Thumb Drives Will Get A Speed Boost

That will change in the next year or so thanks to work from Microsoft, BIOS vendors and USB and flash drive makers, potentially kicking into overdrive a market already in high gear.

The USB Implementers Forum is in the late stages of drafting a boot spec for these USB flash drives, as they are properly known.
Microsoft Corp. is working on a version of its Windows Pre-installation Environment for the drives, describing it as a Windows XP-class “utility environment,” not a general-purpose operating system. Some vendors already have versions of the drives that will boot into DOS.

BIOS makers are doing their bit to enable the boot spec, and USB flash drive makers are gearing up to deliver the devices as early as 2005.