Windows 8 CP issues for Admins RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • I have hesitantly decided to be the company guinea pig and be the early adopter to brave the Windows 8 CP to do some research as to what pros and cons there are for us to upgrade. I am dual booting my machine to a VHD of Windows 8 and here are some of my findings.


    • Metro isn't as awful as people make it out to be, once you learn how to use it and customize it to your liking, it can actually be quicker than using the traditional start menu to find and open apps.
    • RSAT tools were released quickly, so maybe you guys are still keeping the admins in mind.
    • LYNC works
    • Office 2010 works
    • Built-In Server(like) functionality for Hyper-V in the consumer version of Windows is a great idea (compatibility not so much, more later)
    • RDC Manager works
    • Built in ISO mounting is something that has been lacking for a long time, great job here.
    • The steps that have been taken to integrate Task Manager and PerfMon is fantastic, the new task manager is awesome.

    Cons/Deal Breakers:

    • I was able to successfully install Exchange 2010 Management Tools, but it won't expand the management options. It just hangs trying to expand, and get an error about Data is unavailable. Strangely enough, if I go up to View > View Exchange Management Shell Command Log I can see where the initialize cmdlets were executed successfully, and if I physically open the Exchange shell I can execute cmdlets against our Exchange server, which is just strange to me. If I click on the error message "Data is unavailable". MMC.exe crashes and I get an error 1000: Application Hang in the event logs. System Administrators like myself need to be able to use these tools to manage user mailboxes.
    • VMM 2012 administrator console will not install, making it difficult to manage our private cloud environment. Not a huge deal for everyone unless you are responsible for the upkeep of a VMM environment. Since neither product has gone RTM, hopefully this will be remedied shortly. Strangely enough, I was able to install the SCSM 2010 SP1 admin console with ease and connect to our environment?
    • The changes made to WMI and WinRM structure is a HUGE issue for sysadmins, what good are the amazing new RSAT tools if we can only use them to administer Server 8 boxes. Backwards compatibility is critical here, especially for companies running a mix of 03 R2/08 R2 server environments. I understand you can install the WCF 3.0 Beta and administer those boxes, however, in my tests I installed this on one of our spare hyper-v hosts that is currently monitored and controlled by our VMM 2012 environment, and installing the beta caused VMM to lose connectivity with it's agent installed on that box. I believe all of this is done through WinRM, so clearly there is no backwards compatibility.
    • Hyper-V Manager is great, finally being able to run 64-bit VMs natively without installing additional software on the consumer version of Windows is a great idea. Making it incompatible with previous versions of Hyper-V however is not. I am assuming this is related to the changes with WinRM/WMI.

    Monday, March 26, 2012 3:29 PM

All replies

  • Brian:

    On your first point, I believe you are capitalizing on omission of information.

    You claim: "can actually be faster than the start menu".

    With a high-priced lawyer in a court of law, knowing which questions to ask and which to avoid like the plague, this statement could be "proven" as true to a jury of the uneducated.  Truth be told, the best you can hope for is "almost as fast", unless you specifically fine tune Metro, AND choose not to pay any attention to optimizing the Start Menu.  This of course would be an ommission the lawyer could "work with".

    But what is being left out (of your claim) is obvious to even a casual Windows user: 

    In order to customize it to be poised to "faster", you have to do one of two things (or both); Make the application available on the Metro Start Screen (notwithstanding the limited space given the huge tile size even when set to smallest), and/or pin the application to the Taskbar of the desktop.

    OK, thats fine.  But on a desktop machine, its standard practice, indeed the designed for practice, to pin your commonly used apps to the taskbar.  Ergo, going back to the Metro start screen is slower.  If you've managed to fill up your start screen witha huge collection of tiles that require any scrolling, the "old" start menu is every bit as fast.  If your desktop Taskbar is getting full, you'd better hope that application fits on your Metro start, else doing a search for it is slow and akward, and is no where near as fluid and intuitive as the traditional Start Menu.

    Now where we really get to the brass tacks is navigating the entire system.  The Start Menu is your one stop portal to the entire computer.  All of it.  I can get to the control panel in 2 clicks from the desktop.  Admin tools, same deal.  In fact with few exceptions I'm aware of, I can get to the entirety of my machine in 4 clicks, sometimes 5.  And those are fast, fluid clicks, and I didn't have to give up the mouse to start typing, grab the mouse to let it Metro know I'm thing controls not apps, etc...

    With Metro, you use up tile space for things you must use, use occasionally, and might use.  The natural tendency will be to load the Start Screen to the gills so you don't have to search for something, then select if you are looking for an app or a control.  Or a file.   But the more you load it up, the wider it gets, and the more scrolling you have to do to find it.  Add to that the comparatively non-descript appearence of the tiles, visually searching for the one you want is tedious.

    On the desktop, I can navigate to Start, MS Office, and pull up Powerpoint for those exceedingly few occassions I need it, in 2 seconds without undue effort.  More importantly, if I have the need, I can pin Powerpoint to the start menu itself as a second tier of quick access (Taskbar being first tier) so I don't even need to find the Office folder.  Let's not forget I can also use the destop for shortcuts offering something of a hybrid in terms of speed and fluidity between the taskbar and Start Menu.  (Not being able to choose "create DESKTOP SHORTCUT" is a huge oversight in Metro search result options).

    All of the functionality of the "live tiles" had been previously addressed via Gadgets.  Ergo, for me, not really wanting anything to do with Metro at all until I specifically choose to, the start screen does exactly nothing WELL for me, and in fact is still a jarring switch in function and appearence. 

    You say faster?  Not so.  I'll allow "almost as fast", but keep in mind "almost" does not win races.  And "almost" doesn't address the jarring change in UI, doesn't address the easy to over-populate nature of the Metro Start,  an is no substitute for the one-stop portal nature the "old" Start Menu provided.

    Can you get used to the swapping back and forth between interfaces?  Sure, people get used to living next to paper mills and chicken farms.  But in this case, there is no good reason ANY of us should have to re-learn the way they work in order to justify marrying two wholly separate UIs together and claiming advantage for all.


    • Edited by Win7Tester Tuesday, March 27, 2012 5:59 PM
    Tuesday, March 27, 2012 5:57 PM
  • I actually agree with your points Win7Tester the more I continue to use Win8. My taskbar on my primary display is nearing capacity, and after installing several more application suites, using the metro "All Apps" solution is becoming daunting. I have found myself searching for certain features for nearly a minute before finding it now that my installed applications has exceeded the primary tile screen and forcing me to have to scroll. My first assumption of "faster" was when I only had a few things installed, now after installing several more I am going to have to agree.

    I still only have half of the software of my Win7 install installed on my Win8 VHD. I think this problem will become even worse as time goes on.

    Tuesday, March 27, 2012 7:20 PM
  • ..................My taskbar on my primary display is nearing capacity......................

    Maybe a bit "retro" but I have found it easier and less stressful to re-instate the Quick Launch Toolbar!

    Thursday, March 29, 2012 6:25 PM
  • For me Metro just IS the start menu. Press Windows key, type name of thing you want. Bang

    MCP, MCDST, MCTS x 6, MCITP x 3

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    Tuesday, August 21, 2012 9:29 AM