Sony and Thunderbolt -- they go together like Memory Stick and SD, ATRAC and MP3, or Betamax and VHS. Consequently, Sony's high-speed I/O implementation is similar to Thunderbolt, but it isn't Thunderbolt. And don't you dare call Sony's lickity quick VAIO Z port "USB." Oh sure, it's blue just like the USB 3.0 standard and natively supports USB 2.0 and 3.0 devices without an adapter -- but it's definitely not USB. Capiche?

To even begin understanding what the hell Sony is up to we have to go back to September 23rd, 2009, the day that Intel unveiled its 10Gbps Light Peak technology at IDF 2009. The fact that it was demonstrated on a workstation running OS X was an early hint of Apple's involvement. Later we would learn that both Intel and Apple had been busily working together on Light Peak since at least 2007, with Sony also expressing interest somewhere along the way.