The Secure Mobility Faceoff: Laptop and VDI Versus Windows To Go

The last time I blogged about Windows To Go was to share new features and functionality added with Windows 8.1. Prior to that I covered, frequently asked questions from customer discussions and detailed the importance of using certified drives. My conversations with customers continue to center on two key use cases: Bring your own device (BYOD) and contractors / vendor scenarios.  

In each of these scenarios, instead of provisioning a company laptop, IT provisions a Windows To Go drive for use on the employee or contactor’s personal laptop. While I could go into a few of the merits to this approach, I would prefer to share a recent blog on the topic from Marina Donovan. Marina is the Executive Director of Global Marketing at IronKey, maker of the W300 and W500 Windows To Go certified drives. She spends almost as much of her day talking about Windows To Go as I do, and has an interesting perspective to share. – Craig

BYOD is a game changer for the mobile workforce, and IT leaders are waking up to the opportunity.

One case in point: State Tech reported that Fairfax County, VA is issuing Windows To Go drives to employees who work remotely, “improving productivity and reducing the number of employee-owned PCs that IT must support.”

“There’s nothing to install or configure. Employees simply plug the drives into their Windows 7– or Windows 8–compatible PCs or other devices, connect to the county network via a virtual private network, and work anytime, anywhere.”

Microsoft’s Windows To Go – an enterprise feature of Windows 8.1 – is a simple, cost effective way to liberate the corporate desktop from any single device by placing a full version of Windows 8.1, applications, security tools and policies onto a secure USB 3.0 stick. Employees and contractors now can work securely on most any laptop or tablet with a USB port.

Imation was an early proponent of the mobile USB workspace, so it’s gratifying for us to see the growing excitement and adoption of Windows To Go among both enterprise and government organizations. As we meet forward-thinking IT leaders at seminars, trade shows, events around the world, it’s increasingly clear that Windows To Go represents an exciting and pragmatic new way to work for teleworkers, contractors and road warriors – and even students and teachers.

IT needs to keep evaluating new ways to increase security, manageability and flexibility for a mobile workforce while managing costs. In this context, we’re hearing from customers that Windows To Go delivers advantages over laptops in five key areas, illustrated in this infographic:

  • Cost – The Windows To Go drive can be the D in the BYOD strategy, costing 1/5 to 1/10 what it would cost to deploy a laptop – a benefit for BYOD strategy and easing replacement costs for lost or stolen drives.
  • Security – The Ponemon Institute reports that only 31% of lost or stolen laptops were enabled for encryption. Standardizing on a Windows To Go certified, hardware encrypted USB 3.0 drive dramatically improves security from data breaches.
  • Manageability – Windows To Go lets you centrally manage the OS just as you do with laptops. In addition, innovations such as the IronKey Enterprise Service add the ability to track Windows To Go drives and do remote wipe or remote detonation if they are lost or stolen.
  • Deployment – WindowsTo Go drives are easy to deploy, lightweight to carry, and less costly to ship. And with provisioning tools, even hardware encrypted drives can be deployed centrally by the dozen.
  • Resilience – IDC report that 86% of organizations have had laptops lost or stolen, and more than half of those reported a security breach. A ruggedized, hardware encrypted drive like the IronKey Workspace W500 resists both physical damage and physical tampering, and is useless to a thief if lost or stolen.

Of course, you can’t use a Windows To Go drive without a laptop. But when the work environment is on the move and BYOD is changing the rules of the game, Windows To Go delivers for IT and employees across multiple fronts.

Marina Donovan
Executive Director of Global Marketing at IronKey

Bing Maps Preview app for Windows 8.1 updated with new public transportation experience

The Bing Maps Preview app for Windows 8.1 is receiving an update today that brings a new public transportation trial experience to help you plan your journey via bus, train or subway in just a few short clicks. This experience will be available in select cities in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. The Bing Maps Preview app will now give you route options, estimated departure and arrival times overlaid on top of the apps beautiful maps experience. If the next bus you’re needing to catch is coming up in a couple of minutes, then app will let you know you better get moving.


For more on how this new public transportation experience works in the Bing Maps Preview app for Windows 8.1, head on over and read this post from the Bing Blog.

Don’t have the Bing Maps Preview app installed? Download it here from the Windows Store. The Bing Maps Preview app also currently supports incredible 3D views of these cities. You can read my post here for more on the Bing Maps Preview app.