Wireless Communications and Windows
Updated: December 23, 2002
Microsoft and the hardware industry continue to work together to expand and deepen the promise of wireless. The goal for wireless networking is to deliver full mobility with seamless roaming between networks, smarter applications and services, simple ad-hoc connections, and secure access to network resources and services.
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Scenarios to Design For
Scenarios to Design For
Microsoft is striving to make certain key user scenarios possible in its operating systems, services, and applications.
Basic Wireless Networking Terms
Technical Directions for Wireless Communications
Eliminate the need for manual configuration of network devices.
Design Wireless Access Points for Zero Configuration
Currently, wireless access points are extremely difficult for end users to set up, which is a substantial barrier to widespread adoption of wireless networking in the home environment.
Design edge devices for zero-configuration to provide Plug and Play broadband networking solutions that work with simple low-cost gateways.
Take Advantage of RNDIS Drivers for Windows Platforms
Wired and wireless net-based devices that implement RNDIS are also easier to design and manufacture than devices for other networking architectures:
RNDIS drivers are available for Windows platforms where the operating system supports a particular bus technology and there is sufficient demand for network devices on a particular bus.
Implement Standards-based Infrastructures for Zero Configuration for WWAN
The following are essential components of zero configuration for WWAN:
Support Universal Plug and Play as the Standard Communications Protocol for Electronics Devices in the Home
A UPnP-enabled PC can control and monitor Universal Plug and Play devices in the home and act as a gateway for Internet services to these devices, making possible scenarios such as the following:
The PC as the Preferred Mobile Device
Eliminate barriers to worldwide roaming.
Widespread Deployment of 802.11
Successful expansion of 802.11 depends on the following:
Implement Universal Plug and Play and IPv6 to Support Ad Hoc Synchronization
Solutions for Bluetooth wireless technology that are based on Universal Plug and Play and IPv6 support ad hoc synchronization for data:
Windows and PC Wireless Support
The PC remains the most abundant source of personal data, and the valuable hub in a home or business network. Windows support for wireless technology is key to the usability of wireless technologies.
Windows XP builds on Windows 2000 security, networking, and Plug and Play capabilities with the features listed in this section.
Windows XP Automatic Network Detection, Identification, and Selection
Media sense is wireless aware, with capabilities enhanced by these new features:
Windows XP Remote NDIS Support
Windows XP Zero-Configuration IEEE 802.11
Windows XP Security Improvements for Wireless LANs
Network Location API
Windows XP Digest Access Authentication
Windows 2000 Support for Wireless
Windows and Wireless for Handheld and Embedded Devices
Windows CE .NET
New technology support in Windows CE .NET ensures great support for creating wireless handheld devices. For example:
Windows CE .NET, with support for technologies such as NDIS (dynamic binding), Plug and Play, Internet Connection Sharing, Point to Point Protocol (PPP), virtual private networking (VPN), and configuration options for TCP/IP, enables devices to access or receive data any time, anywhere.
Support for short-range connectivity in Windows CE .NET includes Bluetooth and IrDA. Windows CE. NET uses these protocols to provide dial-up networking and data exchange support through OBEX. The services are also exposed through Winsock and Serial APIs that allow applications to take advantage of these wireless protocols.
Wireless LAN support in Windows CE .NET includes NDIS miniport drivers for popular IEEE 802.11b (Wi-Fi) adapters, enhanced security through 802.1x, and Zero Configuration to make configuring 802.11b easy for users.
Wireless WAN support such as GPRS or CDMA can be implemented through one of the following models in Windows CE .NET:
Windows CE .NET network drivers are written under NDIS, which is largely based on the same specification as Windows XP. Porting existing drivers from the desktop operating system is extremely easy.
Microsoft Windows XP Embedded
Mobile Terminal Server Client (Windows and Windows CE)
Industry Standards and Windows
Information about the key wireless standards where Microsoft is investing resources
Two competing proposed standards, IEEE 802.11a and HiperLAN2, are being developed for higher-frequency wireless networking. Issues to be addressed:
Windows XP includes changes to support functionality in NDIS miniport drivers for IEEE 802.11.
Bluetooth Wireless Technology
Resources and Call to Action