Saturday, September 24, 2011

Windows 8 Linkage: “Majestic Metro” version

cc image credit image by hyku on flickr

imageI’m having a really, really hard time getting excited about Windows 8 and its “majestic” Metro design style and interface.  So hard I almost skipped posting these links.

I’m now more comfortable in the Windows 7 environment and experience than I was/am in Windows XP. Don’t even get me started on my limited Vista run.

There are a lot of technical pundits much smarter and more versed in pre-analyzing the pre-Windows 8 packages that Microsoft have pushed out.  Though I have dutifully downloaded the public “Developer Preview” version and got it spinning on a virtual machine (VitrualBox if you care to know), I haven’t tried (nor care at this point) to dual-boot it via a VHD container on real hardware. Nor do I have access to a “tablet” or touch-screen device to really take full advance of the Metro touch interface. (Yawn)

However my initial response is that it pleasant and somewhat interesting. I’m sure the new advances in the kernel and OS functionality will improve the already quite refined Windows 7 version in terms of security and user-perceived performance.

However, unlike Windows 7, I will not be rushing out to the store to snap it up and upgrade our Windows 7 systems.  They just work too well, are too stable, and are too nice to bother. For now.

Heck, I can’t get my dad to upgrade from Vista to Windows 7.  He actually likes and trusts it. Forget about getting him to leap to Windows 8!

Which leads me to my next concern; with so many enterprise and businesses just now finally making the upgrade jump from XP to Windows 7, will Microsoft be able to sell them on Windows 8 with it’s funky Metro interface (noted, it can be disabled for a more “Classic” business-like desktop experience) and even newer under-the-hood architecture?  Probably, eventually I suppose…maybe in the general timeframe as those XP to Windows 7 adoption rates.

So, here is the obligatory GSD post of everything you probably need to know (IMHO) about Windows 8, for now, to satisfy your curiosity, and get you started kicking the tires.

First, a Meet and Greet

Your Windows 8 questions, answered - TechBlog’s Dwight Silverman

Making business lust for Windows 8- TechBlog’s Dwight Silverman

Windows 8–First thoughts - Mister Goodcat' on

Getting Windows 8 Developer Preview

Windows Metro Style Apps Developer Downloads - Microsoft MSDN Dev Center. Get the ISO’s here.

Installing Windows 8 - Virtual Box method

This was the method I went with. I used Mister Goodcat’s pitch-perfect walkthrough post to get my version  -- Windows 8 Windows Developer Preview English, 32-bit (x86) -- up and running in just a few minutes. Check them all out first as they all provide good perspectives before starting.

Installing Windows 8 Developer Preview in a virtual machine - Mister Goodcat' on

Pay particular attention in that post above where Mister Goodcat explains at the end how to manually adjust the screen size resolution outside of the VirtualBox session to allow you a better “wide-screen” ratio level. It’s worth the read if you go this method.

Windows 8: An installation walk-through - Hardware 2.0 blog at ZDNet

8 and Windows VirtualBox: how it works - (GTranslated) - Caschy on the German blog

Virtualize Windows 8 ... - (GTranslated) - Gunter Born’s “Borns and WIndows IT Blog”

Running Windows 8 on VirtualBox with Additional Wide Screen Resolution - Windows7hacker

Installing Windows 8 - VHD Native/Dual-Boot Method

This is the method I used to pre-test Windows 7 release versions back in the day on my Vista system.  It worked great and there was considerable benefit to running the OS on “real” hardware.  It was easy.  I didn’t love Vista so much so I didn’t really care about data-loss then. I really like my Windows 7 installation on my blazing-fast Dell Studio system so I’m more hesitant this go round.  Maybe I’ll see if Alvis wants to be a volunteer geeklet for the Win 8 testing cause with her laptop…

Guide to Installing and Booting Windows 8 Developer Preview off a VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) - Scott Hanselman’s Computer Zen blog

Installing Windows 8 Developer Preview as bootable VHD - Mister Goodcat' on pitorque.

Dual Boot Windows 8 from VHD using Windows Setup - Concurrency Blog

How to Dual-Boot Windows 7 and Windows 8 Side By Side - Lifehacker

Native VHD Boot Windows 8 as Virtual Machine with Windows 7 - Windows7hacker

USB Install Method & Windows 8 “To Go”

8 Windows install from USB stick - (GTranslated) - Caschy on the German blog

Also interesting is the (native) ability to boot and RUN Windows 8 directly off a USB stick.  This is similar to, but much more fully developed than the Windows PE environment fans such as I have been hacking and using for some time now with great delight.  Rather than running in a diminished (pre hack) OS environment, this would be the full-meal-deal OS on a stick.

How to create your own Windows 8 To Go Developer Preview - Gunter Born’s “Borns and WIndows IT

(Revisited) Creating Windows 8 To Go on a 16 GB USB-Stick - Gunter Born’s “Borns and WIndows IT

Windows To Go: Bootable Windows Drive May Revitalize Flash Market - EverythingUSB (with video demo)

Just In Case you were Curious

Windows Developer Preview 8-compliant Key? - Gunter Born’s “Borns and WIndows IT

Windows 8 Developer Preview (Build 8102) Expiration Date - CyberNet News blog

Obligatory Tweaking Tips and Utilities

The first link is the utility I chose to use to wrest control back from the Windows 8 interface. The second link I needed because I was impatient and just wanted to shut the thing down.

Metro UI Tweaker for Windows 8 Released - The Windows Club

Shutting Down Windows 8 - Windows7hacker

Metro controller: Disabled MetroUI & Co under Windows 8- (GTranslated) - Caschy on the German blog

Bringing Back The Old Style of Windows 7 Start Menu in Windows 8 Developer Preview - Windows7hacker

How To Shut Down The Full Screen Running Metro Style Apps in Windows 8 - Windows7hacker

Windows Developer Preview 8: Classic Start Menu and switchen MetroUI via context menu - (GTranslated) - Caschy on the German blog

Windows 8: Quick access to applications - Gunter Born’s “Borns and WIndows IT

5 Ways To Tweak Windows 8 Start Menu with Metro UI (Developer Preview Edition) - Windows7hacker

Yeah, that TouchScreen thing


Windows Simulator Lets You Simulate Windows 8 Touch Features Using Mouse - di’ D’Technology Weblog.

8-touchscreen Windows Simulator - Gunter Born’s “Borns and WIndows IT

Open in Case you now need to RTFM of sorts (sponsored by Lifehacker)

Windows 8 In-Depth, Part 1: The Metro UI - Lifehacker

Windows 8 In-Depth, Part 2: The Desktop - Lifehacker

Windows 8 In-Depth, Part 3: Windows Explorer- Lifehacker

Windows In-Depth, Part 4: The Revamped, Vastly Improved Task Manager- Lifehacker

Technically Speaking Now

UEFI Secure Boot in Windows 8 Explained, The Customer is still in Control of Their PC - Windows7hacker

A Close Look at Windows 8 Revamped Task Manager - Windows7hacker

Windows Server 8 Sheds Its Graphical Baggage - ReadWriteCloud

Links...and whatnot - Windows Incident Response blog - Harlan’s post has some initial forensic observations about the Windows 8 Registry hive structure.

Watch List for Future developments

Building Windows 8 - Blog posts from the Windows engineering team on MSDN Blogs

Windows 8 - Windows7hacker

Hard to believe it was a scant three years ago just a few days from now when I was covering all this ground for the (then) dawning release of Windows 7: Windows 7 – Getting my feet wet…Cannonball style!

Ahh memories….

--Claus V.

1 comment:

FF Extension Guru said...

So much to comment on here! First off I am a little worried about your Dad in his 'love' for Vista. Now, I had used (as in I had no choice in the matter) Vista for a little over 3-years. I was a little uncertain about Windows 7, but figured I should have it installed on the new machine a buddy of mine was building for me last December (he did offer to put Vista on if I so desired). Earlier this spring I dusted off my Vista system and was doing some testing of Firefox 4 on it. I had forgotten how slow Vista was and how inefficiently it handled memory.

As far as Windows 8 is concerned, I think it is Microsoft's attempt to get people to switch to tablets or touch-screen computers. Neither of which I have a real interest in (I want something that has a real keyboard. Even my Android phone has a slide out Qwerty keyboard). I do think in time, the 'traditional' desktop computer will go the way of the Tube TV in favor of the laptops and netbooks. I just don't see tablets catching on and think Microsoft may be making another mistake (Windows Me) with the Metro version of Windows 8 for non-tablet computers.