As is becoming the trend, Windows 8 is offering the latest version of USB.
What does USB 3.0 offer, and how important is it in Windows 8? Let’s take a look
USBs are incredibly important for storing and transferring data, because of their mobility and speed. They also remove the need for optical drives, so the integration of USB 3.0 into Windows 8 will be a welcome move.
Windows 8 marks USB 3.0 integration into the OS, providing faster speeds than USB 3.0. The latest version of USB features SuperSpeed, and can move up to 5GBps. USB 2.0 can only move 480MBps. The direct integration into the OS means third-party drivers don’t need to be downloaded, and the USB can be plugged and used immediately. A criticism against Windows has been the user experience is something not entirely consistent, unlike competitors such as Apple.
What’s great about USB 3.0 is that moving files will literally take seconds, even if you’re moving big games such as World of Warcraft which receive constant updates. That’s probably between 20-30GB, so taking around five seconds. Incredible.
In an increasingly digital world, moving content quickly is important. This generation is the first to skip physical copies entirely, so technology has to be able to meet the needs of consumers. And for those song libraries that are ever growing, then USB 3.0 is essential.
When will the technology arrive?
USB 3.0 can also charge external devices faster than USB 2.0. The technology can power down when it’s not being used, helping to extend battery life. I’m charging devices a lot, so USB 3.0 can’t arrive soon enough.
USB 3.0 is also backwards compatible, so that means older USB 2.0 (or even USB 1.0 devices, I guess) will work. Of course that means they’re slower, and for any large media transfers the differences will be felt in newer technology.
In terms of when we can expect to see Windows, well, we don’t really know. The expected release date is around October, pre-iPad rush. Microsoft launched the Consumer Preview earlier this year, and the Release Preview is arriving during the first week of June. That should give us a good idea of the state of Windows 8.