Microsoft has revealed the plans to fully support USB 3.0 in Windows 8 with backward compatibility for the old USB standards as well.
In Building robust USB 3.0 support article — the third in the new blog Building Windows 8 –, the software giant announced the support for the new Universal Serial Bus standard. Steven Sinofsky, Windows chief, has confirmed that Microsoft has created a new software stack for USB 3.0.
Explaining how the company made the bet on creating the software from the ground up and not just simply write a new update, Windows chief said in the blog: “Don’t jump in. Instead, meticulously design a new USB software stack for the new controller while maintaining existing interfaces and behaviors, ensuring every device and driver will work. For older controllers, we retained our existing software stack.”
In preparation for USB 3.0 support, the software maker also created a custom tool to simulate a large list of different USB devices called Microsoft USB Test Tool or MUTT for short, which essentially is a collection of 1,000 unique devices, all in one USB thumb drive for testing purposes.
There is not doubt that USB is the most popular form of computer connectivity in the world, you can find almost any kind of peripherals that support it, e.g., mice, keyboard, web cams, microphones, phones, speakers, monitors, and the list goes on and on… While USB 2.0 offered a much greater speed from USB 1.x, now version 3.0 offers support transmission speeds of up to 5Gbit/s, about 10x faster than the today standard USB 2.0 with a throughput speed of 480Mbit/s. Also there are improvements in power management which it gets translated in longer battery life for notebooks and less power consumption for desktop computers.
“Most importantly, the specification promises to enable a new generation of USB while maintaining compatibility with full, low, and high speed devices. Even the plugs are backwards compatible.” Sinofsky said.
To have a better understanding on how USB 3.0 works, Microsoft released a new Windows 8 video demonstrating this new technology using the new and the good old standard. Watch it and let us know what you think in the comments: