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Bootable Windows 8 Off USB

Microsoft is looking to make their OS more portable.  With Windows8 one of the features the Redmond Washington company is featuring is a bootable OS.  True, we’ve seen both Windows and Linux distro’s bootable off a flash drive, but what makes this a bit different is 1)  being legal and 2)  officially supported.  This seems a very smart move to keep Microsoft positioned to as an option as virtual desktop and thin client systems continue to rise in popularity. Many power users already run virtual laptops off of USB drives enabling them to work on a single consistent environment at both home and work without fussing with a laptop/briefcase. This should cement the concept and help keep MS moving towards more secure OS options comparable to VPMs. With an official version of bootable Windows OS, IT managers could now use a USB Duplicator, such as the one from Nexcopy Inc., to mass produce their installation and/or restore media in a much faster time frame then using an old school optical duplicator. An additional caveat of the portable Windows system is the speed of the environment.  Granted, there is nothing like running off a hard disk, but running of NAND flash will be almost as smooth…and with memory performance getting better with USB 3.0 flashdrive devices, it will become two of the same. Video of Windows8 running on a MacBook Pro after the jump Continue Reading

Skinny Jeans 2TB USB Flash Drive

Transcend and Taiwan’s ITRI are doing a joint venture design on an ultra slim 2TB USB flashdrive.  The “Thin Card” was shown at the Display Taiwan convention.  Not sure why the release was at a flat screen convention, but I guess a moot point. Nothing official from either company in regards to specs or a simple introduction, nor does the high-capacity USB 3.0 stick appear on Display Taiwan’s trade show website.  So adding this all up, it could be nothing more then a USB case and a trade show hottie giving out false information. If you watch the video [here] you can hear the girl say things like “this could be a 2TB drive” well no sh!t I could pull out any sized drive and claim it “could be 2TB” and follow up with a release date of March 2015. However, lets keep a positive attitude about this and hope a 2TB drive isn’t too far off. Continue Reading

USB-IF Releases USB 3.0 OTG Specification

The USB Implimentors Forum announced the availability of the USB On-The-GO [OTG] specification for embedded USB host controller applications where a PC is not required. The supplement ensures that mobile devices such as phones or cameras are able to use a SuperSpeed USB link in both USB host and USB peripheral roles through a single receptacle. OTG and Embedded Host Devices requiring fast synchronization or streaming of rich data will benefit from this feature. The USB OTG 3.0 and Embedded Host supplement offers power saving features equivalent to those available in USB OTG 2.0, enabling the adoption of SuperSpeed USB in mobile devices. Additionally, USB OTG 3.0 provides backward compatibility with USB OTG 2.0. To learn more about the specification, Continue Reading

Windows 8 To Offer USB 3.0 Stack

One of the main goals for Windows 8 with respect to peripheral support, is the robust support for USB devices.  From the first 1.1 standard, the high speed 2.0 standard and the newest addition of SuperSpeed USB 3.0. Microsoft expects to see all new PCs have a USB 3.0 port by 2015…but I think we’ll see USB 3.0 in all PCs before the end of 2013.  Microsoft also forecasts a number of 2 billion USB 3.0 devices to ship in 2015 as well. Microsoft’s game plan is keeping their current USB stack for 1.1 and 2.0 devices as it’s proven and stable, while incorporating a new USB stack for 3.0 devices. Continue Reading

New USB Power Specification – Dreamy

Cell phone standards ditched the AC/DC adapter about a year ago and it’ll be a requirement all cell phones power only via USB.  Now it looks like we could do the same for computers.  The USB 3.0 Promoter Group introduced a new specification to offer up to 100watts of power over a USB 3.0 cable.  How convenient would that be! Lets ditch the AC/DC power block with most laptops and just plug into one of those USB wall mount power stations.  Or recharge your laptop directly off your tower PC.  Or easily power an unlimited number of USB devices via your USB laptop USB 3.0 port. This means more and more peripherals will be powered via USB and not require the extra power adapter.  This ultimately mean less cost and less hassle for the average computer user.
“Building on the rapidly increasing industry momentum for using USB bus power to charge a broad range of mobile devices, the new USB Power Delivery specification extends USB’s cable power delivery capabilities beyond simple battery charging,” said Brad Saunders, USB 3.0 Promoter Group chairman, in a statement. “For example, charging the battery of a notebook PC, or simply powering that notebook PC while actively using the USB data connection, would be possible. Conceivably, a notebook PC could rely solely on a USB connection for its source of power.”
The preliminary spec indicated power is bi-directional and therefore no need to switch or swap the USB cable.  The new specification would be compatible with Continue Reading

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