Windows 7 may be sold on USB flash drives

win7flash

"Artist's" rendition

CNET is reporting that Microsoft is considering giving the thumbs up to selling Windows 7 on thumb drives, allowing PCs without DVD drives to upgrade in a flash from a flash. The move is being driven by a desire to cater to netbooks, which typically don’t have optical drives. The downside is that most netbooks run Windows XP, which requires a clean install to upgrade, so some form of external backup would be practically required anyway.

While this is a welcomed option, I can’t help but feel somewhat slighted that we hadn’t previously seen such consideration for mobile computers. Optical drives aren’t typically installed in UMPCs and slate Tablet PCs either, but did we get Windows Vista on flash drives, even though Microsoft’s UMPC spec specified Vista-readiness? (Though I suppose some might call that oversight a blessing in disguise.)

Comments

  1. Genjinaro says

    You gotta love how Microsoft has been taking user input lately, they’re proving to be extremely flexable this year. Somebody over there is thinking finally….And I like it.

  2. fleon says

    Well, that we didn’t have this option a couple of years ago isn’t surprising. Many machines didn’t support USB booting (two of my three machines still don’t, and one of them is only 2 years old) and almost all BIOS settings have it turned off by default.

    I think it’s a great idea, but I also think it’s going to be a bit of a hassle for non-tech savvy end-users, and there are a lot of that type lacking CD drives on their netbooks.

  3. Nik says

    Unless they can make flash drives in a uncorruptable read only format, I think its a horrible idea. Has microsoft not heard of the Mebroot virus? Many newer viruses are able to write to usb drives and thus would permanently corrupt your OS copy or even worse piggy back on future Windows install attempts.

  4. Nik says

    Point in case, I’ve been working off of a netbook for the past month because my 6 year old desktop got the Mebroot Virus which corrupts the Master Boot Record. Currently its a paperweight because Sony decided to stop providing OEM recovery/restore cds with their computers in favor of hidden recovery partitions on the HD…Which doesn’t help much when the virus is able to corrupt both the active os partition and the hidden recovery partition. There is something to be said for low-tech, physically isolated secure media formats. Unfortunately consumer convenience often allows for hacker convenience too. I love the site, Thank you.

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