Personal computers could soon fit entirely on a key ring. Researchers at IBM in New York, US, have developed a way to carry a powerful, personalised virtual computer from one PC to the next, without losing the user’s work.
The trick is to store the virtual computer on a USB key, or any portable device with substantial storage space, like an MP3 player.
The virtual computer’s "soul" - as the researchers dub it - can then be uploaded to a new PC simply by plugging the portable device in. This host machine needs no special software or even a network connection to take on an entirely new personality.