Travel Light with Windows To Go

Travel Light with Windows To Go

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Recently I had a interesting convers ation on the concept of traveling light. It’s exciting to see that while in the past it was normal to travel with a heavy laptop bag now users ask more than ever to reduce the weight of their bags.

One of the reasons could be that mobility has become the new normal, users compare their corporate devices with their Surface 2, iPad, Android devices and did you actually know that 80% of the global workforce spend at least some portion of their time working out of the office?

The question now is how can we help those users to reduce back pain and enable them to travel light? One of the probably best quick wins could be Windows To Go.

Feature Overview:

Windows To Go had been announced as one of the enterprise features with the Windows 8 release. The idea is very simple, enabling mobile workforce by taking everything we know about Windows and put it on a certified USB thumb drive. In order to achieve this our engineering team focused on 3 key areas; security, easy to use and manageable.

  • Security: Data can be protected through BitLocker and managed by Microsoft BitLocker and Monitoring (MBAM). All the security features you know from Windows such as User Account Control, Trusted Boot, and ASLR etc. are also part of Windows To Go and the host pc’s internal hard drives are deactivated through an SAN policy in order to mitigating the risk that users copy corporate data to their personal PCs.

  • Easy to use: Users are able to use their Windows To Go drive across just about nearly any PC. When the user boots the drive the very 1st time on a new PC it takes a couple of minutes to initialize the new drivers required and the best is It works across firmware’s so doesn’t matter If UEFI or BIOS.
  • Manageable: Managing Windows To Go is just like Windows through for example System Center Configuration Manager and/or Windows Intune. Some of our OEM partners have also additional manageability capabilities tools which enable for example remote wipe of these Windows To Go drives.

Evaluate and Deploy:

You have different options available to evaluate and deploy Windows To Go. The most important concept to keep in mind is that Windows to Go is a feature available only within the Enterprise SKU of Windows 8. This means that you need to run Windows 8 Enterprise. The easiest way to start testing Windows To Go is to go over to the Windows To Go workspace creator in your current OS. which is part of your operating system. Next, Just hit the Windows key and type Windows To Go:


Select Drive


Select Image


Enable BitLocker

While this solution is great to evaluate Windows To Go it will not scale as much as we need in the enterprise. Therefore have a look at System Center Configuration Manager and how to perform a central deployment with it:

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  • Great post! Worth to share

  • I watched you present on this at TechEd.. Very inspiring presentation. I try push WTG with the management as we speak.

  • I watched you present on this at TechEd.. Very inspiring presentation. I try push WTG with the management as we speak.