Windows 8 Enlists USB Flash Drives
Windows 8 is getting a new partner in efficiency—the USB flash drive, according the online industry reports. The announcement was revealed in a briefing at this week’s BUILD conference for Windows developers. Branded as “Windows To Go”, the device is geared toward businesses to equip employees with a portable operating system.
From a custom USB flash drive, users can boot the new OS on a Windows 7 or Windows 8 compatible computer. As a result, employees with a Windows 8 USB drive can work easier from the home, the office or at another remote location.
Microsoft is rather tight-lipped about the full details of the Windows 8 flash drive. Some questions that remain include whether the USB will be available only to the enterprise sector or if the everyday user will be able to benefit as well. Moreover, exact pricing remains fuzzy, but some reports have put it at $50 per seat.
While a Windows USB drive like this is a newer venture for Microsoft, Linux has booted and ran distributions from flash drives for years now. This new feature move is somewhat of a departure from previous Windows operating systems that have required installation on the PC’s hard drive. The Windows To Go USB flash drive could be another feature that helps foster the demand for mobile apps and computing. Microsoft is also touting that the OS will maximize wireless connections on broadband and determining the best network for a user’s location.
Consequently, combining Windows 8 with the practicality and functionality of a custom USB flash drive goes to show how technology can drastically change how people work and where they work. Because of its portability, it shouldn’t be limited to one sector of users. No matter what type of user you are, the flash drive can essentially become your computer.
Students are just one of many types of users that would reap the benefits of a portable Windows 8. By carrying a flash drive with the OS, there would be no break in the continuity of homework between campus, the library or home.
Thoughts? As an employee, how would a system like this benefit you? Do you hope to see it available to all users upon release?