Apparently Microsoft is prepping a new Windows add-on called Feature Pack for Storage.

The online reports suggest that it will contain modules for portable drive recognition and restriction, ICCD and CCID Smartcard drivers, but also an image mastering API for Blu-ray that enables "master style optical burning on Blu-Ray media".

ZD Net says that a Beta of the pack has already been tested and their reponses are now on Microsoft Connect, where it reads: "There are 3 technologies available for this Pre-Release. Each will have its own installer"

"Active Storage Platform: This pre-release package enables the Windows platform to restrict access to portable devices (such as a USB Flash Device) via a certificate or password authentication based on the IEEE 1667 standard specification."

"Image Mastering API update for Blu-Ray media: This feature enables the Windows platform to do master style optical burning on Blu-Ray media."

"Smart Card Driver: This release provides support for new form factors, such as ICCD/CCID."

Microsoft hasn't published the release plans as yet for the feature pack.

But it will affect all of us who use Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008.