USB thumb drives have become ubiquitous. They're handy for quick backups and file transfers, and most of us have at least one bootable drive with a fully funtional operating system onboard. That OS is probably based on Linux, but it might not be for long. Winrumors is reporting that Windows 8 will offer a Portable Workspace Creator that allows users to run the OS from a USB device.
Details on this new feature are still scarce. However, it's said to require at least 16GB of storage capacity. Let's hope that requirement isn't a reflection of Windows 8's install footprint. I suspect USB devices will also need to meet minimum performance specifications to house a personal workspace.
Interestingly, this new feature is supposed to be geared toward enterprise customers. If Windows 8 comes out in multiple flavors, which seems likely, you might have to pony up for a Professional or Ultimate edition to create portable Windows installs. Microsoft would do well to offer this functionality with all versions of the upcoming OS, though. What better way to advertise a shiny new OS than to let users carry a portable version to run on any system? Thanks to Engadget for the tip.