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.