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Windows 8 to run off USB stick

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Among the intriguing snippets that Microsoft divulged about Windows 8 at its Build developer conference is that the platform will be able to run from a USB memory stick.

The Windows To Go feature is being pushed as a useful tool for companies that might otherwise deploy a virtual desktop to some workers, as it is expected to cost about $50 per seat, said Iain McDonald, director of programme management for Microsoft's Windows Core Group.

Other new features are more interesting, especially to roaming users with a laptop or other mobile device.

Microsoft said that Windows 8 is more network-aware than older versions, and can determine which network connection offers the most bandwidth, choosing Ethernet when docked, for example.

The software can also make more intelligent use of mobile wireless connections, pausing Windows Updates when the user roams onto a costly metered 3G broadband connection, and downloading only thumbnails of images rather than the full size.

13 Sep 2011

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