Windows 10 (for phones) to support USB Type C and multiple modes

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At a conference in China, Microsoft has been delivering information about the upcoming Windows 10 to its manufacturing partners and licensees, with some tit-bits about the mobile/phones side of things along the way, including support for USB Type C (you know, the smaller, reversible, Apple Lightning-like one) and various interesting USB modes. See the PowerPoint slide show linked below.

USB Type C, Lightning and microUSB
(USB Type C, Lightning and microUSB, image from ArsTechnica)

USB Type-C was in the news again earlier in the week, of course, because of Apple's focussed support for it in the new Macbook - which should help kick off widespread industry adoption of the standard, even if most companies will hedge their bets and ship both Type-C and traditional USB ports for a while yet. 

In one of the slides in the Channel9 presentation, a list of USB Host class drivers is shown that will be supported in Windows 10 for phones:

  • USB hub 
  • Human Interface Device (HID) for keyboard and mice (following on from the Bluetooth support of the same profile)
  • USB Mass Storage 
  • USB Audio in/out 
  • USB Dual Role (wherein a phone can change between USB Host or USB Device)

USB Type C accessories are already on sale, but we're going to be in something of a transition world* in the next couple of years, plus we'll all need a fair few adapters along the way to keep everything working, but it'll be worth the pain. One connector and cable to rule them all... and Windows 10 (and for phones) will be fully compatible, so no worries on that score.

* PS. also from the ArsTechnica article, this para:

We're fans of the USB Type-C connector and everything that it, USB 3.1, and USB Power Delivery 2.0 bring to the table, but the first stages of the transition are going to be messy. For a couple of years, it's just going to be another connector you have to keep straight, and as someone who already owns a bunch of mini DisplayPort and Thunderbolt dongles I can say I'm not looking forward to buying separate cables and adapters to let my Type-C devices talk to everything else I own. USB Type-C to Type A or B, USB Type-C to DisplayPort and HDMI, and even USB Type-C to VGA or Ethernet cables, adapters, and dongles will all take up residence in that drawer in your desk that's already packed with cables.

Source / Credit: Channel9