It’s already clear that Windows 8 will support a range of next generation form factors beyond traditional PCs, but at the same time, customers will be able to install the platform even on devices that are not computers at all.
Thanks to Portable Workspace, an upcoming feature introduced in the successor of Windows 7, Windows 8 will enable deployment scenarios involving nothing more than USB flash drives.
Essentially, Microsoft has expanded Windows 8 installation options not only to HDDs (hard disk drives) and SSDs (solid-state drives), but also to USB storage devices.
“Portable Workspace is a Windows feature that allows you to run Windows from a USB storage device,” the software giant reveals.
“To create a Portable Workspace, you need access to Windows 8 Enterprise Edition installation files and a USB storage device with the following features: the device appears as fixed storage media [and] there is sufficient space for a full installation of Windows 8 Enterprise Edition.”
One user who got his hands on the recently leaked Windows 8 Milestone 1 (M1) Build 7850 put together a video demonstration of the Portable Workspaces installation process.
Apparently, all that’s required is a high end copy of Windows 8, Enterprise or Ultimate, and a USB storage device with at least 16 GB of free space.
Windows 8 will install seamlessly to the device, and will be available as a bootable, portable copy of the operating system, complete with all the settings and applications that customers deploy. Users can watch the demo via the video embedded below.
When I first came across the details related to Portable Workspace I immediately thought of work being done by Microsoft Research to make Windows portable.
Softpedia readers might remember that I wrote an article about Microsoft Research’s StartKey and Keychain projects back in early 2008.
Details on Keychain continue to be available to the public, with the added note that “This project is no longer actively under development.”
By leveraging Portable Workspace, customers will be able to deploy Windows 8 to USB flash drives and take their personalized copy of the OS anywhere with them.