Vendors push to load applications on USB drives

Vendors have lined up to support a new platform that will allow users to run applications off of portable USB drives.

Multiple vendors have lined up to support a new platform that will allow users to run applications off of portable USB (Universal Serial Bus) drives.

It's not possible at the moment to run an application directly off a portable USB drive, and the U3 platform will allow users to do that, said Tricia Arana, a spokeswoman for startup U3, which announced the platform earlier this year. "It can be considered to be a portable virtual desktop on its own," she said. The data remains stored on the USB drive; none of it is transferred to a PC.

U3 will allow software developers and hardware manufacturers to create mobile applications around one platform, she said. The platform has been licensed to many flash disk manufacturers, including SanDisk, Kingston Technology, M-Systems Flash Disk Pioneers and Verbatim, who will introduce U3-compliant disks later this year, according to U3.

Products using the technology are expected to start rolling out in September, according to Arana.

Each U3-compliant flash disk will include an application called U3 Launchpad from which the software applications can be launched. Twenty-four vendors announced U3-compliant software at the U3 Global Developer Summit being held in San Jose, California.

Siber Systems Inc. will offer Pass2Go, a 2M-byte security application that will allow U3-compliant USB drives to store Web site passwords, contacts and banking and credit card information. It will provide automatic log-in to online accounts, access to contacts, bookmarks, and encrypted text notes, according to the company.

Internet telephony company Skype Technologies announced a version of Skype's VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol) product compatible with the U3 platform. The software will enable users to carry their Skype account information on U3-compliant drives, allowing them to make Internet calls from around the world directly off the drive, the company said.

The Mozilla Foundation is creating a version of Firefox to run on U3-compatible USB drives, Arana said.

Other U3-compatible products were displayed by McAfee, PowerHouse Technologies Group, RealNetworks and Trend Micro, Arana said.

U3 was founded by SanDisk and M-Systems. according to Arana. The company's launch was announced in January at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

More about Consumer ElectronicsKingstonKingston TechnologyMcAfee AustraliaMozilla FoundationM-Systems Flash Disk PioneersRealNetworksSandiskTrend Micro AustraliaVerbatim

Show Comments