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Windows Server 8 beta - A closer look

The Metro user interface as the default for a server OS may not be our cup of tea, but other than that we like its new features

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The Metro overlay

Here's my hands-on look at build 8250 of Windows Server 8. It's important to note, though, that the company hasn't yet committed to this being the final beta - it's not yet feature-complete, in other words.Once you boot the beta with the GUI, you'll notice that the server OS shares the new Metro UI with its client brother, Windows 8. Most notably, this means the Start button has been replaced with the Metro Start layer, accessible by hovering your mouse in the bottom left corner of the screen and clicking on the resulting bubble. Then the Metro overlay comes into play and gives you the standard options for installed programs, Internet Explorer and the link to lock and sign out, among other things.

  • The Metro overlay
  • Getting servers into production
  • Adding servers
  • Managing servers
  • New encryption support
  • Synchronisation
  • Mixing Windows generations



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