To USB or Not to USB


Apple adds USB 3.0 to MacBook Pro and MacBook Air–Every USB 3.0 port comes with Thunderbolt

At Tim Cook’s keynote today, Apple announced USB 3.0 available in the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.  Here’s the screen shot from the Apple website.



The new Apple MacBooks use the fastest, most advanced Ivy Bridge PC chipset which include USB 3.0

I think this means Apple deployed official USB 3.0 support before Microsoft’s official support.

  • Microsoft supports USB 3.0 in the Windows 8 Beta that has been shipping for months now.
  • Windows 7 supports USB 3.0 through 3rd party drivers.
    • If you bought an add-on card for your PC it would include drivers
    • If you bought a PC with Win 7 and USB 3.0 installed, like on the HP, Samsung, Toshiba, Acer, Asus Ultrabooks, you would get the drivers pre-installed.

So every Windows 7 Ultrabook actually has USB 3.0 already as it has for months.  The drivers are provided by the silicon maker, not Microsoft themselves. (Now that I think of it, maybe the Apple drivers are not from Apple?  I have no way of knowing.)

My point is, it’s super easy to get USB 3.0 on your PC of choice now.


Also for every Thunderbolt port, you should get at least a couple of USB ports on a MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.


Could we guess that other Apple products will have USB 3.0 soon also?

Remember Apple has patents on connectors for the iPhone and iPad and iPod that include USB 3.0.


USB for Software Delivery

Apple has been shipping Mac OS  on a USB 2.0 Flash Drive since 2010.  Apple users use the MacApp store to buy their software these days.  Most new software is delivered using the internet, not disks or even flash drives.

I think the OS on USB Flash Drive (specifically a USB 3.0 flash drive) is for those people that need to do a new clean install quickly because

  1. USB 3.0 is up to 4000x times faster than the 1-10 Megabits per second that most people have for an internet connection.
  2. If your Mac has crashed, you need to somehow do a clean boot and re-install your software.
  3. I think this is the way it will be for all future Windows machines as well.

Given the price of USB 3.0 Hard Drives are much less than Thunderbolt, I think mainstream Apple users will purchase USB 3.0 flash drives, hard drives and peripherals.






More Tomorrow on Thunderbolt and USB.

Later this week more on SSDs.

Nothing funny today.

Except if you fall asleep while writing a USB article, the article looks like this:


Yes. I didn’t think it was that amusing either.

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