Windows 8 Success

After my previous attempt and failure, I opted to try it immediately again and try a few options and in the process breaking another installation, but finally getting it to install successfully!

I have to compliment Microsoft on the fast installation procedure – the whole installation took me between 10 and 15 minutes only! And this after I opted to decrease the available RAM to 2GB!

Once the initial setup ran and all the files were copied and installed, I was really glad to see the following screen!

During this step, you can setup the computer name as well as the background color of your installation – this was probably the best screen I’ve seen the whole day! Once setup, you need to set the method that updates will be applied as well as some localization settings. I’ve seen this before and it is absolutely amazing – see some of my future posts about these!

I’ve opted to make use of the Express Settings. The next step would be how you would authenticate (log in) against your computer. You have the option to make use of your Microsoft Account (Microsoft Passport, Microsoft Live! ID and a few other names that has been used before!) or a local User Account, as implemented during the previous versions of Windows.

With a Microsoft Account, I assume that you would require an Internet Connection to log into their computer. The advantage is as mentioned above (the same look and feel on all computers, access to your data on skydrive, etc), but the disadvantage is that you would probably require a fast Internet Connection. This would work perfectly if the infrastructure is available, but in my case this may not always be possible. I opted to make use of the Local Account option instead. I am not sure how it would be implemented with an Active Directory domain – this you would probably need to perform after completing the installation. Once all of these settings have been set, the following screen will be displayed to you – and you can have a big smile on your face!

If you need to make any changes to the previous screens, you can make use of the “left arrow” at the top of the screen; typical Internet Explorer feel!

Once the finalization is complete, the User Account is being prepared and setup as seen from below.

Once all of this is complete, you will be displayed with the new Windows Interface; the biggest change that you can see immediately is that you no longer have a Start button, but a Start screen, as seen below.

See my future posts around the built-in applications and once these are done, how Microsoft Office fits into the picture as well as how software development would be possible making use of Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Visual Studio. My initial feelings towards the interface was not positive in any way, but after playing a bit with it before, it is starting to grow on me – I may just be bold and make the switch once it is released, depending on how the steps above go!

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Windows 8 woes…

Okay, so I left the Virtual Machine running for 12 hours and lo and behold, it is not booting up. So here I am sitting, a little bit furious, but luckily I didn’t waste any time today. Guess I’ll be running it tonight again and hope that it may work this time around!

Will keep you posted on the progress this time around!

First impressions of Windows 8

Being a Microsoft Partner, you do get access to their latest and greatest software before general public availability.  I’ve had the opportunity to download the Customer Preview of Windows 8 a couple of months ago, but just haven’t had the opportunity to set it up yet.

I’ve decided to finally give it a try and did some research into it and opted to install it in a virtualized environment.  I’ve made use of Oracle VirtualBox to provide the environment.  I’ve decided to setup the environment with 4GB of RAM and 50GB of diskspace – the recommendations from Microsoft is 2GB of RAM and 20GB of diskspace.

The initial setup procedure is very similar to previous Windows installations, the only difference being that it appears to automatically activate the copy – personally I prefer the option to activate it once I’ve completed the setup, added all other Windows Components that I use and applied all the required updates to the installation – in case something goes pear-shaped!

One issue that I have found while doing the installation, is that once it did the initial installation and ran through the sequence of “updating registry”, “getting devices ready” and “getting system ready”, the installation ends up corrupted!  And if it did manage to boot up again, you get to a screen where you have NO idea what is going on.  And do not try and reboot it – you’ll end up screaming and shouting with a corrupt installation.  What I have found previously is to keep it running for an extended period of time (thank you virtualized environment) and then reboot it – I did this once after a 12 hour period and it seems to have worked fine.

So, this morning I finally managed to get to the above screen again and will be leaving it for a while before I do the inevitable – keep an eye out for my next posting.  And just to share the screen, I’ve added it below.