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."