Microsoft offers Windows 7 USB installer - but not in UK

23 Oct 2009
USB drive

Software giant throws a bone to netbook owners by offering USB installation of Windows 7

Updated at 1:30pm Microsoft is allowing netbook owners to download and install Windows 7 via a USB stick - but not in the UK.

Until now, users have had to burn an ISO of the Windows installer on a DVD drive - which is clearly inconvenient for netbook owners who don't have optical drives.

To cover off this eventuality, Microsoft's US store is offering the option to download Windows 7 directly onto a USB drive on your netbook. Users will have to tweak their BIOS settings to allow the PC to boot off a USB device.

Strangely, the store is offering the Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate versions of the operating system, but not the Starter edition which is designed specifically for netbooks.

Microsoft is only offering upgrade versions, which means netbook owners will need a copy of Windows XP or Vista on their machine to qualify.

However, while this is all well and good for US buyers, Microsoft is not yet offering the USB downloads in the UK. "This option is available in the US, but we have nothing to officially announce in the UK at this stage," a Microsoft spokesman told PC Pro. Microsoft declined to comment on why the USB downloads were unavailable in this country.

Microsoft's UK Store does allow you to download both full and upgrade versions of the OS, though these presumably need to be burned to DVD in the normal fashion.

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