Windows 8 in the Enterprise

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This post is 4 years old—a long time on the internet. Any content within is provided as-is and is not guaranteed to work on modern systems - your mileage may vary.

windows8_broken_glass

First, Happy New Year from the Cave! One of the projects I am working on is a test of Windows 8 in an enterprise setting. Let me tell you from my own opinion after using it for a couple weeks daily – it’s not “enterprise grade”. The IFKAM (interface-formerly-known-as-Metro) interface isn’t too bad, but it’s a pain. Yes, you get used to it. Yes, customization is limited (25 color combos, really?! We have millions of colors available and the best you can let me choose are 25 of your own combos?) and the wallpapers are hideous (alright, some of you might like them, but they’re not my cup of tea). But there are some things I like about it… specifically, the Desktop App. Yep, classic Windows all rolled up into a handy app. Launch that baby and you’re good to go. Alright, maybe a few extra tweaks… Classic S

hell, the free and open source start menu replacement. This handy program ensures I rarely see the IFKAM start screen and deal with that antagonizing mess and it’s brings back a clam feeling of Windows 7.

Booting is much faster, though in an enterprise environment, who cares? Your users are used to waiting for their machines to boot (and all of mine boot in 15 seconds or less, minus some XP machines which are being replaced soon anyways) and there is no difference between 8 seconds and 15 seconds. When my machine boots, I’m making coffee anyways.

Logging in has become… interesting. Click the “lock screen”, select your network username, type your password, and you’re in. The lock screen concept used is perfect for tablets, but the whole Ctrl+Alt+Esc thing was to ensure you weren’t logging into a fake login screen setup to capture your network credentials. Well, I guess that doesn’t matter anymore.

What’s with the random Aero icons still in place? You know, the recycle bin, Windows Explorer (and the icons in the explorer shell) and I’m sure there’s more in some other locations. Microsoft, this is being lazy. This is putting more effort into an interface no one wants to use then making a new major OS. Better yet, why is Aero still in place during installation? Why do I see this beautiful glass, but then Windows installs and I’m greeted with a boring, dull, flat interface?

And why do you let me set my Active Directory logon server but not actually let me pull updates from it?! This is my biggest gripe. As a Network Administrator, I usually make configuration changes on my head honcho Domain Controller and I want to make sure that updates will be pushed out successfully – but sometimes I’m not in the same site as the primary DC. In Windows 7, you open up command prompt, set logonserver=\\SERVER-NAME and good to go. Windows 8 will do the same thing, and if you run set logonserver it’ll even show you what you set it as, but run a gpupdate /force and it’ll pull GPOs from your site’s DC! Why even bother leaving that functionality in Windows if you’re not going to let me use it?!

That’s all my gripes on Windows 8 in the Enterprise for now.

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