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Windows 7 to be sold on USB drives?

By Jos · 22 replies
Jun 26, 2009
  1. 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.

    Read the whole story
  2. AndrestheBean

    AndrestheBean TS Rookie Posts: 196

    this is going to be interesting,

    i thought most machines couldn't boot from a usb port.
  3. thats history now most machines can boot with usb drives.
  4. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,380   +53

    I have 3 computers, dating back to 05, they all boot up with usb, so does my mothers which she bought in 02
  5. Rick

    Rick TS Evangelist Posts: 4,512   +65

    That hasn't been true since 2000.
  6. LoL, If you PC can’t boot to USB shouldn’t it be the time to upgrade?
  7. gobbybobby

    gobbybobby TS Guru Posts: 555   +9

    This is a step forward. Its about time peole got rid of optical media. Its stupid now really. MS are allready going that way with the xbox by allowing people to download full xbox 360 games over their online gameing service. (well they are ment to by next year) Most if not all PC can boot from USB, it might just mean you have to enter bios and tell it to boot from there, im sure tech savy people can suss that one with an instruction booklet.
  8. T77

    T77 TS Enthusiast Posts: 298   +6

    nice step that can be taken by ms. would highly benefit netbook users.
  9. JDoors

    JDoors TS Rookie Posts: 62

    I can see this as the future of retail software distribution. Prices for thumbdrives will have to come down a bit more, but optical disks are getting to be a pain.
  10. Rick

    Rick TS Evangelist Posts: 4,512   +65

    An 8GB flash chip costs manufacturers less than $10.

    Given the insane markup MS gets for selling Windows, I think they could absorb the cost without much issue. Also, if there is a day when all software starts being sold on physical flash drives, flash will become less available and prices will go up very sharply.
  11. Tekkaraiden

    Tekkaraiden TS Evangelist Posts: 996   +93

    Sounds like a great idea, especially seeing the current price of flash memory.
  12. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 6,908   +10

    There is so much baloney floating around about Windows 7, that none of it can be relied upon... either they are market-testing, or some little ol ladies are spreading their worry jam for no useful purpose.
  13. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,380   +53

    It would be cool if you could just download your new os from MS to your flash drive then run it. Would be a simple purchase, not sure how retailers would like this.

    Its getting to the point where us computer fans dont mind not having a physical copy of a specific item, digital copy will do just fine(fine enough for us that's smart enough to back up our information) and I see this being a really good thing.
  14. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,415   +145

    I don't think you would need to boot off a flash drive, besides thats too "tech savvy", you need to know what a BIOS is!
    I'm pretty sure it would be more like this asuming "netbook owners can upgrade their machines." and they already have an MS OS on:
    1). Plug in USB drive.
    2). Wait for autorun, click next...
  15. JDoors

    JDoors TS Rookie Posts: 62

    Ten dollars vs pennies for an optical disk ... ? Yeah, MS is rich as all get out, why wouldn't they just suck that up? Because they're a business and would like to remain one.

    If there is a day when all software starts being sold on flash drives ... that day would ONLY occur if the price came down enough to match optical disks, which would require manufacturing capacity to meet the demand. The only way prices would go up is if no one ever increased the production, efficiency or capacity of flash drives. That's not likely.
  16. Rick

    Rick TS Evangelist Posts: 4,512   +65

    It may not be a permanent thing, but we already see supply shortages and the prices of flash and RAM can be pretty inconsistent over the span of a year: Now, just imagine if every major software were shipped via flash media.

    I agree with this, but they can certainly pass the cost to the consumer if they'd like. It could also be a separate, more expensive package or by request only... But I would hope they'd absorb at least *some* of the cost, because they certainly aren't losing money on Windows.

    Personally, I think the future of software is online distribution and not physical distribution. We can't realistically do that until everyone has a decent connection though, which is pretty far down the road still. An example might be downloading some USB bootable version of Windows and having an installer put it on your own USB... or some sort of standardized image that can just be copied to the root of a flash drive and a standard feature in BIOSes which can actually recognize and boot to it -- kind of like Macs can with .DMG images when copied to root of a drive.
  17. Windows 7 and the "I'm A P(iece of chinese)C(rap)" is so totally bogus. I can only chuckle at the billion$ that Windose hypnotards toss to Microbaloney for a fixed version of Vistaline that was already a complete RIPOFF to begin with :)))~ . And then only to receive an OS where most of the development effort has gone into protecting it from their own (half witted) users! Meanwhile, Apple just continues to enhance a fantastic eloquent single version UNLIMITED OS which is three times as enjoyable to use as the already outdated Microsoft OSX-mimicking-mess at 1/3 the cost and confusion of the so-called "Unlimited" Micropoop Windumb offering.

    USB Drive, DVD, download or whatever - Ballmer really loves to give it to you up the A and you all just bend over. (falls out of chair laughing....)
  18. geechiesway

    geechiesway TS Rookie

    another pointless post from a mac fanboy full of half-truths....*yawn*
  19. JDoors

    JDoors TS Rookie Posts: 62

    I agree to some extent. I'd be tempted to pay ten bucks more per software distribution, but my inner cheapskate would likely rule that out ... at this point in time.

    Eventually, sure. But there are way too many roadblocks just now; many people are on dial-up (it's easy to forget that when you've had high speed for a long time), you'd have to trust that; your computer will always work, your online connection will always be up, and the same for the software distriubter; and many people want the "hard copy" of something they paid good money for (I'm one of 'em).
  20. jink

    jink TS Rookie Posts: 23

    geechiesway, that fellow's english is terrible. But fanboy or not, his points have merit. To get to the FULL version of Windows 7 (through the arguably half-baked Vista) from XP will have cost many of us upwards of 500$! And all that time OSX has been quite modern, savvy, affordable, and painless relative to what we've had to go through (granted that you have to run it on relatively expensive Apple hardware to be legal though - but they do have nice hardware). Microsoft would have truly cemented their client-base had they offered a (almost) free upgrade path for Vista users - but I'm really left more and more with the feeling that they are *shysters*.
  21. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 6,908   +10

    Oh, you are so smart, and "...Windose hypnotards toss to Microbaloney for a fixed version of Vistaline that was already a complete RIPOFF to begin with..." is quite a mouthful...

    Why are you registered as Guest for well over 100 posts, and no detail on your little self... do you, too, have something to keep secret? or is it because nobody wants to know?

    If you are an Apple person, why do you spend so much time here?
  22. That's no way to treat a Guest! Where are your manners sir!
  23. geechiesway

    geechiesway TS Rookie

    $500? how? better go get that $100 Windows 7 Pro upgrade...
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