Microsoft Windows 8 [Update] & Server 2012

So it’s been a couple of solid months of using the retail version of Microsoft Windows 8 and in my last review I bashed it pretty hard. I have still been using an “after-market” start menu, different from mentioned before. Pokki Menu [Link] is now my weapon of choice.  I still use the “Modern” menu on an extremely limited basis, but I have hooked up a 2nd monitor, a 20″ LCD, to accompany my 30″ Dell LCD, and having that for the menu makes it more useful, however I am still seeking a solution to make the menu always open on the 2nd monitor and stay open, suggestions?  Windows 8 seems quick and performance wise, I am extremely happy.  At this point, I would say, if you’re still running Windows 7 and contemplating upgrading, do it, get used to it, I don’t think the new UI is going anywhere soon.

A few Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcuts I find extremely useful:

WIN+X: Opens the “Advanced” System Menu
WIN+C: Opens the “Charms” menu – Essential on Windows 8
WIN+D: Opens the “Desktop View”
WIN+R: Opens a “Run” dialog

I have “upgraded” my server hardware as well.  I was running a Dell PowerEdge 2850 Rackmount server and loved it, the downside was, the CPUs didn’t support virtualization.  I decided to utilize some hardware I had around the house, namely an AMD X4 and hard-drives and buy a new motherboard and load it up on RAM and NICs.  Currently the server is sitting with 16GB of memory, but I plan on filling the other 2 slots with another 16GB in the very near future.

Software wise, I am running Windows Server 2012 Core on it and couldn’t be happier.  In it’s current state I am able to spin up 6 Hyper-V Virtual Machines on it with little effort.  Management of all the VMs are made simple by the amazing new Server Manager included in Server 2012, one centralized point to manage servers and the roles and features installed.

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