Microsoft may offer Windows 7 on thumb drive for netbooks

Microsoft has shown Windows 7 running on netbooks even since it first introduced the operating system, however, helping consumers getting it on there may prove a bit tricky. According to CNET, Microsoft is considering offering Windows 7 on a thumb drive so that netbook owners are able to easily upgrade their machines in case they lack a DVD drive, and are unable to use an external one.

Even though Microsoft is considering selling Windows 7 on a thumb drive, there are other options for netbook users to upgrade. Less tech-savvy consumers could pay for someone else to do it, such as a service like Best Buy's Geek Squad. More technically literate consumers could order Windows 7 as a download and put it on their own thumb drive, or use an external DVD drive.

Another hurdle Microsoft needs to overcome is since most netbook owners running a Microsoft operating system are running Windows XP, users will have to backup their data and do a clean install of Windows 7, since it does not support an in-place upgrade from Windows XP. Netbook owners who don't realize they're running Linux, and not Windows, may also be confused when attempting to "upgrade" as well, since a large number of lower priced netbook systems ship with the open source operating system and not Windows XP.

There's no word on whether desktop and notebook users will be able to officially utilize Microsoft's thumbstick version of Windows 7, providing the company does offer the option.

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