Thursday, September 15, 2011

Windows 8 first impressions

We downloaded Windows 8 and loaded it up in a Virtualbox (generates a HAL error in VMWare). Good impressions from VirtualBox - first time I've used it...

As to Windows 8 - it seems pretty polished for a developer pre-release.

The main things for a traditional environment considering future use:

  • Yes the keyboard and mouse work. But the start menu does not have a programs list.

  • Yes there is still a desktop, but you have to go looking for it.

  • The Vista era control panel stuff is still there. 8 seems much like Win 7, except program launching seems to be handled from the Metro interface (but perhaps only for Metro aware programs). The Metro side says 'Start'. So perhaps the tiles are like program icons in the (old) Start Menu? The Start menu is accessed by going down into the left bottom corner, like in a 1 pixel by 1 pixel area. There are no program groups under the Start menu, at least on the demo. There were none after installing a Win32 application, either.

  • Win32 (x86) apps still run - good for compatibility perhaps bad for security (perhaps larger attack surface)

  • This means that launching legacy programs will take you to shortcuts on the desktop - unless things change. That's a little confusing. It's kind of like saying "hey, I hear you don't use Widgets? Well guess what, now they're right in front on you ALL THE TIME! You'll use them now!"

  • We were able to put the machine up on the domain. Yay. Better for testing apps!

Start Menu

Cemetery software never dies...

Strange effect, log out with a Silverlight video running. Can't log back in, the keyboard seems to be remapped. ("b" = "Enter") Onscreen keyboard acts the same...
Not sure how to duplicate that one!

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