We've given up badgering AMD and Intel to implement native USB 3.0 into their chipsets, in part because both have plans to support the SuperSpeed spec, and also because third party chips from the likes of NEC and VIA work so well without driving up the cost of motherboards. That's the hardware side. On the software side, Microsoft is creating a brand new USB software stack to better support the USB 3.0 ecosystem.
Why wait until Windows 8 instead of updating Windows 7 or Vista? That's a good question, and Microsoft says it's because so many devices and their drivers currently rely on the existing software, and jumping into a new design could disrupt things.
"The solution? Don't jump in. Instead, meticulously design a new USB software stack for the new controller while maintaining existing interfaces and behaviors, ensuring every device and driver will work. For older controllers, we retained our existing software stack," Microsoft explains.
Another reason why Microsoft can afford to take its time is because the Redmond software giant is buying into In-Stat's figures, which doesn't peg USB 3.0 ubiquity with PCs until 2015.