Windows 8 Will Support USB 3.0 & Older USB Iterations, Too

Here's even more on the upcoming Windows 8 OS. In a post on the official Building Windows 8 blog, Dennis Flanagan (Director of Program Management for the Devices and Networking group) assured one and all that Windows 8 will not only support USB 3.0 but will offer backwards compatibility with earlier iterations of the USB standard.

The reasons for including USB 3.0 support are obvious, and it seems like backwards compatibility should be rather simple. Apparently, however, it’s not exactly a cakewalk. From the blog post:

There are also billions of older USB devices that Windows must remain compatible with. How do you write a single piece of software to enable the latest technology on evolving hardware, while making sure it still works with 10 billion existing devices in homes and offices across the world?

Sure, that’s a good point. He also brought up an issue that arose many a year ago, back in 2000 when the USB 2.0 was rolling out. The new host controller was not compatible with older USB devices, which created a mess that wasn’t cleaned up until Microsoft released Windows XP SP1 and added a software fix.


This time around, Microsoft won’t be tempted to design all-new software; instead, it will update its older USB software and add to the stack, thus enabling the new technology while ensuring support for older versions of the USB standard.

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