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Windows Server 2012 UI

Since I have landed here at New Horizons, I have spent an enormous amount of time in front of Server 2012 in labs, demos and training in general.  Here’s some thoughts and observations about it and in particular the UI. (Note that I did not say GUI)

  • It’s the biggest Windows Server release since Windows 2000. Absolutely huge and game changing.
  • The strange departure from the Aero Glass look (Vista and Windows 7) is fresh and nicely minimalist. I will note that I was a fan of the Aero Glass look and will miss it.
  • Sometimes the Metro UI is slow to update. When in doubt hit the Refresh button.
  • I don’t think the Metro UI belongs on Servers. Us server administrators took collateral damage on the Metro look.
  • The removal of the Start button and addition to the “hot corner areas” is hokey and not suited for servers. It is also  downright hostile for online labs and RDP sessions. But it is what it is. We have to learn to live with it.
  • Learning Keyboard shortcuts will help you greatly. I have learned more Windows keyboard shortcuts in the past month than in the past 10 years.  Here’s a great chart showing Windows Shortcuts, including some new to Windows 8 / Server 2012 that will really help you get around fast.

I believe the net effect of all these UI changes will be to force greater adoption and usage of Powershell by Administrators on servers. I’ve already learned a lot of Powershell, as it’s just quicker and easier than struggling with the GUI. Stay tuned as I will soon begin a series on Windows Server 2012 UI tips and tricks.


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