Windows 8 to bring USB 3.0 to the masses

Windows 8 to bring USB 3.0 to the masses

Summary: Windows 8 will be ready to handle USB 3.0.


Microsoft gives us confirmation that Windows 8 will natively support the USB 3.0, bringing SuperSpeed USB to the masses.

Note: Why is USB 3.0 a big deal? Because it offers greater speed compared to USB 2.0 (up to 5 Gbit/s, or 10 times faster than USB 2.0) and also because it is more energy efficient and promises greater battery life for portable devices.

In a post written over on Building Windows 8, Dennis Flanagan, the Director of Program Management for the Devices and Networking group, goes all fanboy over USB, and starts off by gives us a brief history lesson of the standard before going on to explain (in painstaking detail) how Microsoft worked to bring USB 3.0 support to Windows 8.

Did anyone really expect that Windows 8 wouldn't support USB 3.0? Probably, you can find people out there who will believe anything, but for me, USB 3.0 support is a no-brainer. Why is it a no-brainer? Because as Flanagan points out, USB 3.0 is going to be big. By 2015 all PCs sold will have USB 3.0 ports, and there will be some 2 billion USB 3.0 devices sold that year. That's a LOT of USB ports and devices to support!

If you want to geek out over USB, go check out the post. It's packed with cool USB facts. For example, did you know that over 90% of devices rely on the 16 built-in class drivers in Windows.

What about native support for Windows 7? There's no mention of that, but my guess is that it's coming as part of a future service pack.

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Topics: Windows, Hardware, Operating Systems, Software

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  • Windows 7 is a defacto standard

    They better support. The fact that Microsoft said that the future will consist of a dual Windows 7/8 future, Microsoft will need to show compatibility love to Windows 7. Besides, a report recently described Windows 7 as the last release of Windows to be deployed on mass.
    • RE: Windows 8 to bring USB 3.0 to the masses


      The way tech pundits are nowadays, I thought Windows XP was the defacto standard? Where are all the XP hold-outs begging and moaning for USB3 support? Or did they all upgrade finally?

      All kidding aside, I think you'll see support for Windows 7 for a long time. Just relax, and wait to see what Service Pack 2 will bring.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Windows 8 to bring USB 3.0 to the masses

        @Cylon Centurion <br><br>You can get it for XP SP3 if you have the right hardware. A simple search turns up a host of hardware with third-party XP SP3 drivers that support USB 3.0.<br><br>The article was about native support.
      • RE: Windows 8 to bring USB 3.0 to the masses


        While the article itself may have been about native support, the title of the article is "Windows 8 to bring USB 3.0 to the masses". Which, as you point out, isn't really true. Any one who has USB 3.0 hardware can get 3.0 drivers.
  • RE: Windows 8 to bring USB 3.0 to the masses

    This is hardly surprising. I'd be more shocked to find out Windows 8 WON'T support USB 3.0
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • RE: Windows 8 to bring USB 3.0 to the masses

    I don't get it. Doesn't Windows 7 already provide support for USB 3? Or was that support provided by a third-party driver? I have a feeling that this piece of news isn't news worthy at all.
    • Message has been deleted.

    • RE: Windows 8 to bring USB 3.0 to the masses

      @AhmedEltawil<br><br>I, too thought that Windows 7 natively supported USB 3.0. I've noticed what seems to be some gliches though when using a 3.0 capable flash drive though.
  • Who cares!!!!

    Thunderbolt is already on Macs. Thunderbolt IO > USB 3.0 by far! You can't daisy chain USB and it doesn't have as much bandwidth!
    • Legacy market?

      @MSFTWorshipper Where will the replacement of all USB3 ports with Thunderbolt leave old USB devices?
      Federico Churca-Torrusio
  • RE: Windows 8 to bring USB 3.0 to the masses

    Just as a comment, in an effort to further the dialog, it is not such a no brainer to backport the USB work to Windows 7. In addition to the technical challenges, as a practical matter a strong majority of existing Windows 7 machines won't have the ability to have the hardware because they are closed case laptops or they are slim form factor desktops without expansion. So this support would only be for desktop machines and only then for folks that upgrade their desktop machines with expansion boards. That becomes a relatively small addressable community.

    I'm not saying that community would not value it, but when work is connected to hardware it is worth looking at the number of customers you can possibly positively impact with the effort (assuming it can be done technically).

    --Steven Sinofsky