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Microsoft to offer Windows 7 on USB drives?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 27 Jun 2009 23:31 User comments (28)

Microsoft to offer Windows 7 on USB drives? Citing the increase in netbooks now on the market, most of which do not include optical drives, a source within Microsoft, speaking to CNET, says the software giant is considering offering the upcoming OS Windows 7 on USB flash drives.
It is unknown what kind of copy protection would be put on these drives, outside of the standard CD key, but it may not even matter.

Microsoft is also considering allowing Windows 7 to be a digital download, which users can then use to create bootable USB drives from the file.

The company has not officially stated what it will do, but has acknowledged the growing concern of netbooks.

If done, a USB drive release for Windows 7 would mark the first time a major OS would be available in that format. Notably, the drives would cost Microsoft more, as Windows 7 will need at minimum 10GB of space, and a flash drive with that kind of memory is significantly more expensive than a DVD that costs cents.

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28 user comments

127.6.2009 23:48

They already have 16GB USB drives, just wait for those prices to go down or something to use them.

228.6.2009 0:43

There is a way of using a Windows XP CD to create a Windows XP USB installation on a 1gb or larger drive. It was a lot of hassle, but worked on a laptop I had that does not have an optical drive.

328.6.2009 0:50
varnull
Inactive

Well I guess people who get it in this format will find it a lot easier to install where it really should be installed than trying to shove a dvd up there *giggles*

428.6.2009 1:29

if netbook user where smart they would rip the windose DVD to a bootable thumbdrive, its been done since the days of dos. Setup.exe people its there for a reason.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 28 Jun 2009 @ 1:31

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528.6.2009 1:35

@varnull: That was an awesome comment!

628.6.2009 2:43
OzMick
Inactive

Yawn, Linux has been capable of installing to/from USB for years. Remember this is just an install disc, still not able to install *to* USB without a ton of messing around. Microsoft just playing catch-up and failing yet again.

728.6.2009 4:41

Originally posted by OzMick:
Yawn, Linux has been capable of installing to/from USB for years. Remember this is just an install disc, still not able to install *to* USB without a ton of messing around. Microsoft just playing catch-up and failing yet again.
I love pointing out the linux origins of most things in windows and mac osx to people. Look at beryl or compiz for ubuntu and see what windows 8 and the next cat will have for visual appeal. My desktop rains when it is rainy outside and snows when it is snowy outside. Nothing but linux can offer that.

828.6.2009 5:47

I would think an external dvd rom drive would work just as well but is there a netbook on the market capable of taking windows 7 ?
Most of them struggle with XP and the majority use some form of Linux which seems to suit them down to the ground - they are amazingly fast with Linux but splutter choke and crawl with Windows XP.
So long as the majority of these machines are chained by the processor ( either celeron 900 MHz or intel atom 1.6 GHZ at the moment ) - they won't be able to use anything more demanding than linux and still be able to perform well.

928.6.2009 12:27

Just wanted to cite a couple errors with the article, there isn't any copy protection on the CDs and DVDs available right now. So there isn't going to be any difference with a USB Drive. The drives would cost Microsoft more but not by much, as only a ~4GB one is needed not 10GB as the .iso should only be around 3.5GB... 10GB is referring to the uncompressed fully installed size of the installation...

1028.6.2009 15:31
manager2
Inactive

Getting Windows 7 installed on Netbooks will not be an issue.
Windows 7 is available now. PRE-ORDER AND SAVE BIG
SPAM removed

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 28 Jun 2009 @ 20:10

1128.6.2009 16:05
varnull
Inactive

where the sun don't shine is the best place for this turkey.. mark my words. I'm reading the responses from real testers who are looking at the drm and spyware contained but as yet turned off.. already explorer has been exploited and th entire OS is just going to be another malware supporting lump of garbage. NO applications should ever run with higher than administrator lever privileges. Lesson learned in unix world oh when.. mid 60's?

When you buy something that is subject to activation you have bought nothing at all - Richard Stallman ??

1228.6.2009 17:13

Windows = Not *nix.

they both have there advantages and they both have there disadvantages.

1328.6.2009 19:09

The other reason why Microsoft could be doing this is because Linux the free open source Operating System has already done this kinda think in creating bootable usb flash drives that allow the user to install or even run off the flash drive itself and this means the market share of Linux maybe increasing and Microsoft may start feeling the heat.

They need to increase the speed of the file transfer for this kinda thing cause it may take longer to install the Operating System.

1428.6.2009 23:32

Windows XP will perform better if the graphics fade in-out and shadowing are turned off. I know that there are other tweaks to make XP run faster on netbooks. My current computer is an Athlon XP 2500 with 1 gig of RAM running XP. I am not a gamer and funds are always short so I'm thankful that I have this comp and three or four others of lower performance.

Best regards to those on the forum.

152.7.2009 11:58

I have been installing Windows from USB drives for years. Everything from 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows Home Server, Server 2008, etc...As long as you know what to do, it is not hard. Oh, and as far as having your computer show you the weather, that can be done with Windows as well...

162.7.2009 13:02

Originally posted by engage16:
The drives would cost Microsoft more but not by much, as only a ~4GB one is needed not 10GB as the .iso should only be around 3.5GB... 10GB is referring to the uncompressed fully installed size of the installation...
That 10GB quote is nonsense anyway. I've installed Windows 7 on less than 8.5GB.

Originally posted by domie:
I would think an external dvd rom drive would work just as well but is there a netbook on the market capable of taking windows 7 ?
Most of them struggle with XP and the majority use some form of Linux which seems to suit them down to the ground.
There is a poor mans version of Win 7 coming out intended for netbooks as it has lots of stuff stripped out.

Regardless my dad has run both XP and Vista on his early EEEPC and it runs fine. Obviously not as fast as a modern desktop or laptop but disable most of the effects and it's fine.

172.7.2009 14:36

The Windows 7 Starter edition is supposed to be taking over for XP for netbooks, according to Microsoft. And versions of the betas and RC have been installed on various netbooks.

183.7.2009 9:25

Here it goes again. Unsupported hardware and applications. Buy more tools to continue working. More service packs, .Net updates, bloat. I'm not giving up my old PC games. And not converting to Buray until I have to. Purchasing new AV protection is enough of an expense every year. And if MS buys usb drives in quantity WHOLESALE they'll be cheap for them.

193.7.2009 9:36

Since noone mentioned the method here wouldn't you create an .iso image of the OS and copy it to the drive?

203.7.2009 9:45

And I'm not employed by them, but if you want to keep up with Windoz news Updates solutions you should browse Windows Secrets free or cheap editions newsletters webpages. They're not affiliated with MS. One editor was with Ziff Davis many years. They sure contribute their help to computer users. They'll post the good points bugs and fixes.

215.7.2009 1:22

Originally posted by DXR88:
Windows = Not *nix.

they both have there advantages and they both have there disadvantages.
it's THEIR not THERE (both times)

225.7.2009 1:31

Originally posted by ROMaster2:
They already have 16GB USB drives, just wait for those prices to go down or something to use them.
Actually 64GB drives are available. 16GB drives are quite cheap now though. Still much more expensive than a DVD.

235.7.2009 2:42

Quote:
Originally posted by DXR88:
Windows = Not *nix.

they both have there advantages and they both have there disadvantages.
it's THEIR not THERE (both times)
congratulations. have a smiley Sticker for your wonderful correcting abilities. What would we do without you.


This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Jul 2009 @ 2:43

245.7.2009 4:13

Originally posted by varnull:
where the sun don't shine is the best place for this turkey.. mark my words. I'm reading the responses from real testers who are looking at the drm and spyware contained but as yet turned off.. already explorer has been exploited and th entire OS is just going to be another malware supporting lump of garbage. NO applications should ever run with higher than administrator lever privileges. Lesson learned in unix world oh when.. mid 60's?

When you buy something that is subject to activation you have bought nothing at all - Richard Stallman ??
Lighten up. :P

Testers as in Beta testers? Seriously.. You have really got it in for Windows if you mark them based on a beta. :P The RC is awesome btw. It's pretty, works well.. Runs like XP but with the gfx of Vista. Better than Vista actually. Quite nice. Seeing as how you usually refer to *nix, and just said
Originally posted by varnull:
malware supporting lump of garbage
, take a look at Apple and Firefox for a sec. :P

Firefox was better than IE up to IE6, IE7 came out and made it look bad, IE8 leaves FF way behind. Now my browsers are either Opera or IE8. Safari was also good but that one auto loads and runs .DMG files silently. No user interaction required. And that's just lame. Firefox was meant to replace "a bloated heap of junk". What is it now? :P

Apple is based off Unix, Darwin to be precise, so it's gotta be pretty good by your standards, right? It's got more flaws in it than Windows ME pre service pack. :P Especially now that the iPhone has made it a popular attack vector.

Originally posted by varnull:
NO applications should ever run with higher than administrator lever privileges. Lesson learned in unix world oh when.. mid 60's?
As XKCD puts it so well, sudo make me a sandwhich. :P An extremely large amount of flaws have come out of Unix because of that command. Su and sudo. And why are they in there? Because sometimes we want programs to run with privileges so it can write to a protected spot without us babysitting it. Why it has to write to that spot is another matter all together. But given how lax standards everything in IT have been up till recently, you're going to run into the need to run that command a few times.

Windows does enforce lower level privileges btw, look at Vista. :P Everyone hated it because "cancel or allow" kept coming up. Best bet is to yell at devs for taking the lazy option and needing higher lvl privileges rather than yell at the company for making an OS that allowed them too.

I always love your comments. So unashamedly biased and lacking precise knowledge.. Almost as good as arguing with Apple fanbois. :P Or MSFT ones. Apple is more fun though.

Originally posted by borhan9:
The other reason why Microsoft could be doing this is because Linux the free open source Operating System has already done this kinda think in creating bootable usb flash drives that allow the user to install or even run off the flash drive itself and this means the market share of Linux maybe increasing and Microsoft may start feeling the heat.

They need to increase the speed of the file transfer for this kinda thing cause it may take longer to install the Operating System.
No, as has been pointed out, if people wanted to they could quite easily convert a dvd/cd install to a usb drive. Before netbooks there was simply no need for MSFT to release their products on USB. Most computers also couldn't boot from UBS. I know, a usb optical drive or stick is listed as bootable from but most computers I've used have had odd eccentricies booting from one. Now that computers with no opitcal drives are becoming popular, it's a logical step to release an OS on a usb stick. Keeps MSFT in the market.

Fully agree with second point though. Different between sata and usb is huge.


Originally posted by leglessoz:
Actually 64GB drives are available. 16GB drives are quite cheap now though. Still much more expensive than a DVD.
More storage on a 16gb stick though and fits in your pocket. 8GB drives are only ~$15-20 for a verbatim one. Cheap and awesome. Means I can now transfer ISOs without burning them. :D And carry around 4 OS's tuned for whatever I want. USB sticksa are fun.. lol


Originally posted by DXR88:

congratulations. have a smiley Sticker for your wonderful correcting abilities. What would we do without you.

Haha. That was awesome.

255.7.2009 9:07

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265.7.2009 9:10

leglessoz, Sorry you couldn't access WindowsSecrets site. Reason was explained in my previous post.

276.7.2009 22:23

Originally posted by ROMaster2:
They already have 16GB USB drives, just wait for those prices to go down or something to use them.
I have one (16 gb) from Kingston, my clients have several. Foor some strange reason it works perfectly well with nVidia and Via chipset USB controller hardware but malfunctions on SB600 and SB700 chipset from AMD. I have Zero experience with Intel chipset PCs.

I have had to add Via chipset USB 2.0 addon cards on 5 AMD quad Phenom systems just for this functionality.

287.7.2009 13:26

Quote:
Originally posted by ROMaster2:
They already have 16GB USB drives, just wait for those prices to go down or something to use them.
I have one (16 gb) from Kingston, my clients have several. Foor some strange reason it works perfectly well with nVidia and Via chipset USB controller hardware but malfunctions on SB600 and SB700 chipset from AMD. I have Zero experience with Intel chipset PCs.

I have had to add Via chipset USB 2.0 addon cards on 5 AMD quad Phenom systems just for this functionality.
it works fine on my SB750. but the real question is how or why your using quad phenoms on and outdated Chipset Platform. for quads AMD790/750 is the best way to go.

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