The U3 standard for machine-independent applications isn't exactly an aging one, but it seems that Microsoft and SanDisk have found some room for improvement, announcing today that they've teamed up to create a "new experience" for USB flash drives and memory cards. According to the two companies, the new technology will expand on and replace U3, and will let users carry their full personal computing environment (including their familiar interface) with them in addition to a few applications. As with U3, you also supposedly won't have to worry about anything being left behind on the computer after you unplug the drive. You'll have to get by with the standard U3 drives for a while longer though, as the new and improved version won't be rolling out until the second half of 2008, with the first such drives coming, naturally, from SanDisk.

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Microsoft and SanDisk team up on U3 replacement