Microsoft, SanDisk Partner on Flash Drives
Microsoft Corp. and SanDisk Corp. recently announced that they are partnering
on the next generation of USB's flash drives and memory cards.
For the new line, Microsoft will provide the software and SanDisk will develop
the hardware, with the goal of both being to expand the capabilities of the
drives and cards as well as implement new security technology, which the companies
are calling "TrustedFlash."
These products -- scheduled to debut in 2008 -- will eventually replace SanDisk's existing U3 Smart Technology products, which were developed through a joint venture with m-systems, called U3, and hit the market in 2005. SanDisk acquired m-systems last year.
"SanDisk and U3 forged the category of smart USB devices, elevating simple
flash storage to a whole new level of customer benefit," Will Poole, corporate
vice president of the Market Expansion Group at Microsoft, said in a released
statement. "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
Microsoft said that starting now, it will "engage
in discussions with third-party hardware vendors interested in licensing the new software offering. A new entity will be created to license compatible hardware designs," according to the annoucement of the partnership.
The companies said they will split the revenue for the project, but did not say how.