As you may know, installing an operating system from a USB flash drive is easier and faster than installing it from an optical disc. A USB flash drive is not as bulky as an optical disc and doesn't require an external case. You just take it out of your pocket, pull off the cap, and insert it into your computer's USB port. USB flash drives are faster than optical drives too. USB flash drives have read and write speeds that measure in 10x megabytes per second (MB/s), while optical disc read and write speeds measure in 1x MB/s.
With that in mind, it's no surprise that there are a multitude of articles on the web that describe how to create a Windows installation package on a USB flash drive. Microsoft even provides a tool that facilitates the procedure.
With Windows 10 on the horizon, there have been rumors floating around the web that in addition to making the upgrade available as a download, Microsoft will also be selling the retail copies of the new operating system on both DVD and USB flash drive.
As a regular follower of the German website WinFuture, I recently encountered an article that indicates that Microsoft will indeed be selling the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 10 Home and Pro on USB flash drives in addition to the DVD option. Having a USB flash drive option makes sense, because tablets don't come with optical disc drives.
The WinFuture article contained a screen shot (Figure A) showing catalog details of the USB offerings. As you can see, it appears that the USB flash drive will contain both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Presumably, the USB flash drives will sell for the same price as the DVDs.
Windows 10 Home and Pro will be sold on USB flash drives.
You can find a number of software reseller sites (mostly Canadian) with advertisements for the USB flash drive offerings of Windows 10 by Googling the part numbers shown in the screenshot: FQC-08788 for the Pro edition and KW9-00016 for the Home edition. However, keep in mind that we'll have a clearer vision of the USB flash drive offerings once we get closer to the Windows 10 launch date of July 29th.
What's your take?
What do you think of being able to purchase the retail version of Windows 10 on a USB flash drive? If you end up buying Windows 10, will you choose USB flash drive or DVD? Let us know in the discussion thread below.
Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.