Feb 14
Windows 8
icon1 Trace | icon2 Technical | icon4 02 14th, 2012| icon3No Comments »

I got to play around with Microsoft Windows 8 client with Metro on a few devices. This new OS from Microsoft seems to have a very few improvements over Windows 7. There is new dashboard type interface that appears to be focused on touch devices. In all honesty this seems to be the only improvement of note.

The touch interface is good. The soft keyboard performed well. The interface was easy to navigate and intuitive. I found the use for it to be mostly eye candy though. Anytime you opened a useful application you were taken back over to a Windows 7 feeling desktop. I looked inside regedit and control panel, I found nothing really new here. In fact many things looked exactly like Windows 7.

The lack of finding anything really different in the desktop side of Windows 8 has lead me to believe that maybe Metro was just a skin on Windows. As I later discovered, Metro is in fact not just a skin on Windows 8. The Internet Explorer appears to run in a separate space on Metro vs. the desktop.

I asked myself, what is the benefit of Windows 8 to the average corporate worker in an office? The answer is nothing. The real benefits are for mobile workers and those who wish to consume Windows 8 with a touch device. I could easily see using an iPad or other touch device to consume a Windows 8 virtual desktop with ease. This of course would depend on the swipe and other touch capabilities working via remote desktop.

There are a few other remote worker beneficial technologies in Windows 8. As I discover their real benefits in the future I am sure we will discuss them. For now I am anxiously awaiting the release of Windows 8 client for use in the home.

Feb 1

Here is a quick script that will change the video driver to the correct one for Windows 2008 R2 running on VMware.
Installing the new driver using this script REBOOTS the machine so be careful. It is less painless than using mouse etc inside laggy video machine.

You may need to edit some paths in vmwarew2k8video.bat depending on where you put the files.
Included in zip is devcon.exe for x64 machines needed for this to work. You can also download this version of devcon from HERE on Microsoft’s site.. You should already use psexec. You can download it from HERE on Microsoft’s site as well if not.

Symptoms of having the wrong driver is sluggish mouse/video performance or a black screen. These symptoms are detailed in VMware’s KB article.

This is to be used as needed on Windows 2008 R2 X64 VM’s already deployed. If you do not have this issue yet then make sure you update your template to use the correct driver before deploying.

To use simply type the machine name or ip address as the first argument.
Example: vmwarew2k8video.bat myserver