Feeds

U3 launches USB drive-hosted app 'standard'

The Microsoft of Mass Storage?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

CES 2005 A US-based start-up said today it wants to unify attempts to evolve USB Flash drives from storage devices into application delivery products.

U3, founded by Flash memory and Flash-based device firms SanDisk and M-Systems, will develop and licence "mobility and security" APIs, hardware specifications and underlying intellectual property to ensure compatibility between such devices, irrespective of who made them.

The idea for U3 is to provide a common framework for applications to be delivered on USB Flash drives, enabling their use on multiple machines while ensuring the data they work on and create remain on the Flash drive.

Ultimately, it could provide the basis for keeping your entire Home folder and associated apps on a removable storage device. You get to work on any compatible computer as efficiently as if you were sitting in front of your own machine. Apple has often been said to be considering adding such a feature to the iPod and Mac OS X.

There's an element here of a business creating a problem in order to sell the solution, of course. Software developers who need this kind of application mobility can incorporate it already, and are doing so already. Almost all of them working on the kind of software - vertical applications, for example - that can support the cost of the necessary development. Given their specialised, proprietary nature, is questionable whether they need a so-called open platform

That's what U3 is offering, it says. Openly available it may be, but there's still lock-in. With software developers looking for U3-compatible hardware, drive makers will be forced to licence the company's technology. Pretty soon they're all tied into the U3 way of doing things, and paying the company licence fees and royalties for the privilege. U3 did not disclose the financial terms it will impose upon companies wanting to build U3-compliant Flash drives, or what it will charge software developers.

With the platform formally launched, U3 now has to deliver the goods. It made no specific release timetable available today, but it expects the first U3-complaint devices to ship this summer. It also plans to launch a software developers' forum shortly. ®

Related stories

Toshiba to ship 2GB 'phone HDD' by month's end
It's official: storage is the new chips
SanDisk offers USB-friendly SD flash memory

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box
Only 250th most powerful in the world? Bring back Michael Fish
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
IBM, backing away from hardware? NEVER!
Don't be so sure, so-surers
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.