Why aren't they selling software on thumbdrives yet?

Fritzo

Lifer
Jan 3, 2001
41,884
2,124
126
CD's and DVD's are fragile and too big to store conveniently. I just read somewhere that a 1GB thumbdrive now costs about .18 to manufacture. Why can't I get things like Windows 7 or games on thumbdrives yet?
 

nerp

Diamond Member
Dec 31, 2005
9,866
105
106
Force of habit. And they're working on online distribution more than yet another phyiscal medium.
 

Kalmah

Diamond Member
Oct 2, 2003
3,692
1
76
It would be awesome to do away with my ridiculous cd case in exchange for some type of thumbdrive case.
 

jonks

Lifer
Feb 7, 2005
13,918
20
81
Can a USB drive be made read only? Even if it can, a dvd-r cannot be made into a rewritable but I bet an enterprising individual can make a 1gb "read only" usb key read/writeable. Why would the industry want to sell a product on a medium capable of being tampered with?
 

FoBoT

No Lifer
Apr 30, 2001
63,089
12
76
fobot.com
Because DVDs are cheaper than 4GB thumbdrives...

yes, a blank DVD in mass quntity is a few cents, a 4 GB flash is still a few dollars or at least one dollar, even in bulk (non-alternator shape)

i think software will skip over to mainly direct downloads from the internet, and go away from physical media altogether
 
Aug 23, 2000
15,511
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Well instead of online distrobution which would be nice, but not really practical for everyone. Why not have kiosks in stores. Go to kiosk, purchase the software you want, insert your thumb drive and the kiosk transfers the data to it? No packaging required.
 

PlasmaBomb

Lifer
Nov 19, 2004
11,815
2
81
Can a USB drive be made read only? Even if it can, a dvd-r cannot be made into a rewritable but I bet an enterprising individual can make a 1gb "read only" usb key read/writeable. Why would the industry want to sell a product on a medium capable of being tampered with?

The pendrive infront of me can be locked (read only).
 
Aug 23, 2000
15,511
1
81
Can a USB drive be made read only? Even if it can, a dvd-r cannot be made into a rewritable but I bet an enterprising individual can make a 1gb "read only" usb key read/writeable. Why would the industry want to sell a product on a medium capable of being tampered with?

What does it matter if it is read only or not? If I bought it and wiped the data off of it so what. What is Adobe out if the drive they had their software gets used for something else?
In fact, a USB drive can be used like a HASP key and a unique identifier on the drive in a non re-writeable portion can act as the activation code. Install software, software looks for this code and authenticates the install, calls home to register and your done.
With bootbale USB now it's time for CD/DVD to die. No more scratched disks, or warped disks. Machines can be made even smaller without the limitations of still needing a 5.25" drive bay.
 

DrawninwarD

Senior member
Jul 5, 2008
896
0
0
I think they should focus on online content delivery, but using thumbdrives isn't such a bad idea. And ISPs need to lower their ridiculous bandwidth caps, especially in Canada.


Recently, I needed the Windows 7 boot disc in order to fix my installation on my laptop. I couldn't find a single empty DVD, so I used my 4GB USB drive and the Windows 7 ISO to make a Windows 7 boot USB drive.
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
82,854
17,365
136
Long ago it was obvious we would go from optical drives to online distribution.
We were lucky to get flash memory. It bridged the gap between floppy disks and optical discs in terms of ease & capacity, (Iomega Zip drives were nice but never mainstream).
But given how easy and fast it is to upload massive files and share them across the world in a split second, it doesnt make sense for the industry to go to another physical medium.
 

her209

No Lifer
Oct 11, 2000
56,352
11
0
Long ago it was obvious we would go from optical drives to online distribution.
We were lucky to get flash memory. It bridged the gap between floppy disks and optical discs in terms of ease & capacity, (Iomega Zip drives were nice but never mainstream).
But given how easy and fast it is to upload massive files and share them across the world in a split second, it doesnt make sense for the industry to go to another physical medium.
They could even move to using Bittorrent as a distribution model for new (popular) software.
 

jonks

Lifer
Feb 7, 2005
13,918
20
81
What does it matter if it is read only or not? If I bought it and wiped the data off of it so what. What is Adobe out if the drive they had their software gets used for something else?

You're not thinking of the security perspective. It's like asking why would Tylenol put a seal on their bottles. If Tylenol used a simple snapopen cap and some psycho put poison in the bottles, Tylenol might just suffer on the PR and sales front.

If Symantec decided to distribute their software via USB drives, and some group, for the hell of it, inserted a virus onto those drives, Symantec would be blamed for using a medium prone to security risks. Remember floppy disks? Yech.

DVDs cannot be rewritten and are almost costless to manufacture. .18 sounds cheap, but that's 18x higher that .01, and when you produce millions of products, that's a lot of money.
 
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feralkid

Lifer
Jan 28, 2002
16,458
4,528
136
It's been done. CA internet security has been available on a 2 GB flash card for years.
 

darkxshade

Lifer
Mar 31, 2001
13,749
6
81
Flash drives are just not economical enough on a cost basis. Even if it costs .18 to manufacture compared to say .05(Random guess, prob lower) for a DVD disc. When you think about the bottom line, when you produce say 10 million copies, that's a cost savings of 1.3 million dollars.

It also doesn't make sense to pay for facilities to manufacture and produce flash drives for pc when the infrastructure is alredy in place to produce discs since most games are made for consoles anyway and at the moment the medium are DVDs/BR.
 

Train

Lifer
Jun 22, 2000
13,861
68
91
www.bing.com
Didn't ARS have an article a few weeks back about Windows 7 being sold on flash drives, just not in the US?

err, nevermind, it was ILLEGAL copies of Win7 being sold on thumbdrives in China.
 

jlee

Lifer
Sep 12, 2001
48,511
219
106
Flash drives are just not economical enough on a cost basis. Even if it costs .18 to manufacture compared to say .05(Random guess, prob lower) for a DVD disc. When you think about the bottom line, when you produce say 10 million copies, that's a cost savings of 1.3 million dollars.

It also doesn't make sense to pay for facilities to manufacture and produce flash drives for pc when the infrastructure is alredy in place to produce discs since most games are made for consoles anyway and at the moment the medium are DVDs/BR.

There's a lot more to software than games.
 

darkxshade

Lifer
Mar 31, 2001
13,749
6
81
There's a lot more to software than games.


I'm just saying that it doesn't make sense to build the infrastructure to produce software in 2 types of media, one for pc, one for consoles(of which there are unarguably nothing but games), when they can just bunch the production into one manufacturing process to save on costs. Giant software companies are all about making money. Consumers get their software either way so why throw more money away by doing it with flash drives when a disc is just as effective. It might work as a gimmick at first but in the end, I doubt customer cares how they get their software. That's why they are trying to transition it into online distribution, it saves even more money than your traditional dvd.
 

ktehmok

Diamond Member
Aug 4, 2001
4,326
0
76
Another issue is that not every computer has a front USB port. Especially older ones. Can you imagine 80 year old grandma Beatrice trying to get under the desk & plug in a thumb drive for the latest Norton AV?
 

Fritzo

Lifer
Jan 3, 2001
41,884
2,124
126
Can a USB drive be made read only? Even if it can, a dvd-r cannot be made into a rewritable but I bet an enterprising individual can make a 1gb "read only" usb key read/writeable. Why would the industry want to sell a product on a medium capable of being tampered with?

Yeah! Nobody would ever release software on a medium you can tamper with!

floppy35.jpg
 

KeithP

Diamond Member
Jun 15, 2000
5,659
198
106
I think it probably has more to do with how you get the data on the media.

DVDs & CDs, once they are pressed are ready to go. A USB key has to have the data written to it, does it not? This would greatly complicate the manufacturing process.

-KeithP
 

RoloMather

Golden Member
Sep 23, 2008
1,600
1
0
Can a USB drive be made read only? Even if it can, a dvd-r cannot be made into a rewritable but I bet an enterprising individual can make a 1gb "read only" usb key read/writeable. Why would the industry want to sell a product on a medium capable of being tampered with?

Floppies. . .
 

jonks

Lifer
Feb 7, 2005
13,918
20
81
Yeah! Nobody would ever release software on a medium you can tamper with!

I've already recanted, but pray tell, what was the widely available alternative to floppies during their period of ubiquity?