Windows XP to Support Bluetooth Devices

Microsoft on Thursday released to manufacturers an update for Windows XP that adds support for Bluetooth devices. The software enables developers to build products using the Windows Bluetooth format, which will allow Windows XP users to easily connect a PC to Bluetooth peripherals such as cell phones, printers and mice.

"Microsoft is excited to have hit this milestone because the company believes it will be a catalyst to increasing use of wireless technologies -- one of the fastest-growing segments of the industry," a Microsoft spokesperson told BetaNews. "Mainstream availability of products containing Bluetooth wireless technology are expected to be a boom for wireless market opportunities and users will start to see an increasing number of Bluetooth devices available."

Microsoft expects Bluetooth in Windows XP to be available from hardware makers in time for the holidays, anticipating widespread adoption starting next year. The company notes that customers must have installed Service Pack 1 to utilize the Bluetooth update.

The announcement from Redmond comes one month after Apple added Bluetooth support to Mac OS X with the release of version 10.2, dubbed Jaguar. Apple is expected to soon release a beta version of iSync, a tool for synchronizing data with handheld devices, including Ericsson's T68i cell phone which uses Bluetooth.

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