Archive for September, 2011


Windows 8 Dev Build Released

And Windows developers across the world breathe a sigh of relief, as the Windows 8 Build team announces that Windows 8 will support apps written in HTML5/Javascript, C/C++, and/or C#/XAML. This is a huge weight off our shoulders, as many feared that we would have to leave behind our C# skills and move to HTML5/Javascript. I don’t mind Javascript for web coding, but to have to build all my apps like that would just be a nightmare.

The Dev preview of Windows 8 will be available later tonight, and I’ll be downloading the x64 Dev ISO and installing it to a VM forthwith. :-D


Hyper-V in Windows 8

I just read a post from the Windows 8 team that says they’re going to be including Hyper-V in the client, and that it will fully support hibernation and sleep. That makes me so happy. I just took my home machine that was happily running Windows 7 and added a drive to run Windows Server 2008 R2 full-time. I desperately needed a development environment, and VirtualBox wasn’t cutting it for me.

I am looking forward to the day I can run a client OS and still get the development environment I need. I currently have a dev domain running a domain controller, a Lync 2010 server, a MOSS dev environment, and a SP2010 dev environment. I might even stand up a Denali box, if I get some free time.

Server 2008 R2 does a decent job of emulating a client OS, except for one critical point that just ticks me off. Zune will not run on it. I have tried my best to get this to install with no luck. It saddens me. So if I want to run Windows 7 on my beefy home box to host 64-bit guests, I have to use third-party virtualization in the form of VirtualBox (free) or VMWare Workstation (pricey). I need to use a lot of training VHDs provided by Microsoft for my training sessions, and I don’t have the heart to convert them to VMX. I have had mixed results in the past. VirtualBox runs VHDs natively, but I couldn’t get them to work with the admittedly complicated setups that are the Microsoft training virtuals. Hyper-V was my only choice.

So back to the announcement regarding Windows 8. Here is a salient quote by John Howard [MSFT] in the comments:

@mktos & Dmitry – no, you will not lose the ability to put the physical machine to sleep when the Windows Hypervisor is running in Windows 8. This is a significant change we did to enable bringing Hyper-V to the client. Virtual machines which are running will be put into a saved state, and resumed when the machine wakes.



Now this of course doesn’t really affect my home desktop, of course, but I will definitely be upgrading my laptop to Windows 8 as soon as I can to take advantage of this. It will be so nice to copy my dev VM from one machine to the other as needed and not have to rely on an internet connection to get to my dev environment.

One other thing to mention is that this aforementioned blog post has an excellent description about why wireless networking was nearly impossible to bind in Hyper-V in the past, and how they have solved that problem. That is very exciting news as well. Check out the new Hyper-V in action in a developer’s build of Windows 8.

I’m so excited about this next client OS it’s just silly. I’m a big fan of the metro interface found on Windows Phone 7, and I think it will be interesting to see how that is brought to the desktop world.