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Microsoft and SanDisk buddy-up for next-gen USB flash drives, thus replacing U3


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yet another Microsoft product to h4x0r :P

from the site

Signing on the corporate dotted line, Microsoft and SanDisk have revealed they are to join together in a venture that will see the combination of newly developed next-generation software and hardware to bring application programs and personal customisation to USB flash drives and memory cards – thus replacing SanDisk’s current U3 Smart Technology.

According to related terms of the high-profile deal, Redmond-based Microsoft Corp. will introduce a “new software experience” for the next-gen USB drives, while California-based SanDisk Corp. will “develop new hardware capabilities” for them, which will include the introduction of TrustedFlash security technology. The final software and hardware solution will be integrated onto removable flash memory cards and SanDisk’s own Cruzer USB flash drives.

Moreover, and according to the official press release, software giant Microsoft is already embroiled in initial discussions with third-party hardware manufacturers who’re expressing an interest in licensing its new software creation. In terms of specifics, “a new entity will be created to license compatible hardware designs, TrustedFlash and other intellectual property from both Microsoft and SanDisk,” while resulting revenue streams will be distributed between the two tech corporations.

“SanDisk and U3 forged the category of smart USB devices, elevating simple flash storage to a whole new level of customer benefit,” outlined Will Poole, corporate VP of Microsoft’s Market Expansion Group. “We are excited to work with SanDisk on this next-generation experience, which will allow hardware manufacturers to better differentiate their products and provide an even richer software and services experience for customers.”

Designed to expand on the successes experienced by that of SanDisk’s existing U3 format, Microsoft and SanDisk have both offered reassurances to developers that migratory paths will be on offer for the accessible modification of U3 applications to the new improved solution. The diminutive U3 smart drive format (equivalent in size to a standard packet of chewing gum) presently allows users access to portable storage of not only data files but also Windows software applications – along with their personal settings and preferences – such as “e-mail programs, Web browsers, productivity tools, multimedia applications and more.”

“We expect this relationship with Microsoft will raise the overall experience for consumers given Microsoft’s unique software expertise, and grow the momentum given the large community of third-party companies capable of utilizing Microsoft’s technologies,” said Yoram Cegar, executive VP of SanDisk’s mobile business unit and corporate engineering. “The U3 platform was established with the vision of giving customers a consistent and portable computing experience. The existing 20,000 U3 software developers that joined us show the potential for smart flash memory devices.”

Microsoft and SanDisk’s new mobile solution is expected to allow its users to carry their personal computing environment (which will include a customised and familiar user interface, applications, and data) on a USB flash drive or flash memory card. What’s more, the user’s environment will be easily accessible via Windows XP and Windows Vista-equipped systems fitted with an applicable USB port and/or flash card reader. Thanks to the integration of TrustedFlash security technology, users will also be able to work on public or shared computers with peace of mind because their personal information will be encrypted, shielded from malware, and not left in their wake when moving on.

The new portable software and hardware solution is expected to arrive commercially in the latter half of next year.

i found it interesting, hope you do too :)

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