updated 12:00 am EDT, Tue August 23, 2011
Software stack aims to maintain compatibility
Microsoft has finally demonstrated USB 3.0 compatibility for Windows 8. In the company's engineering blog, Windows team leader Steven Sinofsky pointed out the challenges in adopting the new standard without compromising compatibility with existing hardware and software built for the USB 2.0 protocol. The company worked to design a new USB software stack for the new controller, while retaining the existing software stack for older controllers.
"Perhaps the most important aspect of USB 3.0 is the expectation that customers have of USB: it's just USB3 so it should just work, right? Each and every USB device, low, full, high, and SuperSpeed, has to work in Windows 8," Sinofsky wrote. "That's our focus while also delivering the most robust and reliable USB stack."
USB 3.0 supports data transfer rates of up to 5 Gigabits per second, a significant jump over USB 2.0 speeds that peak at 480 Megabits per second.
Microsoft is expected to release a Windows 8 developer preview sometime next month, however the company has yet to announce a specific launch date or other details surrounding the upcoming OS. [via WinRumors]