Saturday, April 14, 2012

Windows 8 Linkage: “Passage Public Metro” version

cc image credit image by david.nikonvscanon on flickr


So Claus, where do you stand on Windows 8 at this point?

Well, to be honest, I’m really liking the under-the-hood improvement talk on how things are working in Windows 8.

What I still find very hard to overcome are the end-user interface changes and the challenges trying to restore it to some form of a Windows “Classic” interface and operation.

I get that Microsoft wants to forge ahead with a new interface and blending between the Windows Phone interface and the computer system interface. I get that “apps” are all the rage. I like old-school design but am pretty comfortable with moving to new designs. (I no longer curse the Ribbon interface in Office 2007/2010.)

So…when Windows 8 gets released in a final version, I’m not going to be rushing out to upgrade all our systems to it from Windows 7. Windows 7 is super-stable for our needs at home and everyone is very happy. That said, once it looks like things are stable and I’ve come to terms with the new interface, I’ll probably upgrade just one of our systems here at the Valca ranch to Windows 8 and see how things go.

In the meantime, here are an updated collection of Windows 8 linkage building on the prior grand stream dreams: Windows 8 Linkage: “Majestic Metro” version post. It definitely requires an update since the Consumer Preview release of Windows 8 has come out a while back and some of the things from that one either no longer apply or may not work in this release.

Truth be told, tonight will be the first opportunity I’ve budgeted myself to load up with Windows 8 Consumer Preview version in a virtual machine.

Windows 8 “Consumer Preview” Version - Start Here to Get It

Windows 8 - Related Betas

OK. None of these are required for Windows 8 Consumer Preview. However they are related to it and I thought some folks might be interested in playing around with them as well. If you don’t know what these even are, then just skip down to the next section.

Windows 8 - Install It

There are a number of methods and platforms to install Windows 8. Review all the ones below carefully to figure out which works best for you. I personally am currently going with installing it into a Virtualbox session. When I get closer to pulling the trigger on installation to one of my laptops at home, I’ll first install it into a VHD and then dual-boot my system so the Win8 install can run on real “hardware” to check driver compatibility and system performance on the iron rather than in a virtual system. I did that before with Win7 and found it very beneficial.

Windows 8 - Under the Hood Stuff

These are the things that make me look forward to Windows 8 despite the stupid fact the “classic” interface is stripped out and requires considerable effort to restore using tips/tweaks/third-party tools to accomplish. Note: when I say “classic” I’m not talking about the theme that is a toss-back to Windows 2K/XP but rather the “classic” GUI with the program bar, the “start” menu, the system tray icons, etc.

Windows 8 - To Go

Windows “To Go” is basically a feature in Windows 8 that allows it to run “full OS” from a supported USB storage device like a flash drive or external hard-disk drive. I guess it could be considered an advanced version of WinPE but with all the benefits of the OS with no feature strip-out or additional “hacking” required that custom WinPE builds require to get past a plain DOS box environment “out of the box”. It is very intriguing to me and should be a cool option…if you meet the license requirements as well have a robust and super-fast USB device/port.

Windows 8 - Tweakages

Getting Windows to the way you like it is still important. Here are some important (to me) tweaks, tips, and tweaking tools to make it possible.

Windows 8 - Deeper Insights

Windows 8 - DaRT (Diagnostic and Recovery Toolset)

This off-line system boot tool is kitted out with a collection of system administration tools to aid in the diagnosis and recovery of a tanked Windows system.  This isn’t as easy to get your hands onto so some work and signup with Microsoft is required to get it.

Indirectly related but still interesting.

Windows 8 - Usage Tips

New user interface, new things to learn navigating around and completing basic tasks without beating head on desk…

Windows 8 - Miscellanea & Rumor Mongering

Already mostly covered in the linkage above, but sometimes you just can’t resist poking that ant-pile with a stick…


--Claus V.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a FYI, on my PC with both VMware Workstation 8.0.2 as well as VirtualBox 4.1.12 installed, Windows 8 works much better in VMware than in VirtualBox. AFAIK VMware Player is a subset of Workstation, meaning that VMware Player 4.0.2 may give you better results than VirtualBox.

I was surprised at VirtualBox's lacking results (at least on my PC), but since my other VirtualBox VM's do work great, it seems that VMware spent more time optimising for Windows 8 than Oracle.