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Microsoft Windows 8 Storage Format Support Details Revealed

| Thursday, September 1, 2011
Microsoft is continuing its public deep-geek dive into the particulars of Windows 8, with a new corporate blog entry focusing on the upcoming operating system’s easy interoperability with two popular file-storage formats.

“The trend of incredibly large- and small-form-factor hard discs means we can store ever increasing amounts of data without worrying about running out of capacity,” Rajeev Nagar, group program manager for Windows’ Storage and File Systems team, wrote in an Aug. 30 posting on the Building Windows 8 blog. “Windows 8 enables easy access to the contents of two important storage formats, ISO and VHD files.”

ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization, which publishes standards for organizing content on media such as DVDs. With these standards in place, that content is transferrable between systems such as a laptop and a DVD player. “An ISO file is simply a disc image as a file, composed of all the contents of a CD-ROM or DVD disc,” Nagar wrote. “You can also think of an ISO file as a full-fidelity image (digital copy) of the optical disc.”

But discs themselves aren’t exactly in vogue, thanks to the growing popularity of cloud computing and other new technologies. Optical drives also aren’t exactly an omnipresent hardware feature in tablets, and more manufacturers have begun discarding them from ultra-thin laptops.

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