Way back when PCs used to be a nightmarish mess of IRQs and IO Ports (remember that?), a few nutty guys in the industry went off and came up with the idea of making a plug-and-play bus. That turned into what is now known as USB. Kosar Jaff, who is now
at Microsoft, was one of the developers of the original USB specification while he worked at Intel. Almost 10 years later, he's now back working on the next generation of cool connectivity technologies for devices -- wireless devices.
He runs a team called the Windows Connectivity Product Unit, fancy name for all things that have to do with plugging devices into the Windows PC. They're working on all kinds of wireless connectivity technologies, ranging from Bluetooth, to the upcoming Wireless
About year ago, the team started looking at WiFi-based wireless devices. With WiFi radios going into almost every conceivable device type, this meant you could buy a printer, get it on your home or office network, and put the printer anywhere your network reaches,
and voila, you have wireless printing! Well, not quite. There was a lot of pain in doing so and most users would probably not be able to figure out -- only serious networking gurus could manage. So, the team set off to make networked devices super easy, super
secure, and, like with USB, a Plug-and-Play experience.
Kosar's team recently put together a demo of one of the first integrated Plug-and-Play wireless networked printers along with HP. This printer uses some really neat advanced Web Services protocols under the covers to solve some of the difficult problems around
device discovery. The spec for WS-Discovery, the protocol that the printer uses, is up on MSDN under the Web Services area.
This demo shows the first step of finding and binding to the device. In Longhorn this will get a lot more seamless and will ultimately make it super easy to deploy networked devices in the home or in the office. The team is way past this now -- this video was
shot back in April, so watch Channel 9 for more videos about the APIs and Protocols that will make it easy for developers to build & use networked devices.
Interested in more info on network connected devices? Send email to
or visit the URLs in the video, particularly: www.microsoft.com/winhec