Microsoft on Friday released USB 2.0 drivers for its Windows XP operating system. The drivers are designed to enable third-party USB 2.0 add-in cards to work with XP, which originally shipped without support for the connectivity standards. The drivers can be downloaded using the “Windows Update” feature. USB 2.0 transfers data at 480mbps, which is much speedier than USB 1.1’s rate of 12mbps for exchanging information between PCs and peripherals such as external hard drives and CD-rewritable drives. USB 2.0 is also backwards compatible with USB 1.1.