Windows 10 for phone supports USB Mass Storage, peripherals and hubs

Microsoft has shed more light on what USB scenarios the Windows 10 for Mobile SKU will support during their WinHEC conference in China.

Microsoft has added support for the new USB Type-C standard for Windows 10 for phone, which is not only smaller than Type-A but offers more power and functions. Apple – to cheers and jeers – announced that their new MacBook would sport this (and only this) port in lieu of their mag connector or standard USB port.

Now, it is clear that hardware vendors can not only build Windows Phones with USB Type-C but also enable various device class drivers.

In one of the slides in the presentation, a list of USB Host class drivers is given that are supported in the Windows 10 for Mobile SKU. The drivers include:

  • USB Hubs 
  • Human Interface Device (HID) for keyboard and mice
  • USB Mass Storage 
  • USB Audio in / out 

Additionally, USB Serial Devices, USB Bluetooth, and Generic USB Host Driver are also mentioned. However, it looks like USB driver installation by the user will not be supported.

USB Dual Role is also allowed. This format just means the phone can change between USB Host or USB Device (like when you plug in a video camera to your computer and it gives you options for connecting).

Finally, in an interesting slide from the same presentation, multiple devices are shown as being able to connect to Windows Phone running Windows 10, including an Xbox controller and external display.

We should caution that there is no evidence that proper docking is supported by the Windows 10 for Mobile SKU, as has been rumored. In fact, during a session dedicated to docking in Windows 10, phone was specifically avoided in the discussion for vendors. However, the USB support outlined here goes a long way in delivering something analogous for owners of Windows 10 on the phone.

There is no doubt that being able to connect up USB peripherals to your phone or 7-inch tablet is the dream for mobile enthusiasts. Microsoft looks to be making this a reality when USB Type-C products become more widely available in the second half of 2015 (just in time for that flagship Lumia).

Source: Channel 9

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.