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U3 signs first USB Flash drive makers

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U3, the company formed by SanDisk and M-Systems to develop and licence an application delivery platform for USB Flash drives, has won the backing of memory and storage firms Verbatim, Memorex and Kingston Technology, it said yesterday.

Verbatim will ship U3-compatible drives under the Store'n'Go brand in the Autumn. Memorex's products will be labelled TravelDrives, and Kingston's will be dubbed Data Traveller - both companies would only commit to shipping U3 drives "later this year".

These three are the first public announcements to be made by U3 hardware licensees since the company was formally launched in January. At that time, a number of software developers, including Mozilla, Check Point and Corel, gave the platform their thumbs-up.

The U3 platform provides a way for applications to be stored on and run from USB Flash drives, ensuring that all user data and preferences information is kept on the drive rather than the host PC. The goal is true application portability, the ultimate manifestation of which is keeping your entire user account information - apps, data and settings - on removable storage, allowing you to work from any compatible computer.

U3 compatible products are expected to ship from the summer, the company said at launch. ®

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