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Microsoft To Offer Windows 7 On USB Thumb Drives?

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the please-send-me-your-repurposable-drives dept.

Media 259

Barence writes "Microsoft is reportedly considering offering Windows 7 on USB thumb drives to allow netbook owners to upgrade their machines. Windows has, until now, only been distributed on DVDs or via download. However, netbooks don't have optical drives and the Windows 7 ISO weighs in at 2.3GB, which would take several hours to download on an average broadband connection and potentially do serious damage to a customer's broadband data cap."

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It's Amazing (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28496851)

It's amazing what kind of viruses you find on USB sticks these days!

And Microsoft chases OLPC once again [slashdot.org] .

Re:It's Amazing (3, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497049)

Virus or not, Windows must be getting pretty good if this "data cap" shit is all they can come up with. The last Linux distro I downloaded weighed in at 4,3 Gb and it was nowhere near complete.

Yes, I know, there's Geexbox with its 20 Mb, but that's not a full OS.

Re:It's Amazing (4, Insightful)

FrankieBaby1986 (1035596) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497239)

The last Linux distro I downloaded weighed in at 4,3 Gb

Installed size? Or disk size? Because many distros include hundreds (thousands?) of software packages that are not part of the default install.
Often, software types that MS would get into deep trouble for bundling with windows.

Re:It's Amazing (4, Informative)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497261)

Hint: 4,3 Gb is the capacity of a DVD. And it was compressed with squashfs, too.

Re:It's Amazing (4, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497829)

The last Linux distro I downloaded weighed in at 4,3 Gb and it was nowhere near complete.

No version of Windows I've ever seen is "anywhere near complete". You have to download 3rd-party drivers and software, unless you don't plan to do anything but play minesweeper.

Re:It's Amazing (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497901)

Like third party security programs, office software, communication software, anti-spyware, cd image burning, dvd playback, file transfer software, secure web browser...the list goes on and on.

Linux distros like debian and ubuntu come with everything windows does and more in terms of role. You can argue the programs are worse, but in terms of tasks...yeah.

Glad microsoft is finally following in unetbootin's steps with the USB deployment. This way if I ever went insane I could install Win7 on my x61.

Re:It's Amazing (4, Informative)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497849)

Ubuntu fits on a 700 Mb CD and is just as completely as Windows. Maybe more because it comes with Open Office.

Re:It's Amazing (0)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497897)

No, the net installer is what fits on a CD. Most of the software is downloaded from online repositories.

Re:It's Amazing (1)

anjilslaire (968692) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497999)

Not true. You can install a full Ubuntu desktop from a 700mb CD, and never connect to the internet.

Re:It's Amazing (5, Informative)

cawpin (875453) | more than 5 years ago | (#28498015)

No, you get a fully functional system off the CD, perhaps minus some oddball drivers. It is no less than Windows. Net access is not required for the install.

Holla if Jacko sucked your underage cock! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28497327)

Hey hey hey!!!

Re:It's Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28497783)

And Microsoft chases OLPC once again [slashdot.org] .

Regarding MSFT chasing OLPC...not. Microsoft has been experimenting with putting Windows on USB sticks for a few years. The only question for them is whether it makes business sense. OLPC is hardly innovating in this regard.

Idiots. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28496881)

Whoever installs Windows 7 on a goddamn netbook is a dumb, dumb motherfucker.

Re:Idiots. (5, Funny)

computerman413 (1122419) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497395)

Whoever installs Windows 7 on a goddamn computer is a dumb, dumb motherfucker.

There, I fixed it for you.

Re:Idiots. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28497937)

It's faster than XP. What's not to like about it?

Re:Idiots. (3, Interesting)

TW Burger (646637) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497971)

I installed the Win7 Beta on a netbook as a test. It works surprising well (Vista did not, XP or Linux far better than Win7), except the video is screwed up for high end graphics applications like those silly new games that require the graphics capacity of a combined Pixar and Dreamworks production. One more more thing: Use mofo or some other less offensive term. The rest of us are able to maintain etiquette even when anonymously corresponding on line.

Pirated USBs (1)

Tippu (1362267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28496887)

I wonder if there any pirated USB sniffing dogs?

AC To Offer Advice On Sticking Thumb Up Your Ass (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28496913)

because if you are really this excited about installing another not-yet-ready-for-prime-time Microsoft OS on your netbook, you really need to stuff a thumb up your ass (after removing Bill Gate's semi-flaccid cock)

Good. (0)

revxul (463513) | more than 5 years ago | (#28496919)

I think this is a very good idea.

Reusable FTW!

Re:Good. (1)

C18H27NO3 (1282172) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497171)

Reusable or not I'm sure they factor in the cost of the media when they come up with the pricing.

Re:Good. (1)

dotgain (630123) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497743)

Gee, how very evil. Or are you suggesting something else?

I encourage this trend (4, Funny)

chebucto (992517) | more than 5 years ago | (#28496937)

The next step is to convince AOL to start sending out their software on thumb drives. Then we all win!

Re:I encourage this trend (1)

revxul (463513) | more than 5 years ago | (#28496965)

Oh that would be excellent!

Re:I encourage this trend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28497533)

Now that you mention it, how much would it cost to bulk order 10MB USB flashdrives? This seems to have a possibility of happening.

Re:I encourage this trend (2, Informative)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497549)

Not if they send out 64 MB thumb drives. :P

By the way: Does this still happen in reality? I haven't seen their CDs for a decade.

not to be a douche... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28496967)

The summary states "Windows has, until now, only been distributed on DVDs or via download" Calling BS , raise your hand if you remember windows on CD's, 3.5, or floppy... Windows has been distributed ion many methods.

Re:not to be a douche... (1)

j0se_p0inter0 (631566) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497197)

:raises hand: I've still got an unopened Win 3.1 box somewhere. 3.5" diskettes. Wonder if it's worth anything now?

Re:not to be a douche... (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497403)

Not much.
Less than $10 on ebay [ebay.com]

Re:not to be a douche... (1)

Evil Shabazz (937088) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497531)

Ebay'ers will tack the word "vintage" on anything these days in the hopes of luring some schmoe to buying it, won't they?

Re:not to be a douche... (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497297)

The summary states "Windows has, until now, only been distributed on DVDs or via download" Calling BS , raise your hand if you remember windows on CD's, 3.5, or floppy... Windows has been distributed ion many methods.

IIRC, MS Office was offered on floppies as well.

Re:not to be a douche... (1)

16384 (21672) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497659)

IIRC, MS Office was offered on floppies as well.

yep, 32 of them, if I remember correctly.

Re:not to be a douche... (4, Informative)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497847)

And the 32nd floppy would have an unrecoverable read error during the install.

Re:not to be a douche... (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28498085)

this site [educationo...puters.com] claims that you could get Office 97 on 45 disks.

Re:not to be a douche... (1)

TheRealFixer (552803) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497465)

As I recall, Windows 95 was the last one to be distributed on floppy. I remember installing it, and it was a ridiculous number of floppies. Upwards of 20 I think.

Re:not to be a douche... (2, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497619)

As I recall, Windows 95 was the last one to be distributed on floppy. I remember installing it, and it was a ridiculous number of floppies. Upwards of 20 I think.

Nope only 13. Windows NT 3.1 came on 22 though.

Re:not to be a douche... (1)

anjilslaire (968692) | more than 5 years ago | (#28498009)

Indeed. XP & 2003 came on single CDs

I guess that's nice (1, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#28496981)

At least you could wipe the thing and get a thumb drive out of it.

Re:I guess that's nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28497021)

At least you could wipe the thing and get a thumb drive out of it.

I'd bet that they come on read-only media.

Windows Live Live Distro finally means something (2, Funny)

deanston (1252868) | more than 5 years ago | (#28496985)

Maybe MSFT can copy Linux and make it a live distro so people can try it out before full install... wait, that'll never make them bite. Nevermind.

Re:Windows Live Live Distro finally means somethin (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28497001)

Re:Windows Live Live Distro finally means somethin (2, Informative)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497475)

Maybe MSFT can copy Linux and make it a live distro so people can try it out before full install... wait, that'll never make them bite. Nevermind.

It may not be a "live distro," but Win 7 has already captured about half the desktop share of Linux. Operating System Market Share [hitslink.com]

Net Applications is mass-market oriented. If your gadget can access the web, Net Applications will track it.

W3Schools is developer-oriented. But even there Win 7 has 1/4 the share of Linux. OS Platform Statistics [w3schools.com]

It took Linux six damn years to move from 2% to 4% in the W3Schools stats.

Win 7 gets a 1% share in five months.

Re:Windows Live Live Distro finally means somethin (2, Insightful)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 5 years ago | (#28498071)

You forgot to say "among windows users". Moving from 1 windows version to another is not equivalent to moving from windows to linux. So what was your point again ?

Not so average (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497015)

If it's taking someone (in the US) "several hours" to download 2+ GB with their "average broadband connection", then they don't have an "average broadband connection". There is some debate about what the average broadband speed actually is in the US, but even the low end is 1.9mbps (that was from an Ars Technica back in 2007 - surely it's faster by now). Let's take the midrange, again from back in 2007, of 4.8mbps. That makes a 2.3GB download take little more than one hour. Even if congestion slows ones speed by half, that only about 2.5 hours.

Re:Not so average (4, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497085)

You may not be aware that "average" in New York City, and "average" in Backwoods Nowhere are entirely two different animals. It takes me DAYS to download a 4 GB ISO. Seriously, I wouldn't bullshit you. I use Firestarter firewall, and set it to shape traffice, giving priority to interactive (browsing) traffic, so I'm only using about 85 to 90 % of my bandwidth for a download. On "average" it takes between 4 1/2 and 6 days to download a movie.

Now that you realize that not everyone has the bandwidth that you enjoy, you might do a little research, and find out what percentage of the US population enjoys "fast" internet. Or not. No research is required to stick your foot in your mouth again. ;)

hello, i live in times square (0, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497191)

what is this "backwoods" that you speak of?

what subway line do i need to take to get there?

is there any parkland, you know, trees, which i have heard fables of, in this "backwoods" place?

Re:hello, i live in times square (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497657)

Trees? Yes, of course we have trees. In fact, you can just send me your carbon credit payments: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/25/AR2009062503028.html [washingtonpost.com]

With enough payments coming into the area, maybe we can all get together, and convince the telcos to upgrade to optic fiber.........

Re:Not so average (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28497159)

And all that is still pretty low considering my home connection is currently pulling 27mbps downstream

Re:Not so average (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28497251)

Lets play with some numbers. To be considered a broadband connection it has to be at least 256 Kb/sec. This works to about 32 KB/sec.
2.3 GB then would take almost 21 hours. 512Kb = 10.5 hours, 1024 = 5.25 hours, etc. (you can see the pattern)
Yeah, that would take a while. Even my home connection(5Mbit, so I'm going to call that 5000 Kb/sec (which I have held solid for a few hours at slightly above 600KB/sec) ) would be 1.1 hours. Still awfully long depending on if it was able to hold that the entire time.

Plus, 2.3GB is probably the full thing. Odds are they aren't going to install every thing (do you really need drivers for every video card they have for the initial install? You might just need the bare minimum for video and then get the drivers from the manufacturer's site post-install. Same thing with sound, network, chipset, etc). Then if you get (I haven't looked at the types of Win7, so using the Vista names) Home Basic, you are not going to have lots of things that they do have in the other versions, so you are going to have a much smaller initial install.

Re:Not so average (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497451)

The article to which you are referring is probably this one [arstechnica.com] It's not quite clear how 1.9 Mbs is the average. Is it a mode, a median, or a mean?

The paper behind the article includes this gem.

There are 8 megabits in a megabyte, so a 100 megabit per second connection takes 8 seconds to transmit a 100
megabyte file.

Re:Not so average (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28497591)

Average is a mean, dumbass.

Re:Not so average (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497967)

Really? The arithmetic mean can be surprisingly irrelevant.

Duh? (1)

anti-human 1 (911677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497521)

I assumed the summary meant WIRELESS Broadband data plans? The mention of "broadband data cap", I thought, indicated this. Netbooks, after all, are intended to be portable, on the go machines; many of which bundle data plans for subsidizing costs on the computer itself.

ROM drives possible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28497019)

It is possible to have this on ROM drive? Has anything like that been tried?

Re:ROM drives possible? (2, Interesting)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497151)

Of course, they just need to put a different type of chip in the thumbdrive, no biggie. The problem is that flash memory might be a lot cheaper due the massive amount of factories already tooled to produce it. Maybe they could include a physical write protect switch like you see on floppies, or something.

Re:ROM drives possible? (4, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497243)

They'll probably just wire a standard flash chip shut with the same pin used for the write-protect switches that some of them come with. Then there will be some "hardhack" Slashdot story about someone who managed to put Ubuntu on an AOL or Microsoft flash chip after taking a soldering iron to it.

Booting is a big pro Linux argument (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28497047)

Linux can boot from everything and doesn't have arcane configuration or environment requirements for doing so. It can run from RAM and read-only devices without cutting back functionality. The Windows boot process is full of dependencies, convoluted and badly documented.

Somebody is thinking at Microsoft? (5, Insightful)

bignetbuy (1105123) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497051)

Who hired them and how long do you think they will last at Microsoft? hohoho

Ok, being serious. It makes sense. With Time Warner slapping draconian download caps on those poor people in Texas, a USB flash drive for OS distribution in a growing netbook market shows some...slight...thinking ahead of the curve. Can you imagine the ire of not only having to download a 3.5GB OS onto a netbook but if you actually run over your cap and get charged EXTRA for it? Oh man. I would shoot my netbook.

Kudos to whomever pulled this rabbit out of the hat.

Re:Somebody is thinking at Microsoft? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28497235)

Can you imagine the ire of not only having to download a 3.5GB OS onto a netbook

I'm more excited about the ability to modify the installation (slipstream servicepacks/drivers/hotfixes) without having to kill a dvd every time.

OTOH, it does increase the possibility of someone injecting a trojan on the USB en-route. *adds another layer of tinfoil to hat*

If so, how about distributing a KVM/VMWARE image? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28497345)

I mean, save us the trouble!

Re:Somebody is thinking at Microsoft? (1)

thunderclap (972782) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497855)

I am sorry but the netbook would not be the thing I would be thinking of shooting if I went over.

Perhaps they mean skinnyband (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28497097)

...not broadband.

Even if it was a full DVD-R (about 4.7G), we'd be talking an hour or two with typical broadband.

And if your prohibits you from 5G of download in a day, then I hope you don't pay too much for it. That's a piddly amount of download. I probably blow through about that much per day on an average day, with perhaps triple that on a day when I'm actually interested in something.

Re:Perhaps they mean skinnyband (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497661)

And if your prohibits you from 5G of download in a day, then I hope you don't pay too much for it.

Mobile plans severely penalize those who download 5 GB in a thirty day billing period.

Re:Perhaps they mean skinnyband (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497973)

Typical? Average? This entire discussion is full of shoddy statistics.

If Microsoft were to eliminate discs entirely, and distribute Windows 7 as a digital download, it would cut off millions of potential customers who use DSL. I know, I know, the average bandwidth "is" 1.9 Mb/s-- larger than the 256K/384K/512K/768K/1.5M DSL variants. But it doesn't mean that those customers don't exist-- if bandwidth was uniformly distributed, those slow lines would still comprise a substantial fraction of broadband connections.

It's probably not a uniform distribution. I suspect that FIOS, and 99 Mb/s cable brings the average up substantially. Here on slashdot, the average is probably a bit different--distorted by campus ethernet, perhaps. But the mean is irrelevant. The median and the mode are more important to Microsoft.

It would destroy your USB stick (-1, Troll)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497123)

  • I'm trying Win7 at the moment. It is simply Vista but with less bad performance. Device compatibility is an issue, it supports fewer devices out-of-the-box than the Ubuntu 9.04 install I put on the same machine. You can use the Vista drivers for most hardware (which is why you know it's actually just a re-branded Vista) but that doesn't always work.
  • One thing I noticed is that my hard drive light it pulsing every few seconds. I wonder whether that is a background indexing service doing its thing? Anyway, given the finite number of writes to a USB drive getting written to every second would destroy your device within months (there are 86400 seconds in a day).
  • Oh yeah, I haven't installed Windows for a while so I'd forgotten that for the 8GB install you pretty much only get Notepad and Wordpad. Just so lame compared to Linux on a stick.
  • It is good to see Microsoft making progress in this area, but Windows 7 is usable but still a pretty average product (despite the fanboi hype working overtime).

Re:It would destroy your USB stick (2, Informative)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497281)

One thing I noticed is that my hard drive light it pulsing every few seconds. I wonder whether that is a background indexing service doing its thing?

No, thats insert polling on your SATA ports, presumably because you have a SATA device that supports removable media (CDRom, DVDRom, ...)

Thats not a Hard Drive light, thats an I/O light. Nerds are supposed to know what that light is.

Re:It would destroy your USB stick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28497303)

Why what do you get off a Linux stick besides Wordpad and Notepad?

Linux on USB Flash Drives (2, Interesting)

Teckla (630646) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497135)

On a related note, several years back, I emailed Ubuntu with a product suggestion. I asked them for "Ubuntu on USB Flash Drives", installable via a simple Windows executable. Double click the executable, choose your USB flash drive, and it would install on the USB flash drive and just work.

My thought was that it would make it much easier for Windows users that are curious about Linux to try it out. No need to burn a disc first (burning discs can be complicated for non-technical users), no need to boot from the optical drive to get into the Ubuntu installer, etc.

And since USB flash drives are read/write, you could even let them update packages, save documents, etc. A much better, more realistic experience than a read-only test drive of Ubuntu on CD.

They very kindly replied thanking me for the suggestion, but alas, it never materialized...

Re:Linux on USB Flash Drives (4, Informative)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497283)

I think you're looking for UNetbootin [sourceforge.net] .

Re:Linux on USB Flash Drives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28497687)

Also by default in Ubuntu 9.04 you can run usb-creator. It's in System, Administration menu, or just run usb-creator from the terminal. You need to download the Ubuntu ISO or use the Ubuntu install CD though.

Re:Linux on USB Flash Drives (1)

mariushm (1022195) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497311)

USB drives are still more expensive and heavier compared to CDs.. They can easily order 50.000 cd's cheaply... When they offered Ubuntu for free, they were practically begging people to request up to 10 discs at once and give the ones they don't need to friends because the shipping costs were higher than the costs of manufacturing them.

Re:Linux on USB Flash Drives (1)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497647)

What do you mean? Ubuntu will still ship you a free CD [ubuntu.com]

Re:Linux on USB Flash Drives (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497337)

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/ [pendrivelinux.com]

Pen Drive Linux to the rescue!!!

Re:Linux on USB Flash Drives (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497377)

Re:Linux on USB Flash Drives (1)

dalmiroy2k (768278) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497467)

No, he said he wanted a Windows Executable with a nice GUI that would automatically download the right soft (Some custom ISO) and let you store everything you need in your USB Pendrive, like codecs, office alternatives, Firefox, etc.
Something my parents could do over the phone as long as they have USB booting as default to migrate.

Re:Linux on USB Flash Drives (3, Informative)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497379)

That's not a new idea at all. Mandriva [mandriva.com] already does that and it has been doing that for years. I mean, since the days of Mandrake 9.2, I believe. That means since the days of Ubuntu 5.04, now that it appears that everything linux has been somehow reduced and limited to Ubuntu.

Re:Linux on USB Flash Drives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28497677)

Fedora has had a LiveUSB creator for a while now. You can easily choose how much space to give to persistent storage. It works in Windows and Linux. As a side note, I have used it to create Ubuntu LiveUSB keys as well.

https://fedorahosted.org/liveusb-creator/

Not surprising at all... (1)

jeffliott (1558799) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497145)

When people have been doing this with Windows AND Linux for a few years now. The very interesting thing I see about this is perhaps they could have their update client update the thumb drive so if you ever have to reinstall (I mean it IS windows) you wouldn't have to go through the painful 10 billion hours of updates? Especially on these netbooks with painfully slow performance specs. I recall it taking close to 8 hours to install XP on an Acer Aspire One with a super slow SSD.

a step in the right direction (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497221)

I think all software should be on those. If you scratch a USB drive, it still works. I don't think they have as good of a shelf life but it's not like you'd do a whole ton of I/O on it to kill it quickly. How often do you reinstall windows? Some really expensive software like robo-sewer control programs for robotic sewing machines installs off a USB drive and also requires that the USB drive be plugged in to start up the software. Talk about hard to pirate! You can't just image the drive either. It senses the serial number of the drive or something. Just think if games did this. They could be totally open with no stupid DRM malware or internet connection required. Just the USB drive needs to be plugged in and you're good. Plus, why stop there? I reeeeeally think Microsoft (and everyone else) should go back to cartridges for video games instead of CD/DVD games. Then there's basically no size limit, developers just add in a 16GB memory chip instead of 8 if they have a big game. That worked for the sega genesis and N64. Plus you can't scratch your cartridge and then have to pay another $60, and they could make the cartridge easily self destructable if anyone opens it to avoid ROMing. Just make the inside a vacuum and put an air sensor that will release a quick charging capacitor burst that fries all the memory chips if it senses air. That and put two layers of barely separated copper foil around the inside of the plastic casing and if anyone tries to penetrate it, they touch and complete a circuit that fries the memory. Flash based memory or basically anything non-optical needs to be implemented for a lot more future technology so I'm all for windows going to it at least!

WTF? (1)

Anonyme Connard (218057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497419)

Microsoft is considering offering Windows 7?

I've wondered why there are no usb ROM disks (1)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497433)

It seems to me that a usb ROM would make a ton of sense for things like this. If not USB than SD cards - as these are becoming fairly ubiquitous pretty quickly.

Re:I've wondered why there are no usb ROM disks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28497749)

Even better then ROM, for Microsoft, USB drives offer the possibility of a read once drive for copyright protection.

Re:I've wondered why there are no usb ROM disks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28497905)

Wow... talk about paranoid.

Re:I've wondered why there are no usb ROM disks (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497941)

There are. Or at least a lot of flash drives have a write protect switch that could be soldered closed.

Why would anyone want to buy a capped connection? (0, Flamebait)

rolfc (842110) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497507)

I have a 100/100 fiber in to my livingroom for 15$/month. Don't pay for slow and capped connections. Demand what you want

Re:Why would anyone want to buy a capped connectio (1)

BountyX (1227176) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497551)

I want that =(, who is your provider?

Re:Why would anyone want to buy a capped connectio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28497603)

Where can I get this service in South Africa? We pay more than that for 384kbps DSL with a 3GB cap.

Re:Why would anyone want to buy a capped connectio (1)

nickspoon (1070240) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497735)

That's great for you; the majority of us can't get that sort of speed, and certainly for not that sort of money. The maximum reasonable broadband speed where I live (semi-rural UK) is 8/1. There are companies which do offer fibre to some places now, but you're looking at £50/mo for 50/50, with 'Fair Use'.

Re:Why would anyone want to buy a capped connectio (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497741)

I have a 100/100 fiber in to my livingroom for 15$/month. Don't pay for slow and capped connections. Demand what you want

From whom in the United States? And how do you connect when outside your home?

Re:Why would anyone want to buy a capped connectio (1)

dotgain (630123) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497895)

Hey, I leech my employer's OC48 and the cost to me is $0/month. Great for me, but it doesn't mean I can just tell everyone to do the same. Most geeks have less trouble getting sex than a satisfactory internet hook-up.

Hardware bases copyright protection. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28497609)

I am surprised that they have not tried something like this sooner seeing as it really paves the way to a hardware based copyright protection system. How hard would it be to place some kind of Microcontroller on or add firmware to a smart USB controller which records information about the system that it is being installed to and prevents the number of installs before it refuses to allow access to the stored data. It would also be make it much easier to embed the product key into the product itself. If this system information and product key information where unaddressable over the USB bus, it could make a hardware based copyright system that is non-trivial to overcome.

Too bad you will have to keep it plugged in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28497623)

DRM anyone? "W7 have not been able to detect a valid dongel" Please plug it in or call Microsoft.

Whoa! (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497625)

Downloading Windows 7 for free, burning to a DVD and installing was a surreal enough experience already!

Re:Whoa! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28498059)

According to economic theory, financial crises don't happen, clearly standard economics is wrong.

According to Newtonian mechanics, an object in motion will never stop, clearly Newtonian mechanics is wrong.
According to Darwinism, apes evolved into humans, but there are still apes, so clearly Darwinism is wrong.

Or, more precisely: "If you attack an uneducated caricature of what a discipline actually says, you merely reveal your ignorance."

Easy solution to this problem: Bribe fw nazi (4, Insightful)

scottv67 (731709) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497697)

the Windows 7 ISO weighs in at 2.3GB, which would take several hours to download on an average broadband connection and potentially do serious damage to a customer's broadband data cap.

There is an easy solution to this problem: if you don't have a decent connection at home, download the ISO at work. Check with your company's firewall nazi (that's one of the hats I wear during the day). See if he/she objects to you downloading that ISO or if company policy prohibits this type of download. If you ask nicely, the firewall nazi will probably find a way to download that ISO image rather quickly and you won't have to worry about burning up your bandwidth cap at home or waiting five days for the download at home to finish. If you mention something like, "Hey, I heard you like Five Guys. Can I buy you a burger and fries sometime?" as you hand the USB drive to the fw nazi, he/she will be much more receptive to your request. It's all in how you ask. Am I going to download a copy of the latest Star Trek movie for you (even if some free F.G. is on the line)? *No.* Would I download an ISO from Microsoft for you if you ask in a pleasant tone? Probably. Also, the chances are good that I have already downloaded that ISO for my own testing or someone who sits near me at work has a copy of that ISO.

Slackware install from USB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28497777)

If you are going to upgrade, get the good stuff [slackware.com]

Utterly painless dual boot on my 900HA. wireless was the only thing I needed to tweek.

If they were really on the ball (5, Funny)

stox (131684) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497879)

They would offer Windows 7 in a convenient suppository.

Smart idea, but an even better idea (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28497891)

Is to also have a Live mode that won't even require to be installed on the hosts machine.
2 sticks in one, one containing the main system files, read-only, the other being your user space.
It's not like it would be hard to pull off, and the cost won't be that much more if you keep the sizes low. (and you can always offer larger ones too)
Having a Win7 Live would be useful if you screwed up your machine and need to do some repairs and/or backups if the repair attempts fail.

I have a WinXP live just in case i screw things up, as well as UBCD, several diagnostic tools and so on. All in one beautiful disc. :)

Starting off at 1gig and going up.
Could be used to carry your most important files around, or all if you end up getting one of the larger ones and don't use a lot.
Just out of interest, are there any companies out there who make things like this? One part read only (with switch?) and another read/write? Such a thing would be incredibly useful.

What concerns me the most about this article... (4, Interesting)

cyberjock1980 (1131059) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497947)

Isn't the news of Microsofts ideas. It's that the article already makes the assumption that you have bandwidth caps and Microsoft is having to work around them. On Microsoft's front, this is great. However, this just reeks of society accepting that bandwidth caps are here, acceptable, and we should just succumb to our limitations.

If the article had instead mentioned the "new unacceptable limitations being imposed by broadband ISPs" I would see it differently. Instead it states "...which would take several hours to download on an average broadband connection and potentially do serious damage to a customer's broadband data cap.".

To me, the article writer is already stating that bandwidth caps are here to stay, we lost the war on bandwidth caps, and we should rejoice that Microsoft has plans to overcome these obstacles.

This is always how major obstacles are overcome when the public cries.

1. Proudly display your new 'grand plan' and how it's 'needed' or 'helpful'.
2. Public outcry comes and you dash for cover to avoid being attacked.
3. Bring the program back a little at a time and convince the press (or buy them) into stating your plan as if it is already here and in use.
4. Bring your 'grand plan' to market. The public is sick of hearing about the negatives of the 'grand plan' and have decided that it WILL happen, there's nothing they can do about it, and should just accept that it is here to stay.

This happens with MANY things in life...Obama's 'grand' plan for health care, Bush's bailout plans, ISP bandwidth caps... I could make a very long list of things that you can read about that are worded as if they are here already.

I admit, the article is written with a .uk domain, so maybe the UK already has imposed limits. But I've seen wording here in the USA making statements implying everyone in the USA has bandwidth caps and we should all run and check them regularly.

Clever bastards (1)

edcheevy (1160545) | more than 5 years ago | (#28498081)

Realistically, who isn't going to delete the W7 files off the USB drive when they're done so they can use it for other things? Should you ever need to reinstall, you'll have to buy another one. A clever win/win for Microsoft.
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