The Next Generation of U3; a Microsoft Version
The announcement of Microsoft developing a UFD platform to replace U3 could turn into a similar battle we saw 25 years ago between VHS and Betamax.
Major suppliers have already dropped the U3 platform because of high royalty fees (around 5%) to bundle less expensive software which does the same thing. As these suppliers, like Kingston and Memorex, begin to choose the alternate like Migo Software, a heated war could surface between flash drive manufacturers.
Originally SanDisk partnered with M-Systems to develop the U3 solution, but as time went on, SanDisk bought out M-Systems and the evolution of U3 continues with this most recent partnership.
Microsoft is developing the software platform and SanDisk will continue offering their hardware for a total solution (yes, it’s a hardware/software thing). In addition, SanDisk and Microsoft will bundle in the TrustedFlash security technology developed by SanDisk.
“The U3 platform was established with the vision of giving customers a consistent and portable computing experience. The existing 20,000 U3 software developers that joined us show the potential for smart flash memory devices,” said Yoram Cedar, executive vice president of the mobile business unit and corporate engineering at SanDisk.
“We expect this relationship with Microsoft will raise the overall experience for consumers given Microsoft’s unique software expertise, and grow the momentum given the large community of 3rd party companies capable of utilizing Microsoft’s technologies.”
The migration process for the 20,000 U3 developers is a straight forward and simple one – Microsoft puts the pressure back on you to make the migration. Microsoft did say there will be tools to ad in the process, but the bottom line is U3 developers better get cracking if they want to see the light-of-day come mid 2008.