Microsoft has announced that its upcoming operating system, Windows 8, will feature native USB 3.0 support, something that has required separate drivers until this point.
In a 'Building Windows 8' blog post, Dennis Flanagan, director of program management for the devices and networking group, detailed the company's efforts to make Windows 8 compatible with new superfast devices.
Delivering a theoretical top transfer speed of 5Gbps, USB 3.0 has proved a challenge for Microsoft, and the company has gone back to the drawing board and created an entirely new software stack for the interface.
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To tackle the problem, Flanagan and his team created "virtual" USB 3.0 devices. From here, a custom tool, known as Zing, was used to validate drivers and run tests.
Dastardly and MUTTley
Given the huge number of different USB 3.0 devices (roughly 1,000 according to Flanagan), the team created the Microsoft USB Test Tool (MUTT) to simulate multiple devices from a single USB thumb drive.
This solved the problem of devices' varying hardware, but according to Flanagan, "Just like humans, devices that appear very different on the outside are pretty similar on the inside."