Microsoft's Windows chief Steve Sinofsky said he was ready to start talking about Windows 8 on Monday, and today he followed up on his promise by listing the feature teams who are working on the next version of Microsoft's flagship product.
The most interesting part: there is an App Store team.
This is the first official confirmation that Windows 8 will in fact have an app store like recent versions of Mac OSX. Screenshots of an app store leaked in April, but now we know for sure.
Most of the other teams are working in areas that have been in Windows for a long time, but a couple other team names stand out:
In Control Of Your PC. This could be some new control interface like voice command, or perhaps a security feature. Human Interaction Platform. Sounds like Kinect for controlling Windows. User-Centered Experience, which sounds like the latest take on personalizing Windows based on the user's sign in credentials.
As we get closer to Microsoft's BUILD conference in mid-September, the company is revealing more tidbits about Windows 8. Today the official Windows 8 blog site has confirmed that the operating system will include native support for the USB 3.0 standard. The new version of the Universal Serial Bus port is only just beginning to appear with new PC desktops and laptops but Microsoft says that by 2015 all new PCs will have USB 3.0 ports.
Data transfer speeds over the new standard are supposed to be 10 times faster than the current USB 2.0 ports. For example, Microsoft said that a USB 3.0 based storage devices should be able to transfer a high-def movie to a PC via a USB 3.0 port in just 80 seconds. That same file would take 15 minutes to transfer via a USB 2.0 port. USB 3.0 also provides 80 percent more power than USB 2.0 ports