Microsoft is reportedly considering offering Windows 7 on USB thumb drives so that netbook owners can upgrade their machines. The company had planned to offer Windows 7 via DVDs and download, but the proliferation of these optical-drive-lacking machines apparently has Redmond looking for alternative means of distributing its operating system.

Of course, there are ways of getting Windows 7 onto a netbook. Buyers with an external DVD drive can simply hook it up to their netbook, for example, or those purchasing the downloadable version could load it on their own USB drive. However, the idea is to make installation on netbooks easier for the less tech-savvy, and avoid paying a tech support guy to get the job done for them.

Microsoft has yet to confirm or deny such a move, but the company has previously gone out their way to emphasize how any version of Windows 7 will run on a netbook; so naturally they want to capitalize on the market’s popularity. According to CNet, this is just one of several things Microsoft has looked at to try and make it more convenient to upgrade machines that don't come with CD or DVD drives.