USB flash drives to get upgraded by Microsoft and SanDisk

In an effort to replace existing U3 Smart Technology, Microsoft is developing new software and SanDisk is creating a new hardware solution to place application programs on USB flash drives and flash memory cards with TrustedFlash security technology. SanDisk will incorporate the combined software and hardware solution on removable flash memory cards and Cruzer USB flash drives.

A U3 smart drive can be plugged into any Windows-based computer's USB port to securely access personalized e-mail programs, Web browsers, productivity tools, multimedia applications and more. When users unplug their U3 smart drive, they take their personal information with them. Microsoft and SanDisk stressed that developers will be offered a migration path to modify existing U3 applications to run on the new offering.

The new technology from the two companies will be designed to offer a similar feature set on Windows XP and Windows Vista, but with greater security features and encryption enabled by TrustedFlash technology.

The new offering is expected to be commercially available starting in the second half of 2008.

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