Microsoft confirms USB 3.0 support for Windows 8

As we get closer to Microsoft's BUILD conference in mid-September, the company is revealing more tidbits about Windows 8. Today the official Windows 8 blog site has confirmed that the operating system will include native support for the USB 3.0 standard. The new version of the Universal Serial Bus port is only just beginning to appear with new PC desktops and laptops but Microsoft says that by 2015 all new PCs will have USB 3.0 ports.

Data transfer speeds over the new standard are supposed to be 10 times faster than the current USB 2.0 ports. For example, Microsoft said that a USB 3.0 based storage devices should be able to transfer a high-def movie to a PC via a USB 3.0 port in just 80 seconds. That same file would take 15 minutes to transfer via a USB 2.0 port. USB 3.0 also provides 80 percent more power than USB 2.0 ports

In programming Windows 8, Microsoft said, "Our design had to follow the revised 3.0 specification precisely in order to enable emerging USB 3.0 hardware. There are also billions of older USB devices that Windows must remain compatible with." Microsoft created a new USB software stack for Windows 8 from scratch while keeping the older software stacks that will work with the older USB ports. Microsoft says, "We decided to start before there were any USB 3.0 devices by building 'virtual' devices. Virtual devices are software representations of real, physical USB hardware: the ports, the hubs, and other devices."

The blog added, "We also made a heavy investment in building a custom tool - the Microsoft USB Test Tool (MUTT) to simulate a full range of device behaviors that we’d observed over the years." Microsoft shared this new software tool with third party hardware makers and "[...] they’ve used it to find and correct problems in their devices before releasing."

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I hope you noticed that he hinted at updated user interface?


If you're like me when looking at the video, you might think that those file copy progress indicators are looking a bit dated…stay tuned.

Already impressed with USB 3 speed transfer on Windows 7 so any further optimizations are welcomed Can't wait to play around with the build version

:: Lyon :: said,
Already impressed with USB 3 speed transfer on Windows 7 so any further optimizations are welcomed Can't wait to play around with the build version

Me too. I just hope they release some bits at BUILD.

Their is a massive boom in USB 3.0 market for this year and the next, according to Sinofsky's blog. Their support must be the thing, behind all this momentum.

tiagosilva29 said,
Linux has a USB3.0 stack as of the past 2 years, if I'm not mistaken.
Good news for your users, Microsoft.

Troll much? Windows users have been able to use USB3.0 for just as long, what this talks about is MS building that functionality in rather than a user having to install a 3rd party driver

tiagosilva29 said,
Linux has a USB3.0 stack as of the past 2 years, if I'm not mistaken.
Good news for your users, Microsoft.

Windows drivers for USB 3.0 has been available from the device manufacturers since release.

Sraf said,
Troll much? Windows users have been able to use USB3.0 for just as long, what this talks about is MS building that functionality in rather than a user having to install a 3rd party driver

Indeed, have a couple external 3.0 SSD's laying around that have been working just fine for a while now, both Windows and BSD. If one's going to troll, they should at least hit up Bing and check the facts first. They're just not built in yet.

tiagosilva29 said,
Linux has a USB3.0 stack as of the past 2 years, if I'm not mistaken.
Good news for your users, Microsoft.

That's nice. Glad you're enjoying Linux so much you had to share that with us.

Sraf said,
Troll much? Windows users have been able to use USB3.0 for just as long, what this talks about is MS building that functionality in rather than a user having to install a 3rd party driver

I was not trolling. I was congratulating Microsoft for the reasons you mentioned... Sigh, why such blind hate?

Sraf said,
Troll much? Windows users have been able to use USB3.0 for just as long, what this talks about is MS building that functionality in rather than a user having to install a 3rd party driver

I was not trolling. I was congratulating Microsoft for the reasons you mentioned... Sigh, why such blind hate?

Jen Smith said,
Indeed, have a couple external 3.0 SSD's laying around that have been working just fine for a while now, both Windows and BSD. If one's going to troll, they should at least hit up Bing and check the facts first. They're just not built in yet.
My facts are correct.
Linux then BSD (apparently, unless you're running as 2.0?) had a native USB3.0 stack for a while. Windows users depended on 3rd party drivers (when available, obviously). I congratulate on doing a good thing for its users and then get jumped on. Are you people mad?

tiagosilva29 said,
I congratulate on doing a good thing for its users and then get jumped on. Are you people mad?

Not in the least.. just wondering what the point of your post was, it comes off as implying that Windows couldn't handle 3.0 when in fact it could, for the past two years as well oddly enough. (And yes, BSD too, altho not as long) So what they're "third party", which isn't technically accurate as the drivers I'm using are made by the people who built the device in the first place.

Jen Smith said,
it comes off as implying that Windows couldn't handle 3.0 when in fact it could, for the past two years as well oddly enough.

No, it didn't imply any thing. You people are the ones implying that it implies. Jeez...

tiagosilva29 said,
Nope. You need to study logic.

And you need to study common sense. First thing out of your mouth was "gee Linux had it two years ago", and judging by your post history.. yea. Nice try.

Andre said,
So what they are saying is that USB 3.0 doesn't work in Windows 7 yet?

No. USB3 works in 7 just fine. However, you need to install third party drivers. According to this article, Windows 8 will contain official drivers from MS, eliminating the need for the third party ones.

Andre said,
So what they are saying is that USB 3.0 doesn't work in Windows 7 yet?

Not out of the box it won't you need to install 3rd party drivers to support USB 3 features.

Andre said,
So what they are saying is that USB 3.0 doesn't work in Windows 7 yet?

ehmm they do? i have my Asus motherboard with usb 3.0 support =_= of course you need to install drivers for it... the point its windows 8 will have it built in, so you wouldn't need to install drivers.

so it just means it works but installing drivers. not that it isn't working at all.

Microsoft said that a USB 3.0 based storage devices should be able to transfer a high-def movie to a PC via a USB 3.0 port in just 80 seconds

I'll get my coat. Mine's the one with that portable Velociraptor in the pocket.

USB3 should've been there on Win7 itself! Take a look at USB3's date of release and compare it with the team work of OS programmers and hardware manufacturers Licenses and Patents will never let OS grow properly in the US now Good companies like Samsung will always get sued by existing law monsters like Apple etc. Galaxy S2 is already out in middle east for xp sake! Continue to rip meat from each other and alienate world

JunkMail said,
USB3 should've been there on Win7 itself! Take a look at USB3's date of release and compare it with the team work of OS programmers and hardware manufacturers Licenses and Patents will never let OS grow properly in the US now Good companies like Samsung will always get sued by existing law monsters like Apple etc. Galaxy S2 is already out in middle east for xp sake! Continue to rip meat from each other and alienate world

Samsung? Apple? Huh?

Shadrack said,
That's nice. What about Thunderbolt?

I doubt it, since it will not likely be as widespread. It's not that it won't work, but the OEMs will have to supply their own full drivers rather than using a standard set from MS. Basically the same as USB3.0 in Windows 7

Shadrack said,
That's nice. What about Thunderbolt?

I don't see why they wouldn't frankly. And yet, I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't.

Sraf said,

I doubt it, since it will not likely be as widespread. It's not that it won't work, but the OEMs will have to supply their own full drivers rather than using a standard set from MS. Basically the same as USB3.0 in Windows 7

When I build my next Windows desktop, I'm going to make sure it has Thunderbolt. With USB 3.0, we basically are going to have faster external drives. With Thunderbolt we will have a whole new line of peripherals. I see much more flexibility in Thunderbolt than USB 3.0. Both should be included with new systems just like how Firewire and USB are currently standard in most systems.

Thunderbolt is basically a PCIe + displayport connector... you don't even need drivers for it.

You are almost right with your point. If your device is connected while Windows boots up, it will be recognized. But hot swapping devices will need to be supported by the OS.