Have USB stick, will travel!

One of the Windows 8 innovations which maybe hasn’t received as much attention as it should is Windows To Go – although that is quickly changing as customers start to explore the possibilities.

Windows To Go allows enterprise customers to create a secure portable workspace on a USB device, which they can use on any modern PC and some Apple Macs.  The ‘portable workspace’ allows the device to act as a complete self-contained Windows 8 environment – onto which the users’ applications, data and settings can be delivered seamlessly using App-V, Roaming Profiles and UE-V. And Windows To Go is secure, not least because the device can be protected with Bitlocker To Go in the same way as a traditional fixed-drive Windows installation can with Bitlocker.

Alternatively, Windows To Go can be used as a secure remote access platform for corporate desktops delivered externally, by coupling it with Direct Access and VDI. Each user can be given a device unique Bitlocker and Windows passwords, which then seamlessly connects them to the corporate environment. A great example of this is Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust who use Windows To Go to let 400 users work remotely during the Olympic Games last summer. You can find out more about the story here.

Windows To Go also provides versatility; devices come in a variety of forms from a range of vendors, including a wide range of capacities and with hardware-based encryption. You can check out the all the Windows 8 To Go drives and vendors here.

You can find out more about how to get up and running with Windows To Go on the Technet resource page. And for customers who already have Software Assurance for Windows, Roaming Use Rights allow the primary user of the licensed device to use Windows To Go from non-corporate devices (such as personally-owned or hotel business centre PCs) while off company premises.

We’d encourage everyone to have a play with Windows To Go, and let us know what possibilities you uncover via @msukingov!

By Richard Shipton
Microsoft UK in Government Team

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