USB 1.1 = USB 2.0?

A warning to anyone purchasing USB devices in the future: the people behind the USB standard have decided that vendors can now call USB 1.1 ports USB 2.0 ports.

Additionally, USB 1.1 devices can be marketed as “Full-Speed USB” or just “USB”, and USB 2.0 devices as “Hi-Speed USB”. And since USB 1.1 devices can work on USB 2.0 ports and vice-versa, just at a lower rate of speed, vendors are allowed to market USB 1.1 devices and ports as “Compatible with the USB 2.0 Specification” or “Works with USB and Hi-Speed USB systems, peripherals and cables”. Pretty shady stuff. So, the next time you’re buying a USB device, make sure it says “Hi-Speed USB” without words like “compatible”, “compliant” or “works with”. Oh, and if you do buy a “USB” device instead of a “Hi-Speed USB” device, you might be getting a low-speed USB device, since both low- and full-speed can be marketed as “USB”.

Seems this change was brought on by consumers demanding USB 2.0 devices and shunning older USB 1.1 devices. Imagine the nerve of us consumers, demanding good stuff!

Of course, the USB people [USB.org] claim the change will clear up customer confusion. If that was really their purpose, they should have used names the general populace understands. Names like “Super-Size USB”, “Ultra-Absorbent USB (with Wings)” and “Axis-of-Evil USB”.

What I want to know is what they’re going to do when they come out with the USB 3.0 specification. Call it “Really-Hi-Speed USB”?

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