Microsoft has quietly issued a variant of its brand new Windows 7 operating system that can be copied to a USB stick and used to install the OS on computers that don't have a CD drive, which includes many netbooks available today.

In our review of Windows 7, we found that the software performs admirably well on even relatively low-spec hardware, so putting it on a netbook is being actively encouraged by Microsoft, especially as most of those netbooks are running 2001's Windows XP.

All you've got to do is buy "Windows 7 For Netbooks" from Microsoft's online store, then download an ISO file. Make that drive bootable, then reboot your netbook with it plugged in and you should be away. We'd like to hear your experiences of Windows 7 on your netbook - share it in the comments below.

UPDATE: Seems like the USB stick edition is US-only for the time being. PC Pro quotes a Microsoft spokesperson saying: "This option is available in the US, but we have nothing to officially announce in the UK at this stage". We'll let you know if the situation changes on that front.