IronKey Workspace lets you put Windows 8 in your pocket

IronKey Workspace lets you put Windows 8 in your pocket

Summary: The IronKey Workspace is an encrypted USB flash drive certified by Microsoft to be a Windows To Go drive device.


Imation has released a new USB flash drive called the IronKey Workspace, which is an encrypted flash drive certified as a Windows 8 ‘Windows To Go’ device.

Image source: Imation.

Windows To Go is a new feature of Windows 8 Enterprise that allows users to load a copy of the operating system onto a flash drive and take that with them for use on another PC. Plug the USB drive into the PC, boot up off it, and you’re working in Windows 8.

Imation has taken its already rugged IronKey USB flash drives, which already featured hardware-based AES 256-bit full disk encryption, and added super-fast USB 3.0 support and flash memory to create a drive that offers five times the minimum average read and write speeds needed for Windows to Go. It can average read speeds of 300 MB/sec, and around 200 MB/sec write speeds.

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While there are plenty of USB flash drives that will work with the Windows To Go feature, the IronKey Workspace is the only one to receive the Microsoft seal of approval, and as such is the only drive that Microsoft officially supports. Depending on the speed of the host PC, you can boot into Windows 8 from the drive in under a minute.

Running an operating system off a flash drive subjects it to stresses and wear that’s very different to using it as a regular storage device. Imation has designed the IronKey Workspace primarily as a platform for Windows To Go, adding features to help it cope with the additional workload that running an operating system takes on the drive.

The on-board encryption and password-protection means that if the drive is lost or stolen, your data is protected against intrusion. On-board software will securely wipe the drive after a pre-set number of incorrect passwords have been attempted, and all the electronics are encased in epoxy to prevent tampering. The epoxy is protected by a tough metal shell, and the entire drive is resistant to dirt, dust, and water to MIL-STD-810F standards.

The IronKey Workspace is available in 32GB ($129), 64GB ($215), and 128GB ($389) versions.

UPDATE: According to Microsoft, there are six hardware partners certified to manufacture Windows To Go drives.

Topics: Hardware, Storage, Windows 8, Windows 8 in Business

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  • Hmmm

    Anyone else see malware issues on the horizon ?
    Alan Smithie
  • when did you write this, a week ago?

    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
  • IronKey Workspace lets you put Windows 8 in your pocket

    I want a couple of these to give out to some people. This would be great for some of our remote work force.
    • Re: I want a couple of these to give out to some people.

      Promoting Windows piracy, already?
  • I wonder

    if they would work on a Chromebook.
    Michael Kelly
  • 32 Gb

    Means there is like 5 Gb of free space?

    Dont know if there is much need for such device. For those who needs just security (like boot to make some communication, or make online payments etc), there was that military-recommended linux distro that is very tiny on flash drive comparing to Windoze.
  • Actually - There are Several USB Drives Certified

    By MS... "As of the date of publication, the following are the USB drives currently certified for use as Windows To Go drives; as more drives are certified for use with Windows To Go this list will be updated:" Updated 1/25/13:
  • So Few USB Drives Will Work With Windows...

    ...compared to so many which will work with Linux.

    Oh, and AES-256 is a dubious choice for encryption, with known weaknesses. Stick to AES-128.