SkyDrive integrates very nicely with Windows 8. More on that later. First, let’s discuss using Windows 8 x64 on VirtualBox. Since I wanted to test with x64 and didn’t have a Hyper-V server available, I used VirtualBox. The latest version of VirtualBox does list Windows 8 as a guest operating system choice. The first time I attempted the installation, I chose the experimental Direct3D graphics support. That didn’t work well. After what seemed like FOREVER looking at a completely black screen, I decided the experimental Direct3D graphics and Windows 8 Consumer Preview were not a good combination, so I reinstalled Windows 8 from scratch leaving that option uninstalled. Depending on when you actually read this post, it might work just fine. Eventually both Windows 8 and VirtualBox Direct3D will probably be compatible.
Figure 1. Leave the Direct3D Support (Experimental) unchecked.
I keep all of my SQL Saturday presentations and MVP Deep Dives files on SkyDrive. Windows 8 integrates with SkyDrive seamlessly. As a full-time nursing student, I also keep all of my school files on SkyDrive. I think both working professionals and students will like the seamless integration of cloud storage with Windows 8. Here’s what it looks like:
Figure 2. SkyDrive application in Windows 8 CTP.
Notice that it says John’s SkyDrive. During the installation process, I was prompted for my Windows Live ID, which is my Hotmail address. That is my login to the Windows 8 machine. Windows 8 clearly has the cloud baked in.
One thing that immediately caught my attention was that even though I hadn’t installed any applications, my pdf files were viewable. The Microsoft Reader is preinstalled and reads pdf files. That’s quite convenient. Office documents were of course readable with the Office Web Apps. Next, Office 2010 was installed to view the SkyDrive documents in local Office programs. Although Office 2010 with all programs and features was installed, the Office Web Apps couldn’t detect that Office 2010 was actually installed. I filed this bug report: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_8-winapps/skydrive-not-detecting-powerpoint/dcabc763-5b5a-424a-a050-461a80b3899f
Also, I didn’t like the usability of closing a SkyDrive document and not returning back to the SkyDrive application. Instead, I returned to a SkyDrive web page in IE. I filed this item: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_8-winapps/skydrive-and-closing-office-web-apps/7832f1c5-5599-4a46-b428-49d98165d0c5
Unrelated to SkyDrive, I found that a rare and obscure bug in Windows 7 is still a bug in Windows 8. This bug report was filed: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_8-files/windows-7-unzip-bug-still-in-windows-8/eee093ff-1dd1-4e50-ae99-a084172326fe
I didn’t find any major problems and definitely liked what I saw. SkyDrive will be much more useful to more people when Windows 8 is used.
Finally, the Betta splendens fish from the Windows 7 beta is back. I was expecting 8 bubbles to the 7 bubbles in the Windows 7 beta, but didn’t see what I was expecting. I looked a second time. Two of the bubbles are joined to form an 8.
Figure 3. Windows 8 Consumer Preview default desktop.