Microsoft and SanDisk to Create New Experience for USB Flash Drives and Flash Memory Cards
Microsoft and SanDisk 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 Trusted Flash security technology. SanDisk will incorporate the combined software and hardware solution on removable flash memory cards and Cruzer USB flash drives. U3 smart drives are the size of a pack of chewing gum or smaller and let users carry not only files but also popular Windows software applications with their associated preferences and settings.
Consumers simply plug a U3 smart drive into any Windows-based computer’s USB port to securely access personalized e-mail programs, Web browsers, productivity tools, multimedia applications and more. When they unplug their U3 smart drive, they take their personal information with them. The Microsoft and SanDisk effort will expand on the success of U3, which is surrounded by a large and vibrant ecosystem. Both companies stressed that developers will be offered a migration path to modify existing U3 applications to run on the new offering. The new offering is expected to be commercially available starting in the second half of 2008.