Chapter VIII.2. Using Device Stage

In This Chapter

  • Understanding what Device Stage can — and cannot — do

  • Controlling devices through Device Stage

  • Connecting devices with Bluetooth

If you plug anything into your computer — printer, MP3 player, mobile phone, scanner, whatever — Device Stage can bring order to the chaos that has attended external devices since the dawn of the Windows age.

Before Windows 7, every printer manufacturer, every mobile phone manufacturer, every camera manufacturer had to come up with its own way of interacting with you, and its hardware, on your PC.

The problem doesn't lie so much with the drivers — some manufacturers make good drivers, and others make lousy ones, and that hasn't changed with Windows 7. The problem isn't with the custom applications that manufacturers offer — to retrieve photos from a camera, say, or set scanner preferences or adjust printer settings. (I rarely use a manufacturer's application when a built-in Windows application works just as well.)

Note

The problem is that before Windows 7, every single lousy manufacturer had a completely different way of interacting with you, the user. Some placed pop-up messages or icons in the notification area. Others hooked into the AutoPlay box (see Book VIII, Chapter 1). More than a few expected you to know that you had to run their programs whenever you wanted to get things done.

Device Stage brings some structure to the problem. It isn't perfect — just for starters, each manufacturer has to build its own ...

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