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.)
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