For the past several months, the only way to get a PC or notebook with the fast Thunderbolt port was to buy a product from Apple. That will be changing in the coming months. Infoworld reports that Thunderbolt's owners Intel have announced that the port will be a part of Windows-based PCs starting sometime in 2012. Acer and Asus will be the first PC makers that will provide the Thunderbolt port on their products.
Thunderbolt was first announced back in February and allows for data transfers at speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second. The port was first made available on Apple's MacBook Pro notebooks and has since been used on other Apple PCs. However Intel owns the trademark and had always planned to expand the reach of the port technology to other products. Today at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Intel had a onstage demo that showed Thunderbolt could transfer a video from a solid state drive to a PC at speeds of 700 megabytes a second.
The Thunderbolt port will likely compete for PC space with USB 3.0, the latest version of the Universal Serial Bus port technology that is just beginning to find a way into new PCs. While USB 3.0 has data transfer speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second it is also backwards compatible with all of the older USB 2.0 devices that have been released. Microsoft also announced that its upcoming Windows 8 operating system will natively support USB 3.0.