Want to buy a copy of Microsoft Windows? Right now you can pay for a downloadable version or buy a DVD that you can use to install the operating system.

But when Windows 10 launches July 29th, it looks like Microsoft may offer another option: you may be able to buy a Windows USB flash drive which you can use to install the operating system.


The move would make sense: a growing number of laptop, tablet, and even some desktop-computers are shipping without optical disc drives. Sure, you can hook up a USB DVD drive, but at a time when most movies, music, apps and games are available for download, there’s little reason for most people to buy a disc drive that they can plug into a computer.

So selling Windows 10 on a USB flash drive will make it easier for users to install the operating system on ultrabooks, mini-desktops, and other computers that may not have disc drives.

Earlier this month Paul Thurrot noted that it looked like Microsoft would be selling Windows 10 on USB sticks, and now retail listings for Windows 10-on-a-stick are starting to show up, suggesting that the USB version will be available for $124 and up, which is just a few dollars more than the starting price for a DVD version.

via WinFuture

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10 replies on “Microsoft may offer Windows 10 on USB flash drives”

  1. Oh boy! Distribution media that is writeable. The Evil propagators of malware are going to love exploiting this! At least when you install from a read-only factory made DVD, you know where you stand. That would NOT be the case with a NAND-flash drive – even if the read.only flag is set (which can be easily overcome).

    Once again, Micr$oft injects insecurity through ineptitude…

  2. I love the idea. May just make it more convenient to boot up and install.

  3. I wish it was possible to buy just the stick without a license for people like my Dad who has a Windows 8.1 machine, but a terrible internet connection. I know I can just create one, but it’d be nice to have an official one to just hand to him.

  4. Hope they will use those dual-ended USB flash drives, those with both a USB-A and a microUSB connector. Eventually, they’ll have to go to flash drives with USB-C type connectors, and maybe even microSD_C (with full size SD_C adapters) digital media cards.

    1. Don’t worry Skeletor, er, Nadella probably has people feverishly working on a Windows-10-by-brain-slug delivery system.

  5. Linux can be installed from USB since 5 years ago or earlier.

    This is nothing new, but I’m glad Windows is finally catching up after all these years.

    1. Windows has been installable from a USB drive for years too. This is just the first time that Microsoft is apparently going to distribute Windows on USB.

    2. It’s been easy to install Windows from a USB flash drive ever since Windows Vista was released over eight years ago.

    3. Everything ever since USB has been bootable in the BIOS has been bootable via USB. You just mount the image on the media you want (be it USB, floppy or disc) and your PC won’t care. It isn’t unique to Linux or Windows or any version of either.

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