DRESDEN Microsoft Corp. will provide support for the IEEE1394b standard "within a reasonable time" after the launch of Windows Vista, according to a Microsoft Corp. representative who attended the IEEE1394 Trade Association meeting held here last week.
The Widows Vista is the software giant's flagship operating system, whose broad launch is expected in January, 2007.
Microsoft, which already supports IEEE1394a in Windows XP, will extend its support to the 800Mbit/s transfer rates in the IEEE1394b standard.
Although it won't be ready for Vista's initial release, Mark Slezak, program manager, Windows Device Experience Group at Microsoft, said support for 1394b would be available in a service pack, after the release of Windows Vista.
Asked if IEEE1394 might be losing its cachet on the PC market, Microsoft disagreed. Microsoft's support for 1394b is largely driven by its PC OEMs' demand, Slezak stressed. "They are asking a lot of questions about it, and it [1394b] is becoming a check-box item…There is no reason for us not to work with 1394."
The high-speed data transfer rate of 1394b will become crucial, according to Slezak, as the demand for external storage devices goes up. "It's important for high-bandwidth junkies," he said.
While anticipating the growing need for storing high-definition audio/video content in external storage devices, Microsoft is also interested in other potential applications of the 1394 standard, which range from machine vision to professional audio and video equipment, he explained.
For Microsoft to provide "in-box support" – in Vista – for 1394b, Microsoft wants to see further proliferation of the 1394b standard in even faster, specified data rates of 1.6-Gigabits per second and 3.2-Gigabits per second. Other items on Microsoft's wish list are a cheaper bill of materials and smaller pin for 1394b, Slezak added.
Microsoft took a seat in the 1394 Trade Association's board, and Slezak is a director of the board, along with representatives from Apple Computers, Texas Instruments, Samsung and others.