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Early thoughts on the Windows Server 8 beta

By the time Windows Server 8 is generally available, you’ll likely be as tired of hearing about it as you are about the Republican primary candidates. But right now, just five days after the beta was released into the wild, everyone’s hungry for analysis – and the pundits are eager to give it. Below are some choice early thoughts about the Windows Server 8 beta from around the web. Get ready to hear about these issues and others hundreds of times over the next several months (when it’s all said and done, “Metro-style interface” might overtake “Romney dog on roof” in terms of search engine results).

  • Ars Technica’s Sean Gallagher took the plunge into “check-box hell” to give a blow-by-blow of the wizard-based installation process for Server Manager. Because someone had to do it.
  • Samara Lynn at PCMag suggests that most admins will opt out of the Metro-style interface (yes, commenters on every site, you can do that). She also says the sky’s the limit for Server 8 – and by “sky,” she means “compatibility.” If it won’t work within existing Windows infrastructures, it’ll be a tough sell for IT.
  • After lauding Server 8’s storage capabilities, ZDNet UK’s Simon Bisson says the cloud-centric OS has something for everyone, “from the smallest home office to the largest international company.” That sounds good, but do one-man shops have the PowerShell knowledge to use it effectively?
  • Jonathan Hassell gets his hands dirty with the beta for ComputerWorld, and calls the mixed design “just plain ugly” – you probably won’t be seeing that quote on a Microsoft page anytime soon. On, he also ran through the actual new features in the beta that we hadn’t already seen in the developer’s preview, including better Remote Desktop support and improved management of roaming profiles.

Of course, these are just the professional reviews – we’ve seen dozens more reactions on Twitter and elsewhere from admins around the world. What’s your take so far? What can you stand to read more about? Let us know in the comments, or on Twitter @WindowsTT.

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