It doesn’t have to be doomsday for the Enterprise hold outs looking to migrate off Windows XP. With security and cost considerations heavily weighing on the decision to upgrade, the time to make the move is now. And the good news is that there is a viable way to more easily transition off Windows XP to the latest Windows OS: the path is Windows To Go. Microsoft Windows To Go is Windows 8.1 on a USB flash drive that you can boot on any compatible PC. Simply put, it’s a PC on a Stick™. Now you may be asking yourself questions such as “How do I get Windows To Go,” “How much does it cost,” and “How secure is it?”
Windows To Go, one of the most exciting enterprise features of Windows 8.1, enables workers to be productive from any location using a compatible PC of their choice. This solution is ideal for mobile workers, teleworkers, contractors and organizations that want to extend the life of their old computing machines. Now, just imagine how easily you can manage the XP end of life issue. Instead of re-imaging all of your machines, just hand out Windows 8.1 desktops on USB sticks for use on your employees’ existing machines. Thanks to Windows To Go, your employees can now use the latest Microsoft 8.1 OS while your organization realizes significant cost savings.
How do I get Windows To Go? First let’s address the licensing aspect. Organizations can get Windows To Go licenses for free if they have a Microsoft Software Assurance Agreement. This means that with the Windows To Go rights under Software Assurance, an employee will be able to use Windows To Go on any company PC licensed with Software Assurance as well as from their home PC. If there is not an agreement in place, contact your local Microsoft representative. Also, organizations don’t necessarily need to outfit their entire organization with the license; only those employees who need it.
Microsoft only supports Microsoft-certified Windows To Go USB drives. Certified drives are optimized to meet the necessary requirements for booting and running Windows 8.1 from a USB drive. Enter IronKey™ USB drives, which have earned a reputation for being the world’s most secure storage flash drives.
With IronKey Workspace ™ drives, workers can be equipped with a fully manageable corporate Windows 8.1 OS image complete with all their applications and security policies— all provisioned on a Microsoft-certified USB 3.0 drive. You don’t even need to worry about malware or other security risks as the Windows To Go device boots directly off the workspace device— and not the potentially unsecured host machine. Once the drive is installed into a compatible computer, the user can access the host PC’s hardware and resources such as monitors, CPUs and network connections. With our advanced options including centralized device management and provisioning, IronKey Workspace can transform any compatible computer into an IT-provisioned, IT-managed and IT-secured workstation for a fraction of the price of issuing a laptop.
How much does it cost? In the last year, several IronKey Workspace devices with various features in different capacities have become available. The products start at US $129 with the hardware encrypted drives starting at US $175.
How secure is it? The IronKey Workspace product line offers different levels of security– ranging from Bitlocker encryption to AES 256-bit hardware encryption. The newest product, the IronKey Workspace 700™, is currently undergoing FIPS Level-140-2 Level 3 certification, which will make this the most secure Windows To Go drive on the market.
So if you’re looking to move off of Windows XP, consider Windows To Go and IronKey Workspace a secure and cost-efficient way to make this a smooth transition.