Which peripherals work with Windows RT, Surface RT?

Summary:Will your current mice, keyboards, printers and other peripherals work with PCs and tablets running Windows RT? Here's a site that offers some answers.

Microsoft is slowly but surely filling in answer to the seemingly limitless number of questions about Windows 8 and Windows RT that us pesky journalists, bloggers and users have been asking for years.

win8winrtcompat

The latest answer comes to a question I've posed a number of times: Were there any guidelines to which peripherals would and would not work with Windows RT? I'd been envisioning worst-case scenario ever since I found this disclaimer on the Microsoft Surface Web site: "Surface with Windows RT is compatible with mice, keyboard, printers and other peripherals certified for Windows RT."

Microsoft officials offered some guidance via a post on the Building Windows 8 blog a while back, where they discussed the concept of "class drivers," including the print-class driver for Windows 8 and Windows RT. But the lack of information about peripherals other than printers had me worried.

Today, November 5, I finally found the answer to my Windows RT compatibility question via a link on the Microsoft "You had me at 'Hello World'" blog. That blog had a link to the new and updated Windows Compatibility Center for Windows RT. Via that site, users can enter specific names/brands of mice, keyboards, webcams, printers and a bunch of other devices to check if they will work with Windows RT devices.

At the Windows 8 launch in New York City on October 25, Microsoft Windows President Steven Sinofsky (yes, his official Microsoft bio finally identifies him as the head of the Windows division, and not the Windows and Windows Live Division ) said Windows RT was compatible with 420 million existing hardware devices.

I've found a number of existing peripherals not compatible with Windows RT using Microsoft's Compatibility site. I've also discovered my current HP printer is limitedly compatible, meaning some of its features won't be supported. The accompanying mouse, which is my go-to, also is marked as limitedly compatible, but I've found it to work just fine with the Surface RT, so don't put too much stock in the "limitedly" part, I'd say.

What do you see on the list that concerns you, if anything, early Windows RT, Surface RT adopters?

Topics: ARM, PCs, Tablets, Windows

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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