Friday, January 25, 2013

Surface and USB devices/printers

A few weeks back I had posted on my experience with Surface and recently I noticed another issue that was also quite disappointing: USB devices (in particular printers) and Windows RT.

For anyone with a Surface (Windows RT), having a USB port would mean that you can use your printer or scanner, but not necessarily! Check this out:

  • First attempt: I went to the manufacturers' sites, but simply there are no drivers compatible with Windows RT. Not a good sign, but not all hopes are lost.
  • Second attempt: I went and plugged my device in to see what would happen. Windows RT detected the device and installed the drivers, so my impression is that everything would worked out. BUT, when you try to scan or print out using your device, the device isn't displayed among the available devices. After going to the desktop control panel, I realized that the device is actually listed, but with a warning sign saying what? That the driver is incompatible with this version of Windows!

On the second point, how does Windows detect and install a device if the driver is not compatible with Windows RT? This is a horrible experience, especially if we're talking about someone who would expect Surface to work seamlessly as another table - not requiring knowledge of how regular Windows works in order to troubleshoot an issue like that.
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