Windows 8 supports installation to removable flash media via a feature called Windows to Go. Your apps, settings, and OS can all be installed to a USB stick and you can easily move that between platforms. Microsoft demonstrated Windows to Go by booting a USB stick with Windows 8 on a desktop PC that had Windows 7 preloaded on it. After the demo, Microsoft removed the Win 8 USB stick and booted a laptop using the same drive.

Although it won't be the most performant solution, Windows to Go can be an interesting solution to quickly deploying on new hardware on enterprise clients.

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  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    This would have been great for my thin client HTPC. But now I already put a 1.8" drive in there. Still, great feature and great that you don't have to do these kinds of things with some 3rd party tools. :-) Reply
  • Aikouka - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    Out of curiosity, did they state what it does for driver support? I'm wondering if it uses some generic set of drivers for a feature like this. Reply
  • mmm200 - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    There is no pwcreator.exe file in System32 directory. How can I transfer Windows to USB drive without it? Reply
  • steviemorrow - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    You could try WorldDesk, it already does this and you can get it today (http://www.myworlddesk.com/download). Your apps, files & profile on a USB without the reboot! Reply
  • DukeN - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    Anand, this will not work for home PCs - there is some sort of a server requirement here IIRC. Reply
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, March 01, 2012 - link

    Darn, this sounds like it could theoretically be perfect for using a desktop PC at home, and the same "stuff" at work on a different desktop...for a moment I though maybe I could switch back to desktops instead of notebooks, but guess that's not the case. Reply
  • alcalde - Friday, March 02, 2012 - link

    Why not use a portable version of VirtualBox on the flash drive? Reply
  • Kornfeld - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    There are apparently going to be some caveats regarding this. First, there shouldn't be an expectation that you can just use this with any stick. There are some specific requirements regarding performance and also it sounds like there is some exploration of devices that will support hardware encryption.

    Apparently Bitlocker is already a done deal, so there is one layer of encryption worked out.

    I'm really curious how the licensing will work and where this may fill in some niches for enterprise needs.
    Reply
  • sheh - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    Finally. Next I'm hoping for a change in "recommended" app installation practices to localized installs that don't rely on registry or other system-wide changes. Then we might get close to the DOS ideal of transportable OS and apps. :) Reply
  • Randomblame - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    windows 8 is in keeping with the great microsoft tradition of "every other" in which they produce a good product then a turd then a good product again. My desktop is a workstation not a web browser/twitter feed. I prefer an operating system that is suited to it's role. This will still be interesting as a mobile platform and by mobile I mean tablets not notebooks. Reply

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