Ove the past week there has been a rash of stolen laptops, stolen hard drives and missing computers in the news. At our customer & partner Summit that BitLocker (with more initial tech details on BitLocker drive encryption here) will be available in Windows Vista Ultimate.
As noted in this article on the "Microsoft at Work" pages, Safeware reported that 600,000 computers were stolen in the United States in 2003, and "many of these thefts compromised company networks or confidential data."
From the BitLocker page...
"BitLocker offers the option to lock the normal boot process until the user supplies a PIN, much like an ATM card PIN, or inserts a USB flash drive that contains keying material. These additional security measures provide multi-factor authentication and assurance that the computer will not boot or resume from hibernation until the correct PIN or USB flash drive are presented."
More info on protecting your PC and your data:
PC World's article on Laptop Security (part two is out today) that provides ideas on how to secure your notebook and protecting your data.