Windows 8

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.

3 thoughts on “Windows 8”

  1. Hi andrew,

    i’m the project owner of gisgraphy. i have read your post very carefully. believe me, my goal is not to hide anything. I will update the documentation to tell it a better way and i will soon open an unlocked version of the address parser for user that install gisgraphy locally. The address parser is not opensource and because i sell license apart, i can not make it opensource.

    believe me my goal is not ‘bait-and-switch’ only the geocoding part use the parser all the other webservice are totally independant. if my goal was to make money, i think i would have choose some way that takes less time (i spent hours to develop, update docs, answer the forum,ets) and the free servers cost me money too, it is not an obligation to put a free server even if it is opensource.

    Best regards from france

  2. David –
    Thanks for the comment.
    Unfortunately, Blogger doesn’t allow me to move comments from one post to another. If you want to re-post the comment on the other post, I can delete the one here though.

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