Microsoft Offers Answers to Peripheral Compatibility Questions for Windows RT

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Up until now, Microsoft has lent little help to consumers trying to find out if their mice, keyboards, printers and other peripherals will play nice with Windows 8 RT and the company’s ARM-based tablet, the Surface RT. Fortunately, an updated compatibility site now has all the answers.

Microsoft Surface RTThose curious about the state of their accessories can find answers on a newly upgraded ‘Windows Compatibility Center for Windows RT‘ site. The website sheds light on the compatibility of specific peripherals, as users can enter the name or brand of webcams, printers, keyboards, mice, and more to check if they will work with Windows RT devices.

Despite Windows President Steven Sinofsky announcing at the Windows 8 launch that Windows RT was compatible with 420 million existing hardware devices, the company only specifically addressed the compatibility of printers in the past, discussing the concept of “class drivers,” including the print-class driver for Windows 8 and Windows RT. Yet, the new site offers some comfort to folks worried about the disclaimer on the Microsoft Surface website that stated “Surface with Windows RT is compatible with mice, keyboard, printers and other peripherals certified for Windows RT”, which seemed to raise the possibility that all previously-released peripherals would not work.

While a number of existing peripherals have since been found unsuited to work with Windows RT according to the Compatibility site, some items are listed as “limitedly compatible,” meaning some features won’t be supported. For the most part, Windows RT should support most basic extras, thanks to its generic drivers written to support whole classes of devices, such as printers, removable storage, input devices and more.

Though if the class driver doesn’t exist for certain items, then those devices won’t be supported. While it is possible that Microsoft will add further peripheral compatibility to Windows RT, only time will tell if the company chooses to do so.

For now, let us know on the TabletPCReview forums whether your peripherals are currently supported for Windows RT!



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