Monday, June 29th 2009

Microsoft Windows 7 to Ship on USB Flash Drives ?

We've learned that Microsoft might be considering the opportunity to distribute Windows 7 on USB flash drives to ease netbook owners when installing operating systems. Although nothing is confirmed yet, this approach makes distribution of Microsoft software products a lot more convenient, bravo Microsoft for the idea. These drives will be used primary for netbooks and computers without any optical drives installed.
Unfortunately, the use of USB flash drives for this tight segment is just one of the many choices Microsoft is thinking over. Currently the company sells a downloadable version of Windows, so the same might apply to Windows 7, also users might download the content to an external hard drive and then hook it up to their netbook or a notebook for installation, instead of buying the more expensive USB flash drive with the licensed software. Read more at CNET. Source: CNET News
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30 Comments on Microsoft Windows 7 to Ship on USB Flash Drives ?

#1
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Or just buy an external DVD-RW, they go for like $40, and are well worth it for netbooks, IMO.
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#2
crazy pyro
They're more than 40$ I'm sure, I paid about £40 for mine in february as I had a bit of an OS emergency (XP was completely dead and I needed it for school the day after). Prices on optical drives haven't fallen much really.
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#3
WhiteLotus
this sounds like an awesome idea. Love to have an OS USB stick instead of a disc.
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#8
lemonadesoda
You can also buy a horse to pull a cart. No need for cars.

Come-on guys. It is GREAT to see MS finally innovate software distribution methods. I would much prefer games to be sold like this too, and not this horrible STEAM account rubbish. MS could even *build in* a serial number to avoid all this online activation rubbish.

NEXT UP, I want MS to distribute windows on a flash chip that is PERMANENTLY INSTALLED in a socket in the mainboard. A la 1980's computers. OS and Programs on ROM. Great. Bug fixes? Security updates? Oh wait. Perhaps not such a good idea. LOL
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#9
tomkaten
It was about time someone realized what a great distribution method this is. I've been picturing it in my mind for a while now.

I would love to have it on a USB flash drive instead of DVD. I love fiddling with DVD's as much as I love homework. It takes ages to spin, it's slow to read, slow to write... It's obsolete technology, IMO. I haven't used mine in about two years... Never actually opened the tray, lol.

I used to resort to it when reinstalling the OS, but I got a main drive backup now, so I don't even use it for that anymore. It just gathers dust.

Plus, I'm sure buying like 200 million flash drives for distribution is bound to get Microsoft some serious discounts. They'd prolly be paying like 5 bucks for a 4 GB drive.
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#11
EastCoasthandle
Flash drives sounds like the most intuitive thing to do. Albeit your bios must be able to recognize the OS and allow it to install it as soon as you insert it into the usb port. I have nothing against dvd drives. However, you have to have a place to put your laptop/etc and drive to use it. A flash drive can be used anywhere. Furthermore, it's smaller thus more portable unlike an added external dvd drive.
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#12
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
lemonadesoda, post: 1453613"
You can also buy a horse to pull a cart. No need for cars.

Come-on guys. It is GREAT to see MS finally innovate software distribution methods. I would much prefer games to be sold like this too, and not this horrible STEAM account rubbish. MS could even *build in* a serial number to avoid all this online activation rubbish.

NEXT UP, I want MS to distribute windows on a flash chip that is PERMANENTLY INSTALLED in a socket in the mainboard. A la 1980's computers. OS and Programs on ROM. Great. Bug fixes? Security updates? Oh wait. Perhaps not such a good idea. LOL
How would this eliminate STEAM or online activation? The install media has no affect on either of those.

tomkaten, post: 1453670"
It was about time someone realized what a great distribution method this is. I've been picturing it in my mind for a while now.

I would love to have it on a USB flash drive instead of DVD. I love fiddling with DVD's as much as I love homework. It takes ages to spin, it's slow to read, slow to write... It's obsolete technology, IMO. I haven't used mine in about two years... Never actually opened the tray, lol.

I used to resort to it when reinstalling the OS, but I got a main drive backup now, so I don't even use it for that anymore. It just gathers dust.

Plus, I'm sure buying like 200 million flash drives for distribution is bound to get Microsoft some serious discounts. They'd prolly be paying like 5 bucks for a 4 GB drive.
The flash drives won't be any faster, especially since they will use the cheapest drives possible. In fact, I bet the drives perform worse than a DVD...:shadedshu
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#13
tomkaten
newtekie1, post: 1453722"
The flash drives won't be any faster, especially since they will use the cheapest drives possible. In fact, I bet the drives perform worse than a DVD...:shadedshu
Take a quick look here and tell me Microsoft can't pick a fast drive out of that page. A 20 MB/sec read speed would be more than enough and there are a couple of drives out there that can achieve that. Also, let's not forget the amazing convenience of flash drives.

There are tools out there that can help you boot almost anything from flash drives these days. My bios can boot from them, so I'd be crazy to touch the DVD's :) I'm not saying ignore DVD distribution altogether, but it would be nice to see distributors focus primarily on this much more convenient method instead.

And like I said, buy a couple of hundred millions of those flash drives and you might be in for a healthy discount :)
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#14
lemonadesoda
They could do a SATA/eSATA direct plug version.

newtekie1, post: 1453722"
How would this eliminate STEAM or online activation? The install media has no affect on either of those.
You kidding right? Dongles have been used for decades. Here is an opportunity to bring them up to date and mass market http://www.ftdichip.com/Products/EvaluationKits/DLP-D.htm

You could even make it socket to an internal header on the mainboard for an "internal" install.
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#15
Kitkat
it also installes soooooo much faster than the dvd i did on my pc
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#16
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
tomkaten, post: 1453826"
Take a quick look here and tell me Microsoft can't pick a fast drive out of that page. A 20 MB/sec read speed would be more than enough and there are a couple of drives out there that can achieve that. Also, let's not forget the amazing convenience of flash drives.

There are tools out there that can help you boot almost anything from flash drives these days. My bios can boot from them, so I'd be crazy to touch the DVD's :) I'm not saying ignore DVD distribution altogether, but it would be nice to see distributors focus primarily on this much more convenient method instead.

And like I said, buy a couple of hundred millions of those flash drives and you might be in for a healthy discount :)
Even at $1 a flash drive, Microsoft is looking at spending way more for USB flash drives compared to DVDs. DVDs sell to the consumer for $0.18 a disc, flash drives sell for $9 a drive. Yes, Microsoft probably would get a discount for buying in bulk, but that applies to DVDs also. So you are looking at $0.01 a disc... It just doesn't make financial sense to distribute software this way, increasing costs, especially in an economy like todays.

lemonadesoda, post: 1453852"
You kidding right? Dongles have been used for decades. Here is an opportunity to bring them up to date and mass market http://www.ftdichip.com/Products/EvaluationKits/DLP-D.htm

You could even make it socket to an internal header on the mainboard for an "internal" install.
Dongles have been in use, but we aren't talking about USB dongles here. We are talking about simple USB Flash Drives. Even still, dongles don't prevent moving from one system to another, so it wouldn't eliminate online activation.
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#17
hat
Enthusiast
I'd rather have a DVD.
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#18
xfire
lemonadesoda, post: 1453613"
NEXT UP, I want MS to distribute windows on a flash chip that is PERMANENTLY INSTALLED in a socket in the mainboard. A la 1980's computers. OS and Programs on ROM. Great. Bug fixes? Security updates? Oh wait. Perhaps not such a good idea. LOL
EU would just love it if they do that. Monopoly of MS to come installed default with the motherboard.
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#19
tkpenalty
the only reason why ODD medium is cheaper is because it has been in the market for longer and moreover has been demanded at a far higher scale to flash storage. Aditionally, ODD Medium is mostly one-use only and thus means that naturally speaking there would be a higher demand and in the long-term a lower cost.

What MS is doing is a smart choice. I reckon ROM Flash storage will be much cheaper than rewritable flash storage and if they push the market in this direction then it is good.

I say screw ODDs and just go solid state, just like HDDs with HDDs and SSDs, but not so much for HDDs and SSDs where there is a clear advantage of HDDs. It would be more econonomical (physically) if a computer didnt require something like an ODD anymore and just something like USB, or a replacement for it for physical data input.
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#20
denice25
i thinks that's a great idea...
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#21
Kitkat
hat, post: 1454116"
I'd rather have a DVD.
so would the general population the post is mainly geared tward easy update to netbooks (no dvd) but the flash drive is a much faster install and u could make one off your master dvd if u wanted to anyway. Even on a pc it took way less time. (yes the install its self)
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#22
Swansen
This Isn't A New Idea

Mandriva has been doing this for awhile now, Microsoft didn't invent this.
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#23
Mussels
Moderprator
i install mine from USB anyway... 15 minutes to have win 7 up and running is :O

i can only imagine what it would be like off a fast flash drive, and not my sucky slow one.
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#24
tkpenalty
in OEM situations this = epic win.
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#25
qwerty_lesh
Although I didnt read though all the comments nor did i through all of the article, I did a search and dont see any mention of read only. :confused:
Theyd be crazy to not distribute these as read only, imagine your only installation media you have to install your OS corrupts because its a writable file system :nutkick:
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