You may be familiar with Windows To Go, a feature of sorts of Windows 8 Enterprise which allows the OS to be installed to and run from a USB memory drive. Because of performance and other considerations, Microsoft only certifies a small number of USB drives for this use. And today, the firm revealed that it has certified more drives for Windows To Go.

“Of all the new features and functionality in Windows 8 Enterprise, perhaps the most talked about is Windows To Go, which gives users new possibilities in mobile productivity,” Microsoft’s Erwin Visser writes in a post to the Windows for Your Business blog. “Unlike many other mobility solutions, Windows To Go users are able to have their personalized Windows environment on their certified USB with or without network connectivity, which means they may be fully productive from any location they choose to work.”

When Windows 8 launched, only three drives were certified for this use. Today, however, there are many drives, offered by five vendors, Imation, Kingston, Spyrus, Super Talent, and WD. For example, here’s the Super Talent USB 3.0 Express RC8, which offers 32 GB of storage:

Visser explains the reasons for the certificatio, noting the following requirements:

  • Be built for high random read/write speeds and support the thousands of random access I/O operations per second required for running normal Windows workloads smoothly.
  • Have been tuned to ensure they boot and run on hardware certified for use with either Windows 7 or Windows 8.
  • Be built to last. Certified drives are backed with manufacturer warranties and should continue operating under normal usage.

I’ll be writing a Windows 8 Feature Focus article about Windows To Go soon. However, you can also check out Windows 8 Installfest 2: Portable Computers, in which I briefly describe my early experiences with this technology, and Microsoft's new web site for Windows To Go.