Windows 8: The 10 biggest problems so far

For two months now, early adopters, IT pros, and developers have been working extensively with the Windows 8 Developer Preview. Here are the 10 of the biggest pain points they've found, Microsoft's reaction and some easy fixes!

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Solution: Thankfully, you can create a custom shortcuts for shutting down, restarting, hibernating, sleeping and locking the PC and put them on your Start screen. Right-click on your classic desktop, go to New/Shortcut and type in one of the following commands:

  • Shutdown: shutdown.exe –s –t 00
  • Restart: shutdown.exe –r –t 00
  • Hibernate: rundll32.exe PowrProf.dll,SetSuspendState
  • Sleep: rundll32.exe powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState 0,1,0
  • Lock: Rundll32.exe User32.dll,LockWorkStation

Name them accordingly and choose an appropriate icon from Windows's default icon library:

Windows 8 default icon library

Next, put them in the folder "%appdata%\microsoft\windows\Start Menu\Programs\". Go to the Windows 8 Start screen and search for each of your shortcuts. The search results should bring up the icons you just created. Right click on them and select Pin. Voila!

5. Side-by-side multitasking doesn't work

On displays with resolutions lower than 1366 x 768, the Snap feature that allows you to display two apps on your screen (and resize them to 1/3 or 2/3 of the screen) won't work:

Win8-7.png

For reasons unknown, Microsoft decided to pevent Snap, despite the fact that a lot of mobile devices these days still sport a resolution of 1280 x 800 and are perfectly capable of displaying two apps side by side.

Solution: There's no reason to deal with Microsoft's restrictions: Open up regedit and go to "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ImmersiveShell\". Next, create a new key called AppPositioner. Within that key, create a DWORD entry which you'll name AlwaysEnableLSSnapping. Double click on it and enter "1".

Windows 8 regedit

Once you've restarted your machine you can easily display all apps side-by-side. Great!

6. Running Windows 8 in a virtual environment

While I'm running Windows 8 on physical hardware to fully experience the new OS, most of you probably just need to take it for a quick test ride or check on application compatibility. Unfortunately, the Windows Developer Preview gives many users trouble using VMware or even Microsoft's own VPC.

Solution: VirtualBox and VMware Workstation/Player 8 are now fully capable of running Windows 8 virtualized, so make sure to jump to the latest version. They MyTricks virtualization blog has some great step-by-step tutorials that'll help you get the Windows 8 Developer Preview running on VirtualBox, VMware and even Parallels.

Hint: Make sure to delete/disable the emulated Floppy drive to avoid crashes!

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