Windows 8 Enterprise is the version most Enterprises will deploy, supporting all features and included as part of a volume license susbscription. However some people may have a technet subscription which comes with both Pro and Enterprise versions, and may be wondering which version to install. Both are pretty full featured, for instance both versions include:
– Domain join
– Bitlocker and bitlocker to go
– Client Hyper-V
However there are significant differences which you should be aware of before deploying in a test environment.
Key differences are:
– Enterprise includes branchcache support, Pro does not
– Pro can add Media center, Enterprise cannot
– Enterprise has more advanced remote desktop client features e.g. Remote app
– Enterprise includes Windows to go feature for installing on a USB key
If you are running multiple monitors with Windows 8, you might want to change the screen that Metro shows up on when you press the start button. You can do this a few ways without setting the secondary screen as primary, the easiest way I have found is as follows:
Open a Metro app e.g. Mail
Move it to the secondary screen by grabbing it at the top and dragging it over
That’s it – press Start again and Metro shows up on that screen now.
These are updated pretty regularly so worthwhile back checking often, and keeping a note of the versions that you installed.
The main issue I have outstanding is that the Lenovo Power Management Driver installs but doesn’t seem to do anything. When the device locks, the fan speed goes up until it is quite loud, although CPU utilisation whilst locked seems normal. I am using the driver file called win8beta_gdku05ww.zip.
On the plus side:
Windows 8 is fast, although I have a 256GB Samsung SSD installed in my X220, which helps. However it doesn’t seem any faster than Windows 7.
All my programs have worked so far, including fallout 3 which is a pig to run on anything.
Graphics performance seems the same with out of the box drivers, no issues there, see above.
Touch pad works OK with the beta drivers – scrolling is a little hit or miss, but you scroll, zoom etc in Metro which is nice. I bought a Microsoft Wedge Mouse, which is much better for vertical and horizontal scrolling, but doesn’t support other Windows 8 gestures so I sent it back.
I had 2 things unknown in device manage, base system device and unknown device. One was the media card reader driver, I don’t know what the other one is.
I had a nasty issue on my first build where explorer went into a crash loop and you could not do anything. This was supposed to be fixed in the developer preview. I had to rebuild. Deleting the local profile might have fixed this.
Metro doesn’t work with proxy servers which is really bad. Basically half of Windows 8 doesn’t work in the office.
My headset didn’t work properly with the default Windows 8 drivers, had to install the Lenovo sound drivers, and now it is working fine.
Battery life seems better with the Lenovo Power Management Driver, but still have the fan issue. I was expecting it to install the power meter on the task bar, but maybe they won’t implement that in Win8 given the new start screen.
Overall, it has been a bit of a painful transition, akin to XP to Vista with drivers and other issues, but I wouldn’t go back now, Win7 feels a step backwards.
Update: There is a newer Power Management driver – win8beta_gdku07ww.zip. The fan seems a bit better, but frankly I am not sure if it does anything. I do have an intermittent issue when it resumes from sleep and just displays a black screen sometimes. This is resolved by putting into sleep again – close the lid, then open.
The Skydrive integration with Office 2013 is really nice. But what about Office 365? If you try opening a document from your portal, you get an error saying that the correct version of Word is not installed.
But what you can do is just add your portal as a location in Word etc.
Click on Add a place, then Office365, and enter your credentials. You can then browse your document libraries from with Word, or other office 2013 apps.