Symantec Corp.

Setting up Windows To Go in Windows 8

There’s a great article on setting up Windows To Go in Windows 8 in Arstechnica.

To refresh your memory, Windows To Go is the pretty ingenius solution that Microsoft have come up with to allow IT departments to put a fully functional version of Windows 8 on mobile media (such as a USB stick).

The obvious advantage of this is it will allow HR and IT departments to more efficiently manage employees who bring their devices to work (BYOD).

It’s so effective because it allows you to boot into a corporate environment and use corporate resources but because it’s a locked down and secure environment, in theory your account could be prevented from:

  • Importing viruses into the environment
  • Exporting precious data from the environment

It’s also effective because it cuts down on the time needed to get employees or contractors to work.

Rather than waiting for a laptop or desktop to be available for a new hire or contractor, they can bring in their laptop to the office on day 1 and receive their USB stick – ready to go.

The one thing I was disappointed to see was how kludgy and complicated the process seems to be.

After so many years of doing things like this, you would think Microsoft would make this process a simple 4 or 5 step process.

The summary from the article:

So is this a potential solution for enterprises? Since this works with any USB-mountable storage, it’s certainly one way to deal with the whole bring-your-own-device conundrum companies are now facing in various ways. It would allow employees and contractors to use the hardware of their choice (as long as it’s up to the task). And by using administrative tools to do system policies and Active Directory lockdown, it’s possible to prevent users from exfiltrating data to their own systems, or infect the corporate network with the viruses they’ve downloaded to their own systems. But that in itself is probably not enough to drive wider corporate adoption of Windows 8—especially among companies still clinging to Windows XP.

For those of you who are technically inclined, here’s what the process looks like.

What do you think of Windows To Go?

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