Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Microsoft's Windows To Go allows users to carry Windows 8 settings, apps, documents from PC to PC

On the first day of its WorldWide Partner Conference 2012 (WPC 2012), Microsoft announced that Windows 8 will carry a feature that can only be described as "especially cool." The feature is called "Windows To Go" and it allows a user to "store" Windows 8 on a USB flash drive and use it on other PCs.

To be clear, the 32GB flash drive will allow users to carry their apps, documents, and settings with them. The computer they use the flash drive on has to have its own OS running on it, as well.

However, as long as the computer they use the flash drive on is running Windows 7 or later - that's right, the PC you plug the flash drive into doesn't need to be running Windows 8 - a user carrying the Windows To Go drive around with him can run their own customized version of Windows 8 on that PC.

Windows To Go was first shown at the BUILD conference in September of 2011. At the time, though, it wasn't made clear that the "system" would work on Windows 7. As now presented, it sounds a lot simpler - and more useful - than Microsoft previously let on.

In addition, Microsoft has announced that Windows 8 will Release to Manufacturing (RTM) in the first week of August (that's when they'll start manufacturing the DVDs - or digital copies, as it were - and when BitTorrent gets its first look at the software, too).

We still don't have a solid release date for the software, but also speaking at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference in Canada, Microsoft's Tami Reller said that the company is on track for a release in late October to retail stores.

Anyone who recalls the release of Windows 7 can see that the Windows 8 retail launch will be just about exactly three years after the launch of Windows 7. Windows 7 launched in retail on Oct. 22, 2009.

Microsoft earlier said that an upgrade from Windows XP, Windows Vista OR Windows 7 will only cost $39.99 (plus sales tax, naturally).

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