Microsoft and SanDisk have announced they have signed an agreement to deliver a next-generation software and hardware solution to place application programs and personal customisation on USB flash drives and flash memory cards.
Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will develop a new software experience and SanDisk will develop new hardware capabilities, including the addition of TrustedFlash security technology. SanDisk will incorporate the combined software and hardware solution on removable flash memory cards and Cruzer USB flash drives. The new offering is expected to be commercially available starting in the second half of 2008.
“SanDisk and U3 forged the category of smart USB devices, elevating simple flash storage to a whole new level of customer benefit,” said Will Poole, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Market Expansion Group. “We are excited to work with SanDisk on this next-generation experience, which will allow hardware manufacturers to better differentiate their products and provide an even richer software and services experience for customers.”
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.