Microsoft: Windows 8 will have 'robust USB 3.0 support'

By on August 23, 2011, 12:00 PM

Microsoft is offering up a few more details about its next-gen operating system on the recently launched Building Windows 8 blog. Although this is hardly surprising news, according to a post by Dennis Flanagan, Windows 8 is expected to bring native support for USB 3.0 devices while maintaining backwards compatibility to make sure it still works with 10 billion existing devices in homes and offices across the world.

The Director of Program Management for Microsoft's Devices and Networking group goes into excruciating detail on how the company worked to bring USB 3.0 support to Windows 8 -- not before giving us a brief history lesson of the standard.

The short version is that a new USB software stack was designed from the ground up, with work starting even before USB 3.0 devices were available, while keeping the existing software stack to make sure older devices will continue to function. Compatibility tests were conducted after breaking devices into three main categories: by their popularity, the chipset used, and high-profile challenging devices that have been problematic in the past.

USB 3.0 has a theoretical max data transfer speed of 5 Gbps, which is about ten times faster than its predecessor, but also half of what Intel’s new Thunderbolt ports can deliver. However, USB has the upper hand when it comes to adoption.

Whereas Thunderbolt is being used mainly by Apple, and in a more limited fashion by Sony, USB 3.0 is found in a wide range of motherboards and pre-built systems being sold today. "By 2015, all new PCs are expected to offer USB 3.0 ports, and over 2 billion new "SuperSpeed" USB devices will be sold in that year alone," writes Flanagan in his post.




User Comments: 9

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RH00D RH00D said:

I'm glad to see this, hopefully more new technologies get good support in Windows 8. I hope Microsoft will cut loose all the old technologies / software that is holding us back. I want to be in the future, not stuck in the past. *stares at captaincranky*.

Guest said:

So what does this mean? I thought if the mobo and the CPU support native (what does this mean?) USB 3.0, that would be enough.

Does this mean XP, Vista, and Win 7 can't achieve USB 3.0 speeds if the right hardware is there?

Guest said:

.....I don't get it. I am using USB3 now and getting maximum transfer speeds from my mates external SSD

Cota Cota said:

Guest said:

.....I don't get it. I am using USB3 now and getting maximum transfer speeds from my mates external SSD

You don't get it because actually this video makes pretty much no sense, you have USB 3, a SSD and a non nailed PC, wich is all things needed to archive that speed because 7 does gives you max speed transfers.

Im gonna be bastard smiling when people come to me asking me why their USB flash drives dont copy at full speed

1977TA said:

Guest said:

So what does this mean? I thought if the mobo and the CPU support native (what does this mean?) USB 3.0, that would be enough.

Does this mean XP, Vista, and Win 7 can't achieve USB 3.0 speeds if the right hardware is there?

"Native", meaning Win8 won't need third party USB 3.0 drivers ( Like Win7 does now ).

It's fluff is all. Most people in the know install 3rd party drivers anyway to gain the maximum performance, ie: video, sound, network cards, etc...

SammyJames said:

Jeez Louise! The only thing that I care about is whether that stupid "tiles" GUI is going to be a help or a hindrance!

If it lets me use ONLY my ASCII keyboard, then it's a help.

If it lets me use my ASCII keyboard, but forces me to have to use it with a touchscreen, and no mouse support, then it will be a HUGE hindrance.

I wish that they would address that NOW instead of "teasing" us with all of the wonderful possibilites of being able to develop RSIs using their "great" touchscreen capability.

Does anyone here own an HP TouchSmart PC? Well, there ya go...

Guest said:

So as long as the third-party drivers (if any) support a particular OS, I am good to go?

That's a relief. I did not want to buy a tablet OS just to enjoy USB 3.0

RH00D RH00D said:

Guest said:

So as long as the third-party drivers (if any) support a particular OS, I am good to go?

That's a relief. I did not want to buy a tablet OS just to enjoy USB 3.0

Windows 8 is a desktop OS.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

No Windows 8 Metro is desktop, laptops and tablet OS. Should be interesting to see how the newer OS tablet will be. As for USB 3, more like USB 2 just faster if it can happen to be that way. That's a lot of hardware to migrate over too. Since we have USB 1 and USB 2 device in the norm.

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