It’s Sunday morning, and I’ve got nothing much to do, other than wait for Hurricane Sandy to hit, so I thought I’d catch up on blogging. I have a few things I want to write up, the first being some thoughts on Windows 8. (I’ve found a couple of good reviews/articles on Win 8 at The Register and ComputerWorld.)
I pre-ordered a boxed copy of the Windows 8 upgrade from Newegg, and I’d planned on using that to upgrade my ThinkPad from Windows 7 to 8 this weekend. However, it hasn’t arrived yet. I then thought about just downloading the $40 upgrade from Microsoft and using the boxed copy to upgrade my desktop at some point. I went as far as running the upgrade advisor on the ThinkPad, but the results I got made me back off on that plan and rethink things a bit.
Specifically, Visual Studio 2010 is listed as “not compatible”. I was pretty surprised at this, since I would expect that MS would want developers to be able to move to Win 8 early. I realize that they’d also like to see developers move to VS 2012, but they must know that not everyone can do that right away.
So, I’ve been thinking about my options. One option would be to just do a clean install of Windows 8 on the ThinkPad, and not worry about VS 2010. I do like having it available, but the ThinkPad isn’t my main machine, so there’s no reason I really need it to have VS 2010. Another option would be to just try the upgrade and see what happens. This guy has apparently had some luck with VS 2010 on Windows 8, so maybe it’ll work, even if it’s marked as “not compatible” by the upgrade advisor.
Another interesting thought I’ve had, after reading about how awesome Hyper-V is on Windows 8, is to have a fairly vanilla Win 8 install on the ThinkPad, then have VS 2010 and some other stuff set up in a Win 7 VM. (There are good articles on Hyper-V support in Windows 8 here and here.) Of course, then I need to have a Win 7 license that I can use in a VM. In the past, I’ve learned the hard way that you can’t reuse an OS license from a physical machine from a major OEM in a VM — it detects that you’re not on actual hardware from that OEM, and locks you out. I’m not 100% sure if that’s still the case, but I’d bet it is. So I can’t just use the ThinkPad Win 7 license in the VM.
I think I have a Win 7 product key from my old MSDN subscription, from my previous employer, but that subscription expired a couple of years ago, and I’m not sure if the product keys would still be valid. Which then brings up a bigger question that I’ve been putting off thinking about: Is it time for me to break down and finally buy my own MSDN subscription, or TechNet subscription? TechNet is affordable enough, but MSDN costs about as much as a new laptop would. I like being able to mess with VMs and experiment with new stuff from Microsoft, but the cost of doing so if somewhat prohibitive.