Brian & Gabe LIVE #33: Windows 8, OnLive, and VMworld news

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Brian and Gabe review their experience with Windows 8 and the UI formerly known as Metro How is Microsoft going to close a product that became popular because it was so open?

Thanks for listening to this week's episode of Brian & Gabe LIVE. Here's what we talked about this week:

  • Brian and Gabe review their experience with Windows 8 and the UI formerly known as Metro
  • How is Microsoft going to close a product that became popular because it was so open?
  • What happened to OnLive
  • Harry Labana left AppSense
  • VMworld is next week. Could we see a Horizon Mobile or other mobile app management product announcement?

 

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I've been playing with Windows 8 for a while. It is a bit change as you say and it has its rough spots, but I'm actually quite liking it, so let me explain.


For me, the start screen works worse with the mouse, but better on a tablet and keyboard compared to Windows 7. The fact that it doesn't work as well when using a mouse is the thing that is going to annoy people.  There's two good ways around this:


- Install Classic Shell (classicshell.sourceforge.net) which gives you a start menu back. There's also ViStart and Start8 available. I think it is ridiculous that we have to get a 3rd pary applicaiton to put functionality back into Windows, but it is an option and it works well. This also allows you to boot straight to the desktop - despite rumours to the contrary, this still works in RTM.


- Use the keybaord: Press the WIN key which brings up the start screen, then just start typing the name of the application you want - if the one you want is the first listed then press enter. This works so quickly that you can even use it for switching between apps from the keyboard.


- The other thing you should do is pin your common apps to the taskbar and then when launching those apps you don't need to go to the start screen.


I'm liking the combination of Classic Shell, but with the Windows key set to still bring up the Metro Start Screen. That's a configuration that I could potentially think about rolling out to our users, but there's plenty more experimentation before that's happening.


I think the interesting thing about this release of Windows is that the deployment drivers are almost completely different to any previous version. On the one side you've got the UI changes inhibiting adoption, but on the other it is probably the version of Windows with the least compatibility issues compared to any previous release. This is also the first version of Windows since Windows 95 where there are significant numbers of applications available in it that won't work with previous versions, and this could well be a big driver to adoption - users use Windows 8 at home or on a tablet, find some Metro apps that they like and make their life easier and then want to be able to use those apps on their laptop or desktop at work....


There are interesting times ahead seeing how all this plays out....


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