How does a headphone/microphone combo jack work?

The other day I was looking at the Razer Blade 14" and i noticed that it had a headphone/mic combo jack. Now, I was wondering how did this work:

a) If you plug in a microphone, it will be detected from the laptop and the speakers will work


b) You need to have an audio splitter or a headset with one output

Can you guys explain this to me? It's been bothering me for a while and I'm questioning myself wether or not I should buy it

P.S. Sorry for my bad english, its not my native language.
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More about headphone microphone combo jack work

    this isn't exactly your plug but it will work. working from the back of the plug mic positive, isolator, headphone positive right, isolator, headphone positive left, isolator, headphone/mic negative.

    some audio jacks now have a sense function and will try and figure out what got plugged in. but they wont be able to do and output and input at the same time, they do make a splitter so you can split the one jack into a headphone and a mic
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