Microsoft is working on adding support for the latest USB standard into its operating system. Windows 11 build 23615 (released earlier this week) introduced USB4 Gen 4 support, which is capable of operating at speeds of up to 80Gbps on compatible hardware.
USB Implementers Forum released the USB4 specification in August 2019. Two years later, Microsoft introduced USB4 support in the initial release of Windows 11 (version 21H2). In September 2022, USB4 2.0 was introduced with 80 and 120Gbps modes over the now-standard Type-C connector, and Microsoft is now ensuring its operating system can work with the latest USB generation, which is about to arrive in the first consumer products.
In the release notes for build 23615, the company said the increased performance of USB4 2.0 “enables next generation of high-performance displays, storage, and connectivity.” At the same time, USB4 2.0 is fully compatible with accessories made for older USB and Thunderbolt generations with the Type-C connector.
Although USB4 2.0 support is present in the latest Windows 11 preview build, you need the latest and greatest hardware to try it out. According to Microsoft, USB4 2.0 80Gpbs will initially launch on select devices with Intel’s recently introduced 14th Gen mobile processors. The new Razer Blade 18 will be among the first Windows laptops with USB4 2.0 support.
Other features in Windows 11 build 23615 include the ability to open Copilot when Windows starts. Microsoft is experimenting with this feature on multi-monitor devices with 27-inch or larger primary monitors and a minimum width of 1920 pixels. The good news is that Copilot autostart is a feature you can turn off in the Settings app.
You can learn more about Windows 11 build 23615 from the Dev Channel here. Microsoft also released ISO files for clean installations, which you can download from the official Windows Insider website.