U3 Portable USB Applications, including Skype

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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U3 Portable USB Applications, including Skype

USB FOBs that you stick on your keychain are a lot more useful than you think. Sure you can use USB memory FOBs for storing files, pictures, music, applications, etc. But did you know you can not only store an applications installer, but you can actually run the application off of the USB drive? Sure you could copy the entire installer (.ZIP, .RAR, or bunch of uncompressed files) and install the application on the PC, but if it's not your PC you have to go and uninstall your "legally" licensed software. After all, you're not supposed to have the software installed on multiple PCs without the proper license.

The nice thing about USB memory FOBs is that they are portable - you stick them on your keychain and take them wherever you go. So say you are at a tradeshow and you want to use a shared PC to make some Skype calls. Simply stick in your USB FOB and you can actually run Skype off of the USB drive WITHOUT installing it. Further you can run other applications such as McAfee anti-virus, ZoneAlarm, and Firefox, just to name a few.

I should point out that these applications have to be specially written to run off the USB drive - you can't simply copy an application's files (.exe, .dll's, other files) to a USB drive and expect it to work. For instance, the application has to work without various keys installed into the Registry.

According to Everything USB, "Each U3 drive will come U3 Launchpad from which these 45 applications can be launched on Windows 2000/XP. These programs also have the advantages of saving time for separate installations, utilizing the two-factor hardware authentication on U3 hardware, and protecting user's privacy by leaving no trace of user's data on the host PC." In fact, go check out Everything USB since the site lists the 45 U3 applications listed by category.

U3 is the company making this happen. In fact, U3, creator of the U3 smart drive computing platform for USB smart drives, kicks off its first annual U3 Global Developer Summit in just minutes. The U3 Developer Summit, an invitation-only event that runs today and tomorrow in downtown San Jose, unites leading USB drive manufacturers and software developers. Keynote speakers at the Developer Summit include U3 Chief Executive Officer Kate Purmal, SanDisk Chief Executive Officer Dr. Eli Harari, M-Systems Chief Executive Officer Dov Moran, Gartner Analyst Joe Unsworth, and Jeff Hawkins, founder of Palm Computing and Handspring, and inventor of the Palm Pilot.

Developers at the Summit represent a variety of industries including entertainment, productivity, medical, synchronization, mobility, finance, security and back-up. Thirty-one companies are showcasing more than 45 U3 compatible applications – called ‘U3 smart’ applications, which could be available this fall for U3 powered USB smart drives.

My only question is "Why the name U3? Is that like the next version of USB 2.0?"

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