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-- by Jim Forbes
Just a few months ago, Universal Serial Bus (USB) technology was the hottest thing around. So far, however, the biggest news about the USB is that there's been no news.
Still, things may be changing, albeit slowly. Both Dell and Toshiba are already shipping systems with USB connectors, and despite the slow start, most of the name-brand desktop makers say they will offer USB ports in 1997. The goal is to exploit USB's best feature-the control of multiple devices through one external connection. In addition, USB operates at greater speeds than parallel or serial connections.
Toshiba is the only big-name vendor using USB to full effect now. The PC maker, which has almost completely blurred the distinction between the TV and the PC with its multipurpose Infinia (which began shipping in September), is using USB technology to control a multimedia module in the front of that machine.
Meanwhile, NEC executives say they will add a USB connector to monitors aimed at the business market and consumer models that incorporate Intel's MMX technology. The first such devices from NEC and other companies are expected to appear in the first quarter of 1997.