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Windows 8 team talks USB 3.0 support & improving copy management

Posted at 25 August 2011 13:00 CEST by Justin_Massoud

Windows 8’s development barrels along. The company recently revealed that app store support was in and pulled the curtain back on numerous feature teams. This week, Stephen Sinofsky, president of Windows Live and lead blogger at the Building Windows 8 blog, handed the metaphorical mic to two members of said teams to discuss USB 3.0 support and the platform’s improved file management system.

Since it’s already a mainstay of computer hardware and Internet-ready devices, investing in advanced USB technology was a no-brainer explained Dennis Flanagan, director of program management for the Windows 8 Devices and Networking group. Future propagation of USB 3.0, which transmits data 10 times faster than the previous iteration, into more computers means Microsoft’s next platform needs to address both the past and future.

“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,” wrote Flanagan. “There are also billions of older USB devices that Windows must remain compatible with. This commitment to compatibility remains a high priority for Windows 8 across the whole product.”

To address the burgeoning USB 3.0 model, Flanagan explained that the Windows team jumped ahead of the crowd by creating software representations of the new hardware before it was even available. It was only after work had started on the new iteration’s virtual form that the group received a host controller. “If we waited for hardware to be available,” opined Flanagan, “we would be too late to support the budding USB 3.0 ecosystem.”

Another issue the company promised to tackle with Windows 8 is the file management system from Windows 7 – something even Alex Simons, director of program management with the Windows 8 engineering team, admitted was cumbersome.

“There are some pretty cluttered and confusing parts of the Windows 7 copy experience. This is particularly true when people need to deal with files and folders that have the same file names, in what we call file name collisions,” wrote Simons. “We clearly have an opportunity to make some improvements in the experience of high-volume copying, in dealing with file name collisions, and in assuring the successful completion of copy jobs.”

Simons described three specific goals for what the new system should do: 1) Create one unified experience for managing and monitoring ongoing copy operations; 2) remove distractions and give people the key information they need; 3) put people in control of their copy operations. The Windows 8 team took the following steps to meet those goals:

First, we’ve consolidated the copy experience. You can now review and control all the Explorer copy jobs currently executing in one combined UI. Windows 8 presents all pending copy jobs in this single dialog, saving you from having to navigate through multiple floating dialogs looking for the one you need. Next, we’ve added the ability to pause, resume, and stop each copy operation currently underway. This gives you control over which copy jobs will complete first. You can also click any of the source or destination folders while the copy operation is taking place and open up those folders. To support this new ability to prioritize and decide, we’ve added a detailed view with a real-time throughput graph. Now each copy job shows the speed of data transfer, the transfer rate trend, and how much data in left to transfer. While this is not designed for benchmarking, in many cases it can provide a quick and easy way to assess what is going on for a particular job.

Lastly, Simons announced that many “annoying, redundant” confirmation boxes users complained about have been axed “to create a quieter, less distracting experience.”

How does Windows 8 sound so far? Share your hopes and fears in the comment section.

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There are 10 comments

debro
Blown to smitherines
Posted on: 25 Aug 11 14:29
    Sounds like linux.
    Seán
    Senior Administrator & Reviewer
    Posted on: 25 Aug 11 15:02
      Do they really need a whole new OS version for this?

      USB3.0 support : New driver
      Copy management : Patch

      Deliver both via Windows update.
      BradWright
      MyCE Member
      Posted on: 25 Aug 11 19:23
        Quote:
        Originally Posted by Seán
        Do they really need a whole new OS version for this?

        USB3.0 support : New driver
        Copy management : Patch

        Deliver both via Windows update.
        It would seem you're not quite seeing the whole picture.
        alan1476
        Senior Moderator, Software Editor and Head of Promotions
        Posted on: 25 Aug 11 20:14
          Google is working on a free Operating System that will " supposedly" blow any Windows OS away. Free mind you.
          ilnot1
          MyCE Junior Member
          Posted on: 25 Aug 11 20:42
            Quote:
            Originally Posted by alan1476
            Google is working on a free Operating System that will " supposedly" blow any Windows OS away. Free mind you.
            Come on Alan! you know only the first one is free.
            alan1476
            Senior Moderator, Software Editor and Head of Promotions
            Posted on: 25 Aug 11 22:33
              Quote:
              Originally Posted by ilnot1
              Come on Alan! you know only the first one is free.
              But then you are addicted, so you have no choice.
              ivid
              MyCE Resident
              Posted on: 25 Aug 11 23:07
                USB 3 ? Typical Microsoft promoting lame tech. USB3 is nothing, they should be adopting Thunderbolt technology. Its infinitely superior even if Mac's are the only platform using it right now. Intel didn't even want to support USB3! (partly because they co-invented Thunderbolt)
                debro
                Blown to smitherines
                Posted on: 26 Aug 11 01:54
                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by Seán
                  Do they really need a whole new OS version for this?

                  USB3.0 support : New driver
                  Copy management : Patch

                  Deliver both via Windows update.


                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by ivid
                  USB 3 ? Typical Microsoft promoting lame tech. USB3 is nothing, they should be adopting Thunderbolt technology. Its infinitely superior even if Mac's are the only platform using it right now. Intel didn't even want to support USB3! (partly because they co-invented Thunderbolt)
                  &
                  USB3 maintains backwards compatibility with a long list of previous generation products, many of which are still in operation ... don't even get me started about large format printers that cost $50K to replace.

                  When cheapo thunderbolt to USB2/3, thunderbolt to HDMI & thunderbolt to display port converters are available, I'm moving to thunderbolt. It'd be helpful if the converters actually worked.

                  It comes down to price, and compatibility with the installed base.
                  Thunderbolt is also heavily copyrighted .. so costs for agreements will drive the prices of thunderbolt equipment up, at least in the short term.

                  USB is like ata .. lets just up the clock rate & patent it - And I'm looking at maxtor and their UDMA-133 standard here. Going down the tubes and being bought out is too good an ending for companies which do that.
                  paulw2
                  MyCE Senior Member
                  Posted on: 26 Aug 11 09:17
                    Quote:
                    Originally Posted by Seán
                    Do they really need a whole new OS version for this?

                    USB3.0 support : New driver
                    Copy management : Patch

                    Deliver both via Windows update.
                    No but they want to charge a couple of hundred dollars for the service pack upgrade. They must be learning from Crapple..
                    olddancer
                    MyCE Senior Member
                    Posted on: 26 Aug 11 22:10
                      "Simons described three specific goals for what the new system should do: 1) Create one unified experience for managing and monitoring ongoing copy operations; 2) remove distractions and give people the key information they need; 3) put people in control of their copy operations. The Windows 8 team took the following steps to meet those goals:
                      First, we’ve consolidated the copy experience. You can now review and control all the Explorer copy jobs currently executing in one combined UI. Windows 8 presents all pending copy jobs in this single dialog, saving you from having to navigate through multiple floating dialogs looking for the one you need. Next, we’ve added the ability to pause, resume, and stop each copy operation currently underway. This gives you control over which copy jobs will complete first. You can also click any of the source or destination folders while the copy operation is taking place and open up those folders. To support this new ability to prioritize and decide, we’ve added a detailed view with a real-time throughput graph. Now each copy job shows the speed of data transfer, the transfer rate trend, and how much data in left to transfer. While this is not designed for benchmarking, in many cases it can provide a quick and easy way to assess what is going on for a particular job."

                      Just give me a bloody window or windows that actually display ALL details (file extensions ARE important). NO Pictures, NO funky icons, NO web content.
                      Ineed and want a bloody hammer, NOT a Gold Plated, Zircon Encrusted Bio-Mechanical Fastener Inserting Device.
                      As for USB 3, it's been out for over a year! Microsloth had best get some cattle prods and induce their programmers to remove their thumbs from their rectums, stop rotating about said thumbs and actually write drivers that support USB3.

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