Inside Windows 8.1: File and printer sharing protocol

While browsing Windows Features applet in Windows 8.1 Preview’s Control Panel, a new “feature” caught my attention: SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support. For those who know what it is, it bears a very clear message. Those who do not, however, might want to read on and find out.

A dialog box whose title reads "Windows Features". List a lot of items, including "SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support"

Windows 8.1 Preview – Features applet contains SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support

Server Message Block (SMB), also known as Common Internet File System (CIFS) is the name of the protocol through which a Windows computer shares files and printers with another Windows computer. This protocol has been around even before Windows came to being. Microsoft introduced SMB 2.0 in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. SMB 3.0 came in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.

But why all these important? I’d like to answer this question with another question: What happens if the next version of Windows does not support SMB 1.0? Well, for one thing, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 will not be able to exchange files and printers with the new OS; at least not without a third-party update. Microsoft has already announced a retirement date of April 2014 for Windows XP after which it will not have any updates, security or otherwise.

So, a warning for those who are still using Windows XP: Time to move on draws close very fast.


Posted on 27 July 2013, in Software Review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thanks, I spend hours searching why my new machine wasn’t able to connect to Windows 2003 Server and other machine with upgraded Windows 8.1 were able to connect.

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