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Microsoft & SanDisk To Provide Desktop on Thumb Drive

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the desktop-in-your-pants-huh-we-get-that-a-lot dept.

Data Storage 233

Jesus Christ writes "An Information Week article reports that Microsoft is teaming up with SanDisk to provide users a complete image of their desktops in their pockets, allowing them access not only to their data...but also their applications and user interface setup while on the go. 'The companies plan to add a security layer to the offering using SanDisk's TrustedFlash security and digital rights management technology. The effort will elevate "simple flash storage to a whole new level of customer benefit," said Will Poole, corporate VP for Microsoft's Market Expansion Group. Microsoft also plans to seek out third party-hardware developers to support the initiative, the company said. As part of the plan, SanDisk will phase out its U3 technology, which adds some smart features to USB devices. Independent software developers that have created U3-compatible applications will be offered help migrating their products to the new technology, which has yet to be named.'"

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This is going to be gay (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19089883)

I predict taht this will be a gay product.

It will be somewhat useful at some times and extremely annoying at most times.

Also, it will take it in the ass.

Damn Small Windows? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19090005)

Or is that oxymoronic?

Or just moronic?

I give up.

Re:Damn Small Windows? (3, Funny)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090513)

Both...

But we all know the only thing that can shrink Windows that much would be a black hole.

Sandisk? more like MAN DICKS (0, Offtopic)

Sexual Asspussy (453406) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090165)

srsly, their key drives are correlated with a 139% jump in anogenital cancers at the OSDN labs over the last 6 months

also, meth

Let me guess (0, Redundant)

ClaraBow (212734) | more than 7 years ago | (#19089911)

It will only run on Vista.

Re:Let me guess (2, Informative)

ClaraBow (212734) | more than 7 years ago | (#19089947)

I RTFA, it will support XP. I jumped the gun!

Re:Let me guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19090855)

s/gun/shark/

Re:Let me guess (5, Informative)

Anarchysoft (1100393) | more than 7 years ago | (#19089949)

Microsoft said it plans to add support for the technology into its Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems.
Needless to say, GNU/Linux, etc has ran beautifully on removable media for years. I'm surprised MS didn't go for a specialized Windows CE.

Re:Let me guess (1)

eneville (745111) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090405)

Microsoft said it plans to add support for the technology into its Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems.
Needless to say, GNU/Linux, etc has ran beautifully on removable media for years. I'm surprised MS didn't go for a specialized Windows CE.
More to the point, things like FreeSCO (has nothing to do with santa cruz, it's more a pun on CISCO), runs from a single floppy disk. I've used it as a backup router for many years, it's perfect. Then there are things like DSL (damn small linux) that too runs as a desktop consuming some tiny amount of disk space, I forget the exact figure, but I think the desktop install is around 100-500meg.

Re:Let me guess (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19090759)

a desktop consuming some tiny amount of disk space, I forget the exact figure, but I think the desktop install is around 100-500meg.


I must be getting old.

Re:Let me guess (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19090203)


It will only run on Vista.


I didn't realize that there was an 80G thumb drive

Re:Let me guess (2, Interesting)

toleraen (831634) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090407)

64GB [cdw.com] should be close enough

Re:Let me guess (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090495)

close enough for anybody. FIFY.

portable apps anybody ? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19089931)

Anybody ?

Re:portable apps anybody ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19090025)

Bueller?

No Wait! It's a Whole New Thing! (1)

norminator (784674) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090147)

That's what I thought of when I saw this... but then I read:

The effort will elevate "simple flash storage to a whole new level of customer benefit," said Will Poole, corporate VP for Microsoft's Market Expansion Group.

So apparently it's a whole new, totally different thing that's just like how some current things work. Now that's innovation at work.

As a side note, and as someone already mentioned, I love how these innovative "whole new level" technologies rely on a "trusted" product. It may be trusted by MS, but I don't trust it, and my Damn Small Linux and Portable Apps don't need it!

TrustedFlash security? (4, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 7 years ago | (#19089937)

Why do I keep seeing "DRM" in this?


Funny, nowadays anything that has "trusted" in it seems to me like something I have to distrust...

Re:TrustedFlash security? (5, Interesting)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090075)

Euphemisms mangle language.

I was just having a discussion the other day about the word "fantastic". These days it means "great" or "wonderful", but I have been informed that the century before last it meant "unlikely".

This was because it meant "fantasy-astic", in other words, "unrealistic".

This use of the word, "trusted" is seeming to me to be meaning "inflexible" or simply "restricted in action".

Re:TrustedFlash security? (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090237)

Fantastic still does mean that, you just don't see it in that context as often. But I think you're mischaracterizing a bit when you say it means "great." It means great in the same way as if you say something is "unbelievably good!" It's less a new definition and more hyperbolic slang.

Re:TrustedFlash security? (1)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090569)

Hmm, I will agree with you one this.

Another example: "awesome" of course still means awe-inspiring. Thus a person may call a spectacular tragedy "awesome", even though the most common, spoken usage means "great".

Re:TrustedFlash security? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19090245)

Trusted computing isn't about providing an environment you, the user can trust. It is about providing an environment copyright holders can trust you to have.

Like the Soviet Russia jokes, only real.

Re:TrustedFlash security? (2, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090525)

In Soviet Russia, computer trusts YOU!

Damn, now I hate myself for succumbing to that temptation.

Re:TrustedFlash security? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090475)

Funny, nowadays anything that has "trusted" in it seems to me like something I have to distrust...

This has always been true, whenever someone says "trust me" you know they're up to no good. I guess if they were trustworthy, they wouldn't have to say so.

Re:TrustedFlash security? (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090679)

It's like any sales pitch. If they have to tell you it's trusted, it obviously must not be.

Remember the good old days... (4, Interesting)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | more than 7 years ago | (#19089957)

...when a program was a single executable file?

And by "file" I mean made of manila paper, and by "executable" I mean with holes punched in it.

Seriously though, why aren't most modern desktop applications portable by design?

Portable Apps (3, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090001)

It looks to me like MS finally caught on to Portable Applications and BartPE bootable CDs or USB sticks.

Re:Remember the good old days... (2, Interesting)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090031)

I'll be the first to mention that they normally are on the Macintosh. I could make a joke about modern - mac and legacy - windows, but I won't go that far.

Re:Remember the good old days... (4, Informative)

N3Roaster (888781) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090685)

That was previously the case on the Macintosh where the executable typically had everything it needed in the resource fork of the file, but these days the executable file is buried in a folder with a .app filename extension and the folder also contains graphics and other resources that normally would have been in the resource fork or as separate files somewhere else. It's a nice solution, but the default shell Apple provides isn't as smart as the Finder when dealing with these, so running graphical applications from the command line isn't nearly as nice as it should be (you can't just add /Applications to $PATH and say, Preview list_of_files). Still, that's much nicer than the application being an executable file, a few dozen DLLs scattered throughout the system, and a couple hundred registry entries. (On a related note, why do I think I've heard about this already being done with Linux without the DRM?)

Re:Remember the good old days... (1)

Anarchysoft (1100393) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090093)

...when a program was a single executable file? I hope those weren't the good old days when applications came with their own slew of device drivers (graphics, audio, scanners, mice, etc.) Especially on old XT/AT hardware. Those were the days... ;)

Re:Remember the good old days... (1)

dvice_null (981029) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090257)

> Seriously though, why aren't most modern desktop applications portable by design?

I studied programming for about 4 years. Only somewhat relative courses to portability were courses about Java and PHP. After the school I'm quite amazed that there was nothing about wxWidgets, or SDL or any other library that allows programmers to create portable applications easily, and still maintain the look of the native application.

Re:Remember the good old days... (1)

Anarchysoft (1100393) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090343)

I studied programming for about 4 years. Only somewhat relative courses to portability were courses about Java and PHP. After the school I'm quite amazed that there was nothing about wxWidgets, or SDL or any other library that allows programmers to create portable applications easily, and still maintain the look of the native application.
It seems strange that programming classes would generally be platform specific. Even if a person had some sworn allegiance to an OS, that OS will almost certainly (A LOT) change over the course of their career. Learning how to write programs in general, portable ways is very useful. On the other hand, it's good to go all the way wiht the limitations of a machine/OS now and then! :)

Re:Remember the good old days... (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090611)

On the other hand, it's good to go all the way wiht the limitations of a machine/OS now and then! :)

Agreed.

But I'm not sure why my RSS reader needs to be skinnable, semitransparent, dockable to other windows, resident in my tray with an animated popup notification, with a media player widget built in, and hooking into task manager to change the process name to show the currently playing track, finally adding an extra button to every window next to minimize so that I can tweak its settings from anywhere.

For too many programmers out there test the limitations of an OS utterly needlessly.

Re:Remember the good old days... (4, Funny)

nschubach (922175) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090681)

Agreed. Just give me an RSS reader object that I can drag and drop into whatever container object I so desire...

Re:Remember the good old days... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090801)

Some lunatic decided that more than one person should be able to make customizations on a computer, and that it should be as seamless as possible. Then a bunch of idiots implemented it poorly(Of course, Windows XP implements it just fine, but a lot of software makes sure to break it, so no one twist my words in that direction please).

Re:Remember the good old days... (1)

rm999 (775449) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090809)

Two reasons that I can think of:
A. It's harder to secure a program from privacy when it's portable to another computer. The registry allows them to tie a program to the computer - if you can put the program on a disk and then put it on another computer, it can now be pirated
B. A lot of programs use the same files as other programs. A common dll may be used in 20 different applications. Space can be saved if the programs take advantage of some common location for these shared files, installing only if they don't already exist. It seems like this requires applications to be tied onto a computer.

Re:Remember the good old days... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19090875)

this would be the space that's currently running at about 6p/GB ? (overclockers.co.uk, seagate barracuda 320GB)

Re:Remember the good old days... (1)

rm999 (775449) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090961)

Well, that may have been the original reason - my "c:\program files\common files" folder is about 250 megs, which is still a decent amount on my 30 gig laptop hard drive.

I personally hate they way things are not portable, and have been trying to figure it out myself for some time. I wish MSFT would just get rid of the registry

Been There, Done That (2, Insightful)

spotter (5662) | more than 7 years ago | (#19089961)

We've done this on Linux, including supporting checkpointing the state (very quick, its under a second ignoring writeback time, which is a function of the device one wants to use) so one can migrate to a different machine where one can restart it.

http://www.ncl.cs.columbia.edu/publications/compsa c2006_fordist.pdf [columbia.edu]

Re:Been There, Done That (1)

Mahjub Sa'aden (1100387) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090141)

What I didn't see from the article was whether or not this is a bootable OS type thing, or just a collection of portable applications. Which already exist, though most of them are open source, and thus not particularly suited to Microsoft's vision of the future, I suppose.

If there was a way to dump a select bit of your desktop data and sync it back up with your home comp, that would be cool. I'd want one of those, even if it wasn't bootable.

Re:Been There, Done That (2, Informative)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090311)

You could use udev to mount your USB drive to /home/[username] under Linux.

Re:Been There, Done That (1)

spotter (5662) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090713)

Basically, you want a nicer version of coda.

Why is this so hard? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090007)

Is it just the BIOS that gets in the way? I've been running OSX from external drives for years now, and it makes a whole lot of recovery and imaging tasks unbelievably easier, and I keep wondering, why the hell does Microsoft have to make it so difficult?

Even with Linux, you can't just run your normal Linux install and point it towards an external drive and have that work. You have to do extra tricks that are... tricky.

So really, is it a problem with the BIOS? Can't we just fix whatever it is and be done with this problem?

Re:Why is this so hard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19090199)

Even with Linux, you can't just run your normal Linux install and point it towards an external drive and have that work. You have to do extra tricks that are... tricky.


Not too tricky. With Ubuntu, if you remove all internal drives during the install process, and edit the grub file, it will work with no other tricks. The internal drives need to be removed because the Grub installer gets confused about the USB hard drive's location.

It's not as easy as OSX, but it's easy enough that that at BYU, we make freshmen IT students do it so they can learn a bit of server maintenance on their own portable hard drives, instead of screwing up the lab computers.

Here's the Ubuntu Forums thread on it: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=308027 [ubuntuforums.org]

Essentially, you need Grub to use disk UUIDs, fstab to ue UUIDs and your initial ram disk to have enough drivers to handle whatever you try to boot it on.

Re:Why is this so hard? (1)

DaftWally (1101019) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090275)

Maybe its harder to get linux to boot from an external hdd, but can you run OS X from a CD?

Your turn.

Re:Why is this so hard? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090491)

Maybe its harder to get linux to boot from an external hdd, but can you run OS X from a CD?

As a matter of fact, you can. But why bother when you can install it on a USB drive so easily?

Re:Why is this so hard? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090847)

Because I don't like giving me usb drives to other people.

Re:Why is this so hard? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090725)

And BTW, I wasn't attempting to badmouth Linux, which could probably have been noted from my repeated attempts to blame the BIOS. I suspect that part of the reason it's easy to install OSX on external drives is that Apple doesn't deal with Linux anymore.

Re:Why is this so hard? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090773)

Apple doesn't deal with Linux anymore.

CORRECTION: Apple doesn't deal with BIOS anymore. They've been using OpenFirmware and now EFI.

Re:Why is this so hard? (5, Interesting)

MoxFulder (159829) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090443)

Yes, it's largely a BIOS problem. BIOS is a freaking travesty of junk 20-year-old code zealously protected by a evil, backward-looking cabal of motherboard and BIOS vendors. It's slow and nonstandardized and often buggy, and it needlessly initializes lots of hardware that's going to be reinitialized by the operating system anyway. Of course, it would be great if we were all running LinuxBIOS [wikipedia.org] , like the OLPC is. It can go from power-on to kernel load in about 1 second, and is completely modular and customizable. Oh, and it can boot Windows and xBSD and probably OSX too. But unfortunately, the chipset and motherboard vendors mostly don't release their docs, so the odds that your desktop mobo is supported by LinuxBIOS are sadly very small.

All that being said... with modern Linux kernels (2.6.1+ I believe) you can mount partitions based on the UUIDs stored in the partition table (e.g. 8F3B6029A471238F), rather than by what particular interface BIOS sez they're connected to (e.g. /dev/sdg1 or /dev/hda1). This goes a long way to making it easy to install Linux distros on portable drives.

With Ubuntu Edgy or Feisty, you *can* simply install Linux to a USB hard disk (I've done it without a hitch). It will look for the hard disk partitions based on UUID rather than /dev/whatever, so it won't get confused when you move it from computer to computer. Unfortunately you will still have to figure out how to make each computer boot from USB in the first place, because BIOS IS SO FREAKING GHETTO!

Consumers don't want DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19090019)

Consumers don't want DRM. It doesn't matter what the industry decides to call it [slashdot.org] The consumer will eventually realize they are restricted by it.

A replacement to U3? (1)

micah_hainline (1022705) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090037)

As part of the plan, SanDisk will phase out its U3 technology, which adds some smart features to USB devices.

The idea of carrying your "desktop" on a USB key is a solid one, and as the size of flash drives goes up and cost goes down it starts to make practical sense. If the U3 technology is any indication however, the idea still has a long way to go. U3 is clunky and invasive, and Microsoft and Sandisk will have to do a lot better than Sandisk has been able to do thus far to see the product become viable. Microsoft's forays into this area have been unimpressive as well. Briefcase anyone?

As technology improves, it will be interesting to see if someone one-ups this idea and provides the entire operating system in something closer to an Ubuntu Live CD.

Re:A replacement to U3? (2, Informative)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090231)

As technology improves, it will be interesting to see if someone one-ups this idea and provides the entire operating system in something closer to an Ubuntu Live CD.

Everyone is doing this already. Ok... everyone except Microsoft. You've been able to run a complete version of Linux or OSX off of a USB drive for a while now.

Re:A replacement to U3? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 7 years ago | (#19091105)

Maybe MS doesn't support it directly

but... http://tomshardware.co.uk/2005/09/09/windows_in_yo ur_pocket/ [tomshardware.co.uk] or http://www.sureboot.com/ [sureboot.com] or http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-6346-592 8902.html [com.com]

Here's the reason [msdn.com] you can't install Windows directly on the USB drive... turns out its all to do with pageable kernels (that OSX and Linux don't support)

Re:A replacement to U3? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19090771)

As technology improves, it will be interesting to see if someone one-ups this idea and provides the entire operating system in something closer to an Ubuntu Live CD.

Hey Dumbass,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_USB [wikipedia.org]

What are you, like three years old?

Hmmmmmm sounds familiar (2, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090067)

Windows on a stick? Yes, sounds familiar.... oh, sorry, that was 'shit on a stick'

Seriously though, I wonder what nick names will be found for this product?

Re:Hmmmmmm sounds familiar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19091027)

ehm... Blue Stick Of Death?

One step further and you have this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19090073)

A full a VoIP PBX implementation on a USB memory stick... http://www.voipteleport.com/ [voipteleport.com]

U3, gen 2 (4, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090081)

I don't know whether to cheer that the U3 flash drives are going away, or to tremble in fear of what these new ones will do.

I manage college computer labs, and those damn U3 drives have been a recurring hassle. They try to auto-install software on every Windows machine they come into contact with, and require two drive letters (which doesn't work so well in an environment where several key letters are already in use). When used on a Mac, they mount an extra pseudo CD on the desktop, loaded with software that's obviously (but not to many students) utterly useless. If this is in any way an extension or "improvement" upon that, then my job is about to get even harder.

Re:U3, gen 2 (1)

mooreBS (796555) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090279)

U3 has a removal program available on their website. Available here: http://www.u3.com/uninstall/ [u3.com]

All this talk... (1)

bubba451 (779167) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090125)

and no one thinks it's interesting that the rapture is apparently imminent, and all that's relevant is Windows and thumb drives?

Re:All this talk... (1)

JordanL (886154) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090253)

JC isn't here to stay yet, he's here for a brief visit cause pops decided that this development would be so disrupting to all his poor little geeks that they had to be warned. Poor JC had to log out of his Mac OS 23.19.3.2.0.4.5 box which was divine protection and come down to utter a warning to the non-believers.

in other news (5, Funny)

voislav98 (1004117) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090139)

Microsoft has also announced they will start producing a revolutionary new device, enabling for much more efficient transport of goods. They are calling it the Microsoft Wheel.

Re:in other news (3, Funny)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090417)

Don't you mean Microsoft Live! Wheel?

Re:in other news (1)

Delkster (820935) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090461)

Not to mention that it's not only revolutionary but also revolving.

I have to say that I'm a little disappointed at Microsoft Wheel. I was expecting something really fresh and innovative, but it really just recycles the ideas found in previous Microsoft products. After all, a Windows CD will do about the same thing if you place an axis in the central whole.

Re:in other news (1)

fuego451 (958976) | more than 7 years ago | (#19091115)

I think most folks should wait at least until sp2-axle comes out.

Phase out its U3 technology (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090153)

Phase out industry standards and implement more proprietary ( and restricted ) 'standards'.

I wonder (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19090159)

If there will be enough room on the thumb drive for all the trojans, viruses, adware, and spambots too.

Disappointing (2, Funny)

Applekid (993327) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090167)

I had visions of hitting a button on my thumb drive and getting a huge desktop folded out that I can rest things on. You know, my notebook, my feet, that 5th cup of coffee...

Oops, sorry, you fail it. (2, Funny)

glindsey (73730) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090179)

digital rights management technology

Ooooh, so close to not being crap!

Oops, sorry, you fail it-cause-effect. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19091139)

No. Pirates failed it. Anyone who didn't believe in cause and effect, soon will.

Licensing (5, Interesting)

NoMoreFood (783406) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090209)

It'll be interesting to see how application licensing works for something like this...

Already been done. (1)

Xoltri (1052470) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090223)

I'm pretty sure this is already possible. http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/ [nu2.nu]

quite a source (0, Offtopic)

Bill Dog (726542) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090271)

Jesus Christ writes
"An Information Week article reports...


Does Zonk have a direct line to God?

Is that a desktop in your pocket, or... (1)

gcatullus (810326) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090281)

Am I the only one who thought it odd that sandisk is going to give users "a complete image of their desktops in their pockets" I can't vouch for everyone else, but most assuredly there is no desktop in my pocket, and if there was I especially would not want an image of it.

Obligatory (3, Funny)

ObjetDart (700355) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090353)

Hey, is that a desktop in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Mojo? (1)

Niet3sche (534663) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090357)

I fail to see how this is one iota different than Mojo. While I don't use Mojo, I've seen an online demo and it looks interesting - exactly, to my mind, what MS & Sandisk are promising in mid-2008.

Well... (1)

Kanuck (1096475) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090367)

It could be interesting, but at the same time, as pointed out, I don't see how it's really anything new. If they can manage to make it a bit easier for the user, though, by all means, give it a shot. *shrug*

Ripping off MojoPac. (5, Interesting)

PxM (855264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090373)

So, they're pretty much trying to create a copy of MojoPac [mojopac.com] (wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org] ) and call it their own? MojoPac does the same thing for Windows, but it's not tied to a single physical device. The good part about this is that when I upgraded from an iPod to an external HD, I was able to take the entire setup with me without a problem. Unfortunately for MS, they are teaming up with a flash disk manufacturer rather than an HD maker. I found that trying to run any real app such as Office off a flash drive was impossibly slow. The reason I upgraded from my iPod to an custom external 7200rpm drive was for the sake of speed. The iPod was faster than running off a flash disk, but was still too slow for most things. Now, I can run all the important applications (e.g. GIMP, and WoW) without any noticeable performance hit off my external drive via MojoPac. It will be interesting to see how MS/Sandisk compare in terms of performance speed to MojoPac. Given how bad U3 was, I would be surprised if they can get it fast enough to run any games off of the device. Unless they can get enough performance off the flash disk to run Office, I don't see them as being a real competitor to MojoPac.

linux (1, Interesting)

crAckZ (1098479) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090377)

mandriva has a 4gb flash that is this. http://www.mandriva.com/en/linux/node_3827 [mandriva.com] once again "someone" has taken a great linux product and claims it is new technology

bah (2, Funny)

blindd0t (855876) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090393)

<sarcasm>Just let me have "My Briefcase" so I can synchronize my files with my floppy disk. There's no way this would be more successful a feature than that!</sarcasm>

U3 (0)

mchale (104743) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090395)

Am I the only person out there who finds "U3 technology" to be complete crap? I actually paid double the price to get a PNY 1G flash drive instead of SanDisk, because it was just a hard drive and didn't have unremovable bundled software like SanDisk's drives do.

I don't want an undeletable application layer between me and my data, thankyouverymuch. I'm paying for the storage space, not their software.

Re:U3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19090473)

theres a utility that removes all U3 software from a thumb. So are you stupid that you overpaid because youre too slow to do a simple google search?

Re:U3 (2, Informative)

yaff (695800) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090573)

You can remove U3. Look here. [u3.com]

I had to blitz a memory stick for my father-in-law. As I recall, this program hung while reformatting the stick. Scary, but it did work.

Yawn (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090467)

Been there, done that. Ever use a Sunray terminal?

Multi-platforms would be nice (2, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090477)

Since they plan on doing something from scratch (from what I understand), how about defining open standards that could be used on any platform?

I know some things can't be cross-platforms (executables, etc), others can (wallpaper, keyboard, mouse, language, international, email and IM settings, etc).

Put everything in pure (i.e., non-"Microsoft-enhanced") .xml files and keep it simple.

Seeing as Microsoft is part of this initiative, however, I predict that "cross-platform" will mean "Windows Vista and future versions of Windows".

Re:Multi-platforms would be nice (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090803)

that's just it, apps can be cross platform. java springs to mind. a fast java is also possible in a properly designed OS, and intergrated JVM.

Odd that first time I heard this I thought of Home on IPod that hits the Mac rumour mill with every "OS X" release.

it is possible. the hard part is that MSF will have to break compatibility with existing systems, something they avoid at all costs including security.

Re:Multi-platforms would be nice (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090879)

Since they plan on doing something from scratch (from what I understand), how about defining open standards that could be used on any platform?
Thanks, now I have to buy a new keyboard. Stupid coffee.

Desktop on Thumb Drive? (1)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090479)

If I'm used a thumb drive for my desk top, where would I put my coffee cup?

It's BS (2, Insightful)

Werrismys (764601) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090501)

A live-USB that requires Winblows-side ware to actually work.

It will not be a portable run-anywhere-on-x86-liveUSB like Knoppix or DSL. It will be another useless piece of shit.

Re:It's BS (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090757)

Don't forget the part where every one will think it's awesome despite the fact that it's been done before and done better.
This really is just a response to all the Linux USB sticks running around. But of course MS has to lock you in so of
course whatever computer you boot on will need Windows.....more lame ass lock in to make more money in more lame ass ways.

Another stupid idea for many reasons... (1)

Port-0 (301613) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090667)

Anyone remember losing or damaging a floppy disk? There's a reason why technologies have become "network centered." I'm betting it will be implemented in some stupid way like roaming profiles on a flash card. I can just see it now, you save your stuff, pull out your flash disk, and walk away... "Crap I forgot to 'eject' it." So now, All your data are belong to Xenu.

Roaming profiles? (1)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090687)

So, they figured out a way to save their "Roaming Profiles" technology (which is horrendously unreliable) to a flash disk instead of just storing on the network. Big deal. The only "innovation" is the addition of DRM, which itself is predictable, and also a feature nobody wants.

Microsoft: providing you with Innovative Innovations (tm) to Microsoft SneakerNet (tm) at a time when everyone else is moving towards the "always-on" web profile.

Why DRM is involved in this (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090811)

Suppose you have some DRM protected content which you can listen to or watch on your Windows computer. But if you do manage to copy that content over to your USB Flash drive and access it on another computer, like at work, you can't (if DRM is doing what the content owners expect of it). I suspect what the DRM in this new technology will be doing is allowing you to do just that ... listen to or watch your content on the computer you take your USB flash drive to. But it will most likely only let you listen/watch in just one place at a time. And that means to be able to listen/watch on your home computer again, you have to bring the USB flash drive back, and either leave the content on it, or "move" it back to the computer spin drive.

So maybe the existance of DRM in this isn't really making it any more evil ... unless you lose the USB flash drive.

If it weren't Microsoft... (1)

skelly33 (891182) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090831)

... I could see some solid imaginative and practical uses for this. A portable "disk" with mass storage available through mapping the likes of a gmail account, and license info for access to web-based applications that don't need to be stored on the disk itself. Reminds me of the memory card for a PlayStation that stores settings for a game and if you take the settings to another location where the game is also available, you're right back at home; with the web, the "game" (or application) should be available anywhere, so I'd buy that for a dollar. Unfortunately, my Microsoft senses are tingling and my guess would be that it's only going to support the MIcrosoft suite of offerings and that I am not willing to buy.

Requires Another License? What about VM? (1)

VGfort (963346) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090837)

I'd like to have VMware on a stick. I cant see wanting to carry around a portable version of my computer with all my emails and stuff, I'm sure others might, but to me its too big a security risk.

Patent Infringement (1)

kseise (1012927) | more than 7 years ago | (#19090915)

Didn't someone already patent:
Sudo mount /dev/sda /home ?

...new technology, which has yet to be named? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19091001)

From the description of this latest MS innovation, it sounds like they should name it MojoPac [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MojoPac [wikipedia.org] ], but looks like someone beat them to it.

Everything needs a name! (1, Interesting)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 7 years ago | (#19091019)

... the new technology, which has yet to be named.

How about "Virus in a Box"?

Just Use PortableApps.com (3, Informative)

CritterNYC (190163) | more than 7 years ago | (#19091131)

Just use PortableApps.com [portableapps.com] today. It has better compatibility, working with most Windows OSes (95, 98, Me, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista) as well as Wine under *nix. It's open so you can add any software [portableapps.com] that's already portable to it. And it's much more popular than U3 ever was, with over 20,000,000 apps downloaded. Plus it works from any drive you'd like: USB flash drive, iPod, portable hard drive, network share, etc... so you're never tied down.
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