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In Blue: Windows To Go

A welcome change for users of Windows To Go

In Windows 8 Enterprise, you can use a feature called Windows To Go to install the OS onto a USB-based memory stick and create a portable computing environment. This feature is carrying over to Windows 8.1 “Blue,” but with (at least) one very important change: Now you’ll be access Windows Store by default.

Here’s the issue. In Windows To Go today, the Store isn’t available by default because Store access is tied to your Microsoft account. Every time you boot a different PC with a Windows To Go stick, that machine is registered as a different PC with your account. And since you can only install Windows Store apps on up to 5 PCs, those that move from PC-to-PC with Windows To Go could quickly (and unknowingly) use up their allotment. (Power users could bypass this restriction and enable Store access, but it’s not well-documented for end users.)

In Windows 8.1 “Blue,” this is changing. Now, the Windows Store is enabled by default and Windows To Go users can roam to any number of machines, access the Windows Store and use Windows Store apps.

Are there more changes coming to Windows To Go in Windows 8.1? I’m still looking…

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