DigiTimes reports that Intel has notified partners that the company will "fully release" its Thunderbolt technology (previously known as "Lightpeak") in April 2012. Intel is reportedly preparing to launch Thunderbolt-supported motherboards, notebooks and desktop PCs at that time, other mainboard suppliers such as Gigabyte and Asus will follow.
Intel and Apple originally partnered on the new technology which has become standard across Apple's MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini, and iMac. Digitimes reports that the cost of Thunderbolt technology is expected to drop in the second half of 2012, allowing more widespread adoption. While this sure is great for Windows users, that also means Thunderbolt will be available for hackintosh users!
While Apple does offer Thunderbolt across most of its product line, the first Thunderbolt products have been limited to relatively high end devices, such as the Blackmagic Ultrastudio 3D, the Magma Expressbox 3T or the Promise Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID. More widespread adoption should help drive adoption by accessory makers that will benefit both Mac and PC users that use the Thunderbolt technology.
Thunderbolt is not competing against USB3 (Intel said they see both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt as complementary technologies) - furthermore there will be USB3 support for Apple devices, since there will be breakout boxes that offer USB3 connectivity.