Windows 8: Something old, something awkward

Microsoft's old Windows desktop and tablet-friendly Metro UI make strange bedfellows

By Woody Leonhard, InfoWorld |  Windows

The Programs and Features, Power Options, System, Device Manager, and Disk Management entries all bring up Control Panel apps of the same name. Event Viewer and Computer Management invoke the respective MMC snap-ins. I talk about the new Task Manager and the new Metro-fied, tiled Search in the next section. Yes, that's the old Windows XP Run box -- and you thought the 'Softies weren't nostalgic.

Several legacy desktop apps work better than they used to. I talked about many of them last week, but one in particular is well worth your attention.

The Windows 8 client contains a fast, if still somewhat buggy, implementation of Hyper-V. In order to run Hyper-V, you need to have a sufficiently recent CPU -- again, any Intel CPU with an "i" at the beginning will do, as will an AMD processor on this list -- and you must be running 64-bit Windows 8.

To get a new VM going:

  • Right-click the lower-left corner, and choose Programs and Features.
  • On the left, click Turn Windows Features on or off.
  • Check the box marked Hyper-V and click OK.
  • Win8 installs the necessary files. Click to restart your machine.
  • You'll see a new tile called Hyper-V Manager on your Metro Start screen; click (or press) it.
  • On the right, click Connect to Server.
  • Choose Local computer and click OK.

From that point, you have to figure out how to get an operating system into your new VM, probably by booting from an ISO file or physical media. Setting up a new VM is amazingly easy and fast with Hyper-V.

If you lament the passing of the Start menu, you're not alone. There's a simple way to bring back much of the functionality of the Windows 7 Start menu -- although the interface isn't exactly elegant, and the spot you have to hit with your mouse runs only a chevron wide.

The trick sets up a shortcut on your Taskbar that points to the location of the old Start menu's All Programs folder. Programs designed for earlier versions of Windows put shortcuts inside that folder in order to appear in the All Programs menu. You can go straight to the trove from your legacy desktop Toolbar, and you don't need Windows 8 to do it for you. Full instructions -- and a more elegant downloadable program -- are available on Microsoft MVP Vishal Gupta's AskVG blog.

Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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