Comparing Applications between IrDA and Bluetooth
First, regarding the application of data interchange, IrDA (with its point-to-point exchange of data) is better suited for the task than Bluetooth. Both protocols share the same upper-layer protocol for enabling communication, which is the OBEX standard. The short-range aspects of IrDA, with the relative tight cone of transmission, favor this wireless technology over Bluetooth for simple data interface. Conversely, in broader, more one-to-many transmission scenarios, Bluetooth is the best bet because it can simultaneously handle the transmission of a single message to many recipients. When the transmission needs to be through solid objectives and the creation of a piconet, Bluetooth is the best choice. For laptops running Windows XP Professional, IrDA is the better choice. The default wireless configuration in Windows XP Professional reflects Microsoft's bias toward a point-to-point scenario of sharing data wirelessly.
Second, when comparing both Bluetooth and IrDA for LAN access, it's clear that the capability to not have line-of-sight access to a LAN connection is preferable for ease of configuration. In this area, Bluetooth is the preferable technology because it provides the greater level of flexibilityit supports up to eight compatible devices in its own network configuration, or piconet.