Some interesting revelations were made this week at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2008, which point to just how powerful USB 3.0 technology is going to be.

At the conference, USB-IF President Jeff Ravencraft let slip some details on the download speeds that we can expect from the technology.

In his speech he announced that USB 3.0 will be able to hit transfer times of around 25GB a minute – which equates to around 250 music albums a minute, or if you're a movie buff around 50 full-length films.

To put this into context: if you were to download 25GB of info via USB 1.1, you would be looking at a time of 9.3 hours; on USB 2.0, it would take about 14 minutes.

Compatible with Vista

It was also revealed at the conference that the creators of USB 3.0 (or SuperSpeed USB as it is also known) are still in negotiation to determine what operating systems will get the technology.

Lars Giusti of Microsoft commented: "The Microsoft USB core team is currently evaluating which operating systems we should support USB 3.0 on. It's a difficult decision and a difficult choice because there are all these moving parts," said Giusti.

"Our early indications tell us that most partners think that we should support USB 3.0 on at least Windows Vista."

It is expected that USB3.0 should rear its head late 2009, early 2010.