| By Mark Edwards |
Let’s face it, laptops are a mainstay for portable computing — but what if you could have access to your desktop without lugging around a laptop?
Microsoft is working on technology that will make that possible in the very near future, and this week I tell you what you can get out of it.
Microsoft StartKey comes over the horizon
I recently learned about a product called Startkey that is under development at Microsoft. StartKey is a desktop portability tool that will reportedly let you put applications — along with many of your custom Windows settings — onto a USB flash drive or Secure Digital (SD) card.
You could then plug your StartKey into any computer running a supported version of Windows and have access to your own personal desktop. To be clear, StartKey is a companion to Windows and not a portable version of the entire Windows operating system.
According to Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet StartKey “will allow users to bring everything from their desktop wallpaper, to their desktop icons, contact lists and data with them so that they can turn any PC or kiosk into their own, personalized workspaces.” Another story by Ina Fried at News.com offers more detail. Fried said that she pressed Microsoft for information and received the following statement:
- “Microsoft is introducing software (code-named Startkey) that will make it easy for users to securely replicate their current Windows PC environment, including applications, music, photos, videos, personal settings and passwords on a flash-based portable storage device. … This environment will then be accessible on Windows-based computers — effectively turning any PC into their own PC.”
If the high points of KeyChain will be included in StartKey, then it’ll be a very interesting technology. It would cause your desktop to run in a virtual environment that’s isolated from the host PC.