Windows 8 to support USB 3.0 and all previous USB devices

usb-3-0-market-forecast-microsoft

Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky has been busy lately updating the new Windows 8 blog. A few days ago, he revealed the entire list of Windows 8 feature teams and now he’s decided to detail out the upcoming operating system’s USB 3.0 support. In a blog post, he reveals that, as expected, Windows 8 will be compatible with USB 3.0, the next generation of USB port, and the more than “10 billion” USB devices around the world. 

Unfortunately, USB 3.0 comes with its own set of challenges. To maintain support for USB 2.0 and 1.0 devices, Microsoft has had to combine their compatibility software from Windows 95 through Windows 7 with a completely new program for USB 3.0 devices. The task wasn’t easy. If you don’t believe us, check out the flow chart behind these two Windows architects, Randy Aull and Vivek Gupta.

usb-3-0-flow-chart

 The team is testing more than 1,000 physical devices and many more using software. If they’ve done their job right, when you plug in a USB device into your Windows 8 machine, it will just work. 

USB 3.0 has a theoretical max data transfer speed of 5 Gbps. This half the 10 Gbps max speed of Intel’s new Thunderbolt ports, which Apple has been adopting at breakneck speed, but it’s still a big leap from what we’ve been living with for 11 years, the 480 Mbps max speed of USB 2.0. At the end of the video, Microsoft also shows a Windows 8 computer (in compatibility mode) transferring an HD movie at USB 3.0 speeds. Microsoft claims that you can transfer a full HD movie in about 80 seconds, much better than the 15 minutes it would take on USB 2.0.

Sinofsky reiterates how big a focus Microsoft is making on backward compatibility with this version of Windows. While Windows has always focused on backward compatibility, it’s likely that the Redmond giant sees its historical dominance as a way to leverage any weary users to try out Windows 8, despite its innovative new interface. We look forward to learning more, but we do hope that it’s possible to transfer files to USB without having to leave the new Windows 8 interface. The more Microsoft relies on its old Windows 7 design, the weaker its Windows 8 foundation becomes. 

Product Review

The Xperia 10 Plus feels great in your hand, but you'll still want to put it down

There has never been a better time to buy a smartphone with an unusual design, and one of the cheaper models out there vying for your attention is the Sony Xperia 10 Plus, with its 21:9 aspect ratio screen.
Computing

Former student uses USB Killer device to fry $58,000 worth of college’s PCs

A former student used a USB Killer device to short circuit more than $58,000 of computers at a private New York college earlier this year. The student pled guilty to the charges and sentencing is scheduled to begin in August.
Computing

Microsoft reveals details of Surface Hub 2S, coming in June at $9,000

The Surface Hub 2 could be the most expensive whiteboard ever made, but it should be a powerful and capable one. With the ability to connect several of the 50-inch displays together, the picture at least, should be gorgeous.
Gaming

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?
Computing

AMD Ryzen CPU prices get slashed ahead of Ryzen 3000 release

AMD's Ryzen CPUs have had their prices slashed as we edge towards the release of their third generation. Whether you're a gamer or someone who needs multi-threaded performance, there's a deal for everyone with some heavy discounts to take…
Computing

The number pad on HP’s Chromebook 15 makes spreadsheet work a breeze

HP's Chromebook 15 comes with a 15.6-inch display, a metal keyboard deck with full-size keys, and a dedicated number pad, making it the second Chromebook model, following Acer's Chromebook 715, to be suited for spreadsheet work.
Computing

AMD’s 2020 Ryzen CPUs could have a big boost in power efficiency

The sequel to AMD's Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 CPUs is slated for a 2020 release and when it arrives, could leverage the new Zen 3 architecture to deliver impressive gains to performance and power efficiency.
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
Computing

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.
Computing

Here's how you can download the best free music players for your Mac

Tired of your Mac's default music player? Take a look at our picks for the best free music players available for your Apple rig. Whether you're a casual listener or an audiophile, you're sure to find something that fits your needs here.
Computing

Want to make calls across the internet for less? Try these great VOIP services

Voice over IP services are getting more and more popular, but there are still a few that stand above the pack. In this guide, we'll give you a few options for the best VOIP services for home and business users.
Gaming

Transform into the ultimate leader with our tips and tricks for Civilization 6

Civilization VI offers both series veterans and total newcomers a lot to chew on from the get-go. Here are some essential starting tips to help you master the game's many intricacies.
Computing

The iPhone’s Screen Time and Siri Shortcuts could land on Macs this year

For its desktop computers, it appears that Apple may continue to draw from the iPhone for inspiration. iOS 12 features, like Screen Time and Siri Shortcuts, are believed to be making their way to MacOS this year at WWDC in June.
Computing

Dell slashes prices of XPS 13 and Alienware 17 laptops in latest promo

Dell's latest promotion will score you big savings on the XPS 13 or the Alienware 17. The stylish XPS 13's discount is for $430, and only the rose gold model is on sale, while gamers who choose the Alienware 17 will save $860.