The next major iteration of Windows is designed to play nice with USB 3.0 by default, Microsoft confirmed officially on August 22nd, 2011.
As a part of Windows 8’s development process, especially in relation to USB v3.0 and earlier support, the software giant created the Microsoft USB Test Tool (MUTT).
According to Dennis Flanagan, the Director of Program Management for the Devices and Networking group, there are over 10 billion USB devices worldwide, all of which integrating seamlessly with Windows.
“Compatibility is the Windows promise. Our customers have grown accustomed to expecting new versions of Windows to work with their existing devices and drivers. This commitment to compatibility remains a high priority for Windows 8 across the whole product,” Flanagan said.
This is where the Microsoft USB Test Tool came in. MUTT simplifies USB device compatibility testing, including for Windows 8, by simulating over 1,000 devices.
The software giant made sure that its hardware partners could also take advantage of MUTT for their own testing needs.
The end goal is to have Windows 8 computers play nice with not only USB 3.0 devices, but also with existing products leveraging USB 2.0.
“We also made a heavy investment in building a custom tool - the Microsoft USB Test Tool (MUTT) to simulate a full range of device behaviors that we’d observed over the years. We built the MUTTs from the ground up, in house. Our software test engineers laid out the circuit design with the help of fancy design tools (MS Paint … seriously),” Flanagan said.
“They then developed the firmware and generated new test content to run internally. The MUTT was born – think of it as 1,000 devices on a USB thumb drive. Over time, we shared the MUTT with our hardware partners and they’ve used it to find and correct problems in their devices before releasing.”