Intel is finally taking the lead on Thunderbolt development away from Apple and as a result millions of Windows users across the globe are going to benefit. Together with Apple, Intel has limited the reach of Thunderbolt product development by making it extremely difficult to roll out products that meet their stringent guidelines. By finally opening up the standard we should see a plethora of Thunderbolt 3 enabled motherboards, laptops and devices over the next 12-18 moths!
Intel's motivations are hardly altruistic, of course. By including Thunderbolt 3 in a future CPU for "free," it also makes its CPUs more attractive than upcoming AMD CPUs. Even though Intel's opening up the spec, it has several years' head start on AMD before its rival could develop its own laptop CPU with Thunderbolt3.
It's also hard not to see this as an inevitable win for Thunderbolt 3 over any competing standards. The biggest loser is likely USB. Like Thunderbolt, USB was created by Intel and eventually set free. USB spec officials have always maintained that Thunderbolt 3 and USB did not compete, but the standard seems to be running out of steam.
At one point, in fact, USB officials had been exploring developing optical cables. With Thunderbolt 3 already pushing 40Gbps, it's difficult to see USB going its own way. Instead, if there is a USB 4.0, it'll probably ride on top of Thunderbolt 3.
The upshot: Within the next year or two, you may have a hard time finding a PC without Thunderbolt 3. For laptops, that's great news, as they'll be able to hook up ultra-fast external drives, rock single-cable docks, and add external graphics support. These are all good things.
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