Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Using Windows To Go
Using Windows To Go
New to Windows is a feature called the Windows To Go workspace, which
is found only in the Enterprise edition of Windows 8. Instead of providing
employees a desktop or laptop, let them use their own hardware and provide
them with a bootable USB lash drive that contains their corporate desktop.
They can take the Windows To Go workspace anywhere and can use it on just
about any computer. Just plug it in and boot up the workspace.
As you can imagine, running Windows from a USB lash drive can be very
slow if you don’t have a fast device. In my testing, all USB 2.0 lash drives are
completely useless, unless you don’t mind a 20-minute boot time. In fact, Microsoft
recommends using only USB 3.0 lash drives that are certified for Windows To
Go. Microsoft specifically recommends three devices:
■ Kingston DataTraveler Workspace
■ Super Talen Express RC8
■ Western Digital My Passport Enterprise
The Western Digital option is actually an external USB 3.0 hard drive, so in
theory you can also use USB hard drives.
Beyond the performance of the device Microsoft also requires the ability to
create multiple partitions on it. That requires a special controller that is rarely
found on USB lash drives these days. Your best bet is to stick with USB 3.0
drives that are certified for Windows To Go.
Why Enterprises Only?
I mentioned earlier that Windows To Go is found only in the Enterprise edition
of Windows 8. The reason for that is all about product activation. By now you
should know that every version of Windows made in the past decade requires
Internet activation of some kind. The activation of Windows is based on the
unique hardware makeup of your PC. If you rip out your hard drive and install
it in another PC, Windows 8 boots up but you need to reactivate it.
The same thing happens to you if you’re using Windows To Go. Every different
machine you boot up on requires activation. Even if you go back to a machine
you used in the past, it still requires reactivation. Because consumer product
keys can be activated only a few times before they stop working, reactivating
all the time is just not feasible.
Enterprise customers of Windows 8 typically use a different type of product
activation. This activation uses what is called a Key Management Service (KMS)
that is installed on a Windows server inside the corporate network. You can