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Shocker: Windows 8 to Support USB 3.0

The other day, I wrote a tweet in which I jokingly referenced an imaginary tech headline: “Microsoft Confirms Networking to Be a Windows 8 Feature." It was supposed to be funny. Until today. When Microsoft confirmed that USB 3.0 would be a Windows 8 feature.

Yes, really.

In a new post to the suddenly bursting Building Windows 8 Blog, Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky revealed that the next Windows will natively support USB 3.0. “With throughput up to 10 times faster than USB 2.0 and improved power management that results in longer battery life, USB 3.0 introduces compelling reasons to improve the world’s most popular PC interface,” he wrote. “By 2015, all new PCs are expected to offer USB 3.0 ports, and over 2 billion new "SuperSpeed" USB devices will be sold in that year alone.”

Charts and graphs ensue. As does a history of USB. And even a little video.

But the real point here, I guess, is that it’s too soon to reveal anything truly dramatic about Windows 8. After all, that will happen next month at build. So in these days leading up to that show, we’re left with this kind of thing. Sorry.

“The decision to invest in USB 3.0 was an easy one to make, but doing so without compromising the existing USB ecosystem was a big challenge to overcome,” Sinofsky explains. “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.”

And if you think this is unexciting, I’d also point out that USB 3.0 is one thing Apple doesn’t support: Even its newest Macs are still saddled with positively ancient USB 2.0 ports. I mean, the horror.

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