What if you could carry about your complete Windows desktop on a USB drive that you could plug into any computer to recreate your specific office computer?

That would be an asset, many IT managers say. Microsoft created Windows To Go (W2G)as a fully manageable corporate Windows 8 desktop on a bootable external USB stick.

Windows To Go allows IT organizations to support the “Bring Your Own PC” trend and businesses can give contingent staff access to the corporate environment without compromising security.

If you are like many large organizations, with a transient group of part-time workers, you no longer need to issue and prepare each one a dedicated desktop or laptop. You simply issue them their W2G USB card and they are ready to start work on any PC.

Chester Wisniewski, a senior security advisor at Sophos Canada described the benefit of W2G this way:

“The cool part of it is that it blocks access to all the local media. So if you had an infected machine at a library, airport, or hotel, and plugged in your Windows 8 media stick and turned it on, even if you’re infected to tarnation [on the machine], you’re good to go,”

There is a little catch though: users must have either updated their USB stick immediately before using it, or stored any documents they want to retrieve on Microsoft SkyDrive. In other words, they must commit to the Microsoft cloud model to use W2G.

Microsoft are touting this ability to store a whole, bootable version of a user’s Windows 8 environment on a USB key as a major feature of Windows 8. Will this affect migration to Windows 8 in your view and by how much?

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