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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 customers."

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.

About the Author

Becky Nagel is the vice president of Web & Digital Strategy for 1105's Enterprise Computing and Education Groups, where she oversees the front-end Web team and deals with all aspects of digital strategy for the groups. She also serves as executive editor the ECG Web sites, and you'll even find her byline on PureAI.com, the ECG group's newest site for enterprise developers working with AI. She recently gave a talk at a leading technical publishers conference about how changes in Web technology may impact publishers' bottom lines. Follow her on twitter @beckynagel.

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