mouse. This also includes a lot of other peripherals and most Bluetooth devices


One of the big things in favor of the Windows RT version of Surface is its standard USB port, something that the iPad and many Android-based tablets don't have. That means, in theory, a large number of USB-based products can be connected to Surface.

And the same "USB-based products" work with Android too. Heard of something called a micro-USB port? It's a magical little thing that can be used to connect standard USB devices when a micro-USB to USB adapter is used.

Seriously, if that's the best thing RT can offer, then Microsoft are in real trouble.

Yes, you add a dongle to go into the Android dock connector (aka micro-usb). Same thing as the iPad.

simplezz said,

And the same "USB-based products" work with Android too. Heard of something called a micro-USB port? It's a magical little thing that can be used to connect standard USB devices when a micro-USB to USB adapter is used.

Seriously, if that's the best thing RT can offer, then Microsoft are in real trouble.

simplezz said,

And the same "USB-based products" work with Android too. Heard of something called a micro-USB port? It's a magical little thing that can be used to connect standard USB devices when a micro-USB to USB adapter is used.

Seriously, if that's the best thing RT can offer, then Microsoft are in real trouble.

However, without a driver infrastructure for most USB devices and no printing subystem, the USB port on Android is rather worthless. It is also 'in hardware' often just a mass storage/power interface, without the necessary USB hub technology to support peripherals.

So Microsoft HAS done better.

I hope they get this solved quickly. I don't plan on printing via USB, but I do print wirelessly and was banking on Surface working w/ my printer. I can deal, but I think this will severely turn off the masses. Even though there's a workaround for most.

gohatters said,
I hope they get this solved quickly. I don't plan on printing via USB, but I do print wirelessly and was banking on Surface working w/ my printer. I can deal, but I think this will severely turn off the masses. Even though there's a workaround for most.

This isn't something to 'fix', this is something that Printer MFRs will have to work out if they want to keep your business.

Microsoft literally shoved the industry to produce x64 drivers, holding them hostage from getting Windows Certification/Logo without both x86 and x64 drivers. It may come to this for ARM drivers, but Microsoft really shouldn't have to be the ones to police the hardware industry, they should do the right thing.

Also before you get too worried, there are a lot of drivers that are provided and do work, and there are also some companies that build their devices to use a fairly universal printing language like Epson does with ESC/P, and they might be a better choice for future printer buying decisions.

I honestly believe this is one of the main reasons Apple decided not to put a USB port on their iOS devices.
Imagine how many "well I plugged *insert device here* into my iPad and guess what, it doesn't work! what's the point in having a USB port if nothing works in it" threads there would be on forums...
It will be interesting to see how many devices x86 drivers will actually work, if the majority do then M$ will gain a lot of traction with this device. If the majority don't - there will be hell to pay!

SteveMackinnon said,
I honestly believe this is one of the main reasons Apple decided not to put a USB port on their iOS devices.
Imagine how many "well I plugged *insert device here* into my iPad and guess what, it doesn't work! what's the point in having a USB port if nothing works in it" threads there would be on forums...
It will be interesting to see how many devices x86 drivers will actually work, if the majority do then M$ will gain a lot of traction with this device. If the majority don't - there will be hell to pay!

That's exactly what Apple always does, they think how could the consumer complain then eliminate that point of complaint, that's why their stuff is "so easy" there isn't anywhere to complain about stuff not working across devices

SteveMackinnon said,
I honestly believe this is one of the main reasons Apple decided not to put a USB port on their iOS devices.
Imagine how many "well I plugged *insert device here* into my iPad and guess what, it doesn't work! what's the point in having a USB port if nothing works in it" threads there would be on forums...

Then that's the device maker's fault. If they follow the USB mass-storage standard, then it'll work on any OS. If they go down the proprietary driver route, then they only have themselves to blame.

SteveMackinnon said,

It will be interesting to see how many devices x86 drivers will actually work, if the majority do then M$ will gain a lot of traction with this device. If the majority don't - there will be hell to pay!

Zero, read Zero will work. Ignoring the fact that x86 binaries are compiled for a completely different architecture than ARM, drivers often contain architecture specific code (endianness / assembler) so it's not just a simple matter of recompilation.

SteveMackinnon said,
I honestly believe this is one of the main reasons Apple decided not to put a USB port on their iOS devices.
Imagine how many "well I plugged *insert device here* into my iPad and guess what, it doesn't work! what's the point in having a USB port if nothing works in it" threads there would be on forums...
It will be interesting to see how many devices x86 drivers will actually work, if the majority do then M$ will gain a lot of traction with this device. If the majority don't - there will be hell to pay!

Possibly, but your analogy already happens a lot with Macs as well. There is still a vast difference of hardware support between Windows and OS X.

I will repeat, Windows RT is not a desktop windows but Windows-CE with Metro skin.
a) software is incompatible, with the exception of Net Framework software.. sheesh.
b) hardware is not compatible amongst both version of windows.
c) system is not compatible amongst both version of windows.
d) any many other surprises.

Brony said,
I will repeat, Windows RT is not a desktop windows but Windows-CE with Metro skin.
a) software is incompatible, with the exception of Net Framework software.. sheesh.
b) hardware is not compatible amongst both version of windows.
c) system is not compatible amongst both version of windows.
d) any many other surprises.

except it is NOT Windows CE or Windows Mobile, it IS Windows NT recompiled for another arch... so to say it's windows ce with a mtro skin is BS

Brony said,
I will repeat, Windows RT is not a desktop windows but Windows-CE with Metro skin.
a) software is incompatible, with the exception of Net Framework software.. sheesh.
b) hardware is not compatible amongst both version of windows.
c) system is not compatible amongst both version of windows.
d) any many other surprises.

You can repeat this, but this doesn't make it true.

There is NO correlation to WinCE, whatsoever. Windows CE was not only incompatible based on the different CPU/architectures it was running on, but is a completely different OS and is code and driver incompatible as well because it doesn't have the same driver infrastructure or frameworks. (There is a difference between COMPLETELY having to rewrite software drivers and just recompiling them for a new CPU/Architecture.)


a) x86 or x64 code is incompatible - software compiled to machine/assembly code for a specific architecture cannot run on another architecture without emulation or translation. This does not mean that software can't be recompiled rather easily.

b) Of course hardware isn't compatible, as most hardware relies on drivers compiled for x86 or x64 versions of Windows. The Itanium version of Windows ALSO required its only drivers for hardware, as it was incompatible with x86 and x64.

c) redundant. The NT code base is nearly identical to the NT code base for x86 and x64. Drawing a distinction of ARM being 'drastically' different shows a lack of understand of NT. There is as much 'code' difference between x86 and x64 as there for the ARM version; which is not a lot. The main difference is HAL, with a few code adjustments in the actual NT source code. There is more difference and work porting Linux from x86 to ARM than there is in porting the entire Windows NT OS.

d) Surprised at your lack of understanding and feel a bit embarrassed for you.

Go to Amazon, find a used copy of "Inside NT' First Edition from 1993 by Helen Custer, Dave Cutler and buy it. Then look for the 6th Edition of "Windows Internals" Part 1 and Part 2, which is the updated version of the series and done by Mark Russinovich, David Solomon, and Alex Ionescu and buy them.

This is the best way to get people to understand Windows and NT technology specifically, even if you just skim the books. There is a reason why NT was designed how it is, why it is significantly different than ANY OTHER OS technology, and what makes it rather special with the object based design. It insanely extensible which is why it has done well for 20 years and has possibly that many more before a major revision will be necessary. It is also interesting to see how and why it is far more portable than Linux or XNU or other OS technologies, which most people do not realize because Microsoft has only done x86 and x64 and some Itanium for the past 12 years.

Brony said,
I will repeat, Windows RT is not a desktop windows but Windows-CE with Metro skin.
a) software is incompatible, with the exception of Net Framework software.. sheesh.
b) hardware is not compatible amongst both version of windows.
c) system is not compatible amongst both version of windows.
d) any many other surprises.

The always-renowned individual that knows enough about computers to sound intelligent, but not enough to actually understand what is happening, therefore resulting in speaking out of turn and proving that they don't know very much at all.

DKAngel said,
i wouldnt even know how to print from my tablet, would like to know how to

ePrint works on iPad and Android (basically email the document to an e-mail address assigned to your printer), just plain old print from windows based tablets

DKAngel said,
i wouldnt even know how to print from my tablet, would like to know how to

It has always fascinated me that direct IP printing doesn't seem to have been made available. After all wireless printers are not exactly uncommon these days

Teebor said,

It has always fascinated me that direct IP printing doesn't seem to have been made available. After all wireless printers are not exactly uncommon these days

Because iOS and Android have no printing rendering system, so applications would have to compose the image and then translate it to a form the printer understands. Considering that here are literally 10s of 1000s of printer drivers/languages used, this there is a lot of complexity in a printing subsystem.

With Windows RT, it is Windows, so the Printing Subsystem that you use everyday is already there, which includes the interface for printer drivers.

DKAngel said,
i wouldnt even know how to print from my tablet, would like to know how to

Hit File Print (It is Windows.)

In Metro/Modern/WindowsApps - slide open the Charms, touch/click Devices and then select the printer.

This doesn't have the limitation of the Emailing documents like iOS and Android use, as the content doesn't have to be converted to a document format, and can be output in extremely high resolution formats supported by the older GDI printing or the new XPS/XAML technologies.

thenetavenger said,

Because iOS and Android have no printing rendering system, so applications would have to compose the image and then translate it to a form the printer understands. Considering that here are literally 10s of 1000s of printer drivers/languages used, this there is a lot of complexity in a printing subsystem.

With Windows RT, it is Windows, so the Printing Subsystem that you use everyday is already there, which includes the interface for printer drivers.


Thank you

so it is the fault of the printer companies for not making drivers so i can print to my laser printer.

I do wish I could print easier than it is. Without paying for an app to just print from a third party.

thenetavenger said,

Because iOS and Android have no printing rendering system, so applications would have to compose the image and then translate it to a form the printer understands. Considering that here are literally 10s of 1000s of printer drivers/languages used, this there is a lot of complexity in a printing subsystem.

With Windows RT, it is Windows, so the Printing Subsystem that you use everyday is already there, which includes the interface for printer drivers.

I'd bet a lot more 'work' just fine when plugged in and just let windows find the driver, ots tge same HAL and windows driver database and printer drivers are not low level. The issue here I think is manufacturers not being bothered to test and give a pass, they want to sell new printers. Also tge article says most 'devices' but then gets all printer specific, there's a massive number of devices that will simply use a standard usb driver built in and be very happy. I call fud

duddit2 said,
I'd bet a lot more 'work' just fine when plugged in and just let windows find the driver, ots tge same HAL and windows driver database and printer drivers are not low level. The issue here I think is manufacturers not being bothered to test and give a pass, they want to sell new printers. Also tge article says most 'devices' but then gets all printer specific, there's a massive number of devices that will simply use a standard usb driver built in and be very happy. I call fud

printer drivers, at a basic level, simply need an .inf file, the exe you get is mainly to install their ****ty software and bloat crap. What about every external HDD, usb drive, mice and keyboards, amongst many others as well?

I seriously bet that most printers will work just fone when plugged in.

duddit2 said,

printer drivers, at a basic level, simply need an .inf file, the exe you get is mainly to install their ****ty software and bloat crap. What about every external HDD, usb drive, mice and keyboards, amongst many others as well?

I seriously bet that most printers will work just fone when plugged in.


Are you high? There is a lot more to a driver than just an inf (which, incidentally, does nothing except identify if it's the right driver for that hardware and what to install/do), like sys files and DLL files needed to run output and conversion and whatnot which would need to be compiled for ARM architecture (not x86 or x86_64) and need to be digitally signed by MS after that.

duddit2 said,
I'd bet a lot more 'work' just fine when plugged in and just let windows find the driver, ots tge same HAL and windows driver database and printer drivers are not low level. The issue here I think is manufacturers not being bothered to test and give a pass, they want to sell new printers. Also tge article says most 'devices' but then gets all printer specific, there's a massive number of devices that will simply use a standard usb driver built in and be very happy. I call fud

It doesn't have anything to do with user mode vs kernel mode, and the HAL is irrelevant.

It has to do with driver being recompiled for the ARM CPU architecture. Even high level User mode drivers are still platform specific, i.e. compiled for the specific architecture/CPU.

The same is true of x64 drivers and x86 because of the architecture difference are incompatible with each other. Microsoft just did a massive campaign and incremental requirement for all peripherial vendors to start producing x64 drivers to gain Windows Certification going back about 10 years. Which is why it is fairly seamless for end users to use the 64bit version or 32bit version of Windows.

People don't realize that there is as much of a 'code' difference between the 64bit and 32bit version of Windows as there is between the ARM version.

Microsoft just didn't have 10 years of push to get vendors to create ARM drivers versions for NT, so adoption will be a bit slower.

As for the limited driver support, there are a lot of drivers that Microsoft has worked to get recompiled (or have their own generic source) to compile for ARM, and that is what is shipping with Windows RT.

Since a lot of printers use a common 'language' there are a lot of printers supported, for example Epson has a base ESC/P language, and HP has the PCL, etc.

Being the only tablet platform that has EXTENSIVE printing capability (the same capability as Desktop Windows) it will encourage a lot of printer vendors to product or provide ARM variations. Look at the number of MFR Apps and hacks for iOS that already exist from HP and Epson, and for Windows RT, they basically only have to recompile their existing drivers for ARM.

(Windows RT being a real full version of Windows just running on ARM means its printing stack is highly robust. Supporting the older technologies of Windows GDI printer, as well as the new XAML based technologies that were introduced with Vista. So not only can these tablets print, they can output higher quality content than a Mac running OS X, as the XPS/XAML technology is far more advanced than Postscript/PDF.)

Edited by thenetavenger, Oct 19 2012, 1:01pm :

thenetavenger said,

It doesn't have anything to do with user mode vs kernel mode, and the HAL is irrelevant.

It has to do with driver being recompiled for the ARM CPU architecture. Even high level User mode drivers are still platform specific, i.e. compiled for the specific architecture/CPU.

The same is true of x64 drivers and x86 because of the architecture difference are incompatible with each other. Microsoft just did a massive campaign and incremental requirement for all peripherial vendors to start producing x64 drivers to gain Windows Certification going back about 10 years.

As for the limited driver support, there are a lot of drivers that Microsoft has worked to get recompiled (or have their own generic source) to compile for ARM, and that is what is shipping with Windows RT. Since a lot of printers use a common 'language' there are a lot of printers supported, for example Epson has a base ESC/P language, and HP has the PCL, etc.


I stand corrected.

duddit2 said,
I'd bet a lot more 'work' just fine when plugged in and just let windows find the driver, ots tge same HAL and windows driver database and printer drivers are not low level. The issue here I think is manufacturers not being bothered to test and give a pass, they want to sell new printers. Also tge article says most 'devices' but then gets all printer specific, there's a massive number of devices that will simply use a standard usb driver built in and be very happy. I call fud
As long as we talk about USB connected devices, ok, that seems solvable. You'll run into real trouble if you try to install a network AIO.

n_K said,

There is a lot more to a driver than just an inf (which, incidentally, does nothing except identify if it's the right driver for that hardware and what to install/do), like sys files and DLL files needed to run output and conversion and whatnot which would need to be compiled for ARM architecture (not x86 or x86_64) and need to be digitally signed by MS after that.

However, it is important to note that Windows RT includes the same Windows 8 class drivers for several kinds of USB peripherals:
- USB thumb drives
- Printers
- Mobile broadband

The latter won't work with all existing devices, but should work with some, and any Windows 8 certified devices.

For printers, I think the class driver supports the vast majority of printers out there, even if the manufacturer may not officially list it as supported or certified. In many cases, I suspect the manufacturer's lack of support mainly means you won't get things like ink level reported through the software. But in most cases I expect you'll be able to print.

A lot of detail about printing in Windows 8 and Windows RT was posted to the Building Windows 8 blog, here:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/arc...-printing-in-windows-8.aspx

thenetavenger said,
Being the only tablet platform that has EXTENSIVE printing capability (the same capability as Desktop Windows) it will encourage a lot of printer vendors to product or provide ARM variations. Look at the number of MFR Apps and hacks for iOS that already exist from HP and Epson, and for Windows RT, they basically only have to recompile their existing drivers for ARM.

Also, being that it is Windows, most of the manufacturers will inevitably want to make drivers for the ARM machines. In the case of Dell, they will have to in order to be compatible with their own devices, and the rest of the ARM-based Windows ecosystem will benefit for it.

Then, it only makes sense for the non-computer manufacturers to support it sooner rather than later so that they can ride the tablet tidal wave. My fear there is that, besides the generic drivers (fortunately Microsoft did the generic sound card driver, likely for the ARM shift), people with no vested interest in maintaining backwards compatibility will not provide drivers for 1+ year-old hardware. I'm referring to the likes of Epson, who have nothing to really gain except customer satisfaction, which is something that a lot companies seem to have stopped caring about these days.

psh well obviosuly windows RT is a flop since we don't have 100% hardware support at launch!!! right? (vista) </s>

neufuse said,
psh well obviosuly windows RT is a flop since we don't have 100% hardware support at launch!!! right? (vista) </s>

It all depends on how you market it. Microsoft will - SURE... - make it really clear to the costumer, not just sell a tablet saying it's "Windows 8", like "Windows".

aristofeles said,

costumer

I don't think that is fair, I'm sure other people than those working in clothing making or the fancy dress industries that they will need to make this point to

Teebor said,

I don't think that is fair, I'm sure other people than those working in clothing making or the fancy dress industries that they will need to make this point to

Classic, I see what you did there

neufuse said,
psh well obviosuly windows RT is a flop since we don't have 100% hardware support at launch!!! right? (vista) </s>

Sarcasm aside hardware support was one of the biggest hurdles for Vista. The OEMs left people hanging for up to two years while everyone blamed MS for the driver issues. Hoping there is not a replay of that!

Cyborg_X said,

Sarcasm aside hardware support was one of the biggest hurdles for Vista. The OEMs left people hanging for up to two years while everyone blamed MS for the driver issues. Hoping there is not a replay of that!

yeah, that was what I was getting at, people are going to scream that MS's hardware is junk because it doesn't support xyz when OEM of xyz is at fault