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

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • v1001 - Friday, July 17, 2015 - link

    This is how I installed windows on my most recent gaming build with no optical drives. Downloaded that from Microsofts website and installed from USB. I didn't even buy it digitally either. I just used the CD key from my retail DVD disk.
  • Gigaplex - Friday, July 17, 2015 - link

    It's pretty rare that they reissue up-to-date ISOs. It traditionally only happens when something equivalent to a Service Pack is released, or a bug is found in the installer itself. The latest Windows 8.1 ISO on MSDN requires a ton of patches.
  • DanNeely - Friday, July 17, 2015 - link

    Back in April I boot-strapped a PC from 7 to 8.0 to 8.1. After installing enough of the 8.0 patches for the 8.1 upgrade to run, I only had to install a handful of updates to have a fully patched system. IIRC outside of ancillary items like .net (which shouldn't've been needed since I had a fully patched version already) there was only one or two patch Tuesdays worth of stuff to install. Assuming they continue to do that for W10 the post-install patching hell should mostly be a thing of the past.
  • Gigaplex - Friday, July 17, 2015 - link

    I think the in-place upgrade installer has the option of fetching updates before actually performing the upgrade, which is likely why you appeared to have downloaded them already. I don't think it was the ISO that had the updates. The most recent revision of the ISO was late 2014, which included the November 2014 update rollup.
  • MrSpadge - Friday, July 17, 2015 - link

    Given that Win 10 shall be the last version for a long time, it would make sense to offer "point releases" maybe once or twice a year. They'd include all patches released until that point and would come in handy for new installations.
  • Gigaplex - Friday, July 17, 2015 - link

    Windows 8.1 already did that to some extent, there were a few ISO updates last year.
  • nightbringer57 - Friday, July 17, 2015 - link

    They already allow people to create any media for any windows 8 version for free.
  • Refuge - Friday, July 17, 2015 - link

    ISO's are and will continue to be available, just because they changed from a CD to a flash drive doesn't mean that is going change.
  • watzupken - Friday, July 17, 2015 - link

    I think this makes sense since the popularity of systems without an optical drive is increasing. Even with a slower flash drive, its still quite a lot faster than a spinning media.
  • Marburg U - Friday, July 17, 2015 - link

    I'm still waiting for ISOs available on their site (not just for MSDNAA lucky guys).

    Also "keys" made ONLY of numbers.

    And i wonder at MS for still not having an average Joe piece of software for installing image files on a newly reformatted computer.

    This 3 things would have been the minimum requirement for a decent setup service 10 years ago.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now