The death of the optical drive in the PC space has been a long time coming, and while removable media is unlikely to go away any time soon, with consumers increasingly flocking to Ultrabooks and other form factors that can’t (or don’t) pack optical drives, the days of optical drives being available on virtually every PC have come to an end. In its place, USB has become the de facto format for removable media compatibility, as even the smallest MacBook comes with at least 1 USB port.

As a sign of the times, even Microsoft is not unaffected by this change, and after quite a bit of speculation over whether Microsoft would ship Windows 10 on a USB flash drive, the company has finally confirmed that retail versions of Windows 10 will be available on a USB drive. The company has opened up pre-orders for Windows 10 on Amazon, listing USB versions of both Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro. These OSes are listed at their respective standard prices of $120 and $200, and while Amazon doesn’t list DVD versions, given that Windows 8.1 has the same MSRP, it doesn’t look like Microsoft is charging a premium for the USB version of the OS.

Both OSes are scheduled to ship on August 16th, a bit over two weeks after Windows 10 officially launches. Given the tight window between when the OS is expected to go RTM and when it’s released – officially Microsoft has still not publicly declared RTM – this gap is presumably for boxing and distributing the finished OS.

Source: VentureBeat

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  • shabby - Thursday, July 16, 2015 - link

    I hope they won't use those cheap ones with 5MB/sec read speeds. Reply
  • nagi603 - Thursday, July 16, 2015 - link

    That's still better than the random read rate of any optical media. But yes, it would be nice to actually have an install media capable of saturating USB 2.0 at least. Reply
  • iwod - Thursday, July 16, 2015 - link

    Well Random Speed doesn't matter if they are being read in Seq and Chunks. I hope M$ has properly design and choose the right media minimizing installation time. Reply
  • jay401 - Thursday, July 16, 2015 - link

    Those prices though... how about $50? How about tree fiddy? Reply
  • cjmurph - Saturday, July 18, 2015 - link

    Whatchoo want tree fiddy for? Reply
  • Mikemk - Friday, July 17, 2015 - link

    It'll probably load the whole thing into RAM if possible Reply
  • crimson117 - Friday, July 17, 2015 - link

    Has to read it from the USB drive first... Reply
  • WinterCharm - Sunday, July 19, 2015 - link

    As someone who has made multiple install USB's of various operating systems, its faster than using an ODD to install. Reply
  • ikjadoon - Sunday, July 19, 2015 - link

    Yup; I was really surprised how much faster USB installs than ODD when I installed Windows 8. Reply
  • salimbest83 - Thursday, July 23, 2015 - link

    yeah.. iirc installing win 8 from usb drive only take less than 20 min meanwhile using dvd take almost 40 min to complete Reply

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