What Windows 8 Can Do Today

Windows On USB, For BYOD

Beginning with Windows 8, Microsoft will finally permit Windows to boot from USB devices. This is not news, of course, but demonstrations of its capabilities are impressive nevertheless; Windows To Go will deliver much more than simply starting up from a USB stick. "Users are wanting to work from different places -- on an airplane, at the coffee shop -- and they want to work from more than one device," said Kerri Alexion-Tiernan, Microsoft's director of product management for Windows To Go. Included with the Windows 8 Enterprise Edition, Windows To Go implements the user's personalized Windows desktop with folder redirection. "This saves your data back to the data center so updates follow you," she said. Windows is not virtualized; it executes a full set of binaries, discovers devices and installs drivers for the host machine and remembers for faster subsequent boots. Windows To Go doesn't affect the host hard drive, and images can be managed and remotely wiped with System Center 2012. The capability will redefine light travel, BYOD and quick Windows deployment, and enable free-roam seating for military, police and other workers.

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