Microsoft and SanDisk Join Forces for USB Flash Drives

Microsoft Corp. and SanDisk® Corp. today announced they have signed an agreement to deliver a next-generation software and hardware solution to place application programs and personal customization on USB flash drives and flash memory cards, expanding on and replacing SanDisk's existing U3™ Smart Technology.

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will develop a new software experience and SanDisk will develop new hardware capabilities, including the addition of TrustedFlash™ security technology. SanDisk will incorporate the combined software and hardware solution on removable flash memory cards and Cruzer® USB flash drives. The new offering is expected to be commercially available starting in the second half of 2008.

Effective immediately, Microsoft will engage in discussions with third-party hardware vendors interested in licensing the new software offering. A new entity will be created to license compatible hardware designs, TrustedFlash and other intellectual property from both Microsoft and SanDisk, with revenues to be shared by the two companies.

"SanDisk and U3 forged the category of smart USB devices, elevating simple flash storage to a whole new level of customer benefit," said Will Poole, corporate vice president of the Market Expansion Group at Microsoft. "We are excited to work with SanDisk on this next-generation experience, which will allow hardware manufacturers to better differentiate their products and provide an even richer software and services experience for customers."

"The U3 platform was established with the vision of giving customers a consistent and portable computing experience. The existing 20,000 U3 software developers that joined us show the potential for smart flash memory devices," said Yoram Cedar, executive vice president of the Mobile Business Unit and Corporate Engineering at SanDisk. "We expect this relationship with Microsoft will raise the overall experience for consumers given Microsoft's unique software expertise, and grow the momentum given the large community of third-party companies capable of utilizing Microsoft's technologies."

View: Microsoft Press Release

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I'm sick of the term "experience." It's an interface, not an experience. You can't dersign an experience. The user determines the experience.

I really, really hate it when companies, like Microsoft, try to redefine words.

SanDisk and MS have actually been in bed together for a while: ReadyBoost designed primarily to leverage flash-memory-based thumb drives (and just who is the largest maker of flash-memory for such drives, for both itself and others?) I booted U3 off my 1 GB Cruzer because it doesn't play nice with Vista Ultimate; however, the Cruzer itself does play nice with ReadyBoost and is darn useful for moving CD-sized files between computers (when a CD isn't suitable).

Maybe the future version of Windows may be provided in USB high capacity drives (with copy protected!) to make install experience faster & better i think!...

i upgraded my U3 to work with vista by stealing the u3 files from another company's updater that had been updated itself to work with vista :P