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Metro in a VM on the Desktop

    General discussion

  • I want to make my app work across all win8 form factors and I'm fine with touch-first/metro as a paradigm.

    But I'm concerned how my app will work on desktop environments where desktop apps are the norm. Can someone see my metro app on the screen next to multiple desktop apps?

    What I really fear is that I will have to write 2 separate apps, one for metro and one for desktop. It seems I won't be able to combine the formats into one executable that auto selects (or even offers the user an option) to run as metro or desktop.

    How does task manager really work? I understand that non-visible metro apps are suspended. What about desktop apps? Do they get suspended when metro apps are running? Are there 2 different task managers? One for metro, one for desktop?

    Is win8 a seamless experience from touchpad to desktop? It seems desktop apps on the touchpad will be second class... as they should be. But it seems metro will be second class on my desktop... which shouldn't be the case.

    Maybe this is why hyper-v is avail on win8 client. I can run Win8 as a vm on my Win8 pc. I'll run Metro stuff in the VM and desktop stuff in the host.



    • Edited by CraigLaurin Friday, September 16, 2011 1:43 PM
    Friday, September 16, 2011 1:41 PM

All replies

  • On Fri, 16 Sep 2011 13:41:39 +0000, CraigLaurin wrote:

    Maybe this is why hyper-v is avail on win8 client.

    Hyper-V is available on the Windows 8 client so that customers can run 64
    bit virtual machines.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    I came, I saw, I deleted all your files.

    Friday, September 16, 2011 1:50 PM
  • "Hyper-V is available on the Windows 8 client so that customers can run 64
    bit virtual machines."

     

    Fair enough. Ok, maybe one of the reasons Hyper-V was included with Win8 client is to allow Metro apps to be run in an overlap window on desktops.

    Friday, September 16, 2011 1:55 PM
  • On Fri, 16 Sep 2011 13:55:59 +0000, CraigLaurin wrote:

    Fair enough. Ok, maybe one of the reasons Hyper-V was included with Win8 client is to allow Metro apps to be run in an overlap?window on desktops.

    I doubt it since Metro apps really need the touch experience for full
    benefit and you're not going to get that within a virtual machine. Besides
    which, Microsoft already had Windows Virtual PC baked into Windows 7, it
    just couldn't run 64 bit operating systems.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    ROM: A RAM after a delicate operation.

    Friday, September 16, 2011 2:01 PM
  • Lol, come to think of it. Win 7 was released with VM which allowed for backward compatibility (XP Mode).

     

    Win8 is released with VM to allow for forward (Metro) and backward (XP Mode) compatibility.

     

    And again, I'm not asserting that these are the only reasons for VM to be included.

     

    And more importantly, I'm sorry if my tone seems derisive. I'm just fighting with the new paradigm in my mind.


    • Edited by CraigLaurin Friday, September 16, 2011 2:07 PM
    Friday, September 16, 2011 2:06 PM
  • On Fri, 16 Sep 2011 14:06:04 +0000, CraigLaurin wrote:

    Win8 is released with VM to allow for forward (Metro) and backward (XP Mode) compatibility.

    No, Windows Virtual PC, which is the underlying technology for XP Mode is
    not in Windows 8. It has been replaced by Hyper-V.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Daddy, what does "Formatting Drive C:" mean?

    Friday, September 16, 2011 2:08 PM
  • I will not be able to run an XP VM on Hyper-V? I still have an vs2003 .Net 1.1 app to support.
    • Edited by CraigLaurin Friday, September 16, 2011 2:13 PM
    Friday, September 16, 2011 2:10 PM
  • On Fri, 16 Sep 2011 14:10:37 +0000, CraigLaurin wrote:

    I will not be able to run an XP VM on Hyper-V?

    Of course you can. XP Mode is simply a preconfigured XP virtual machine,
    along with a license to run XP in a virtual machine that used Windows
    Virtual PC as the virtualization technology.

    XP will run fine in Hyper-V, though my guess is that given Windows 8 is 2
    releases beyond XP and that XP will be pretty much out of support by the
    time Windows 8 is released that there won't be any XP Mode any longer.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    The determined programmer can write a FORTRAN program in any language.

    Friday, September 16, 2011 2:16 PM
  • Ok, thank you Paul.

     

    I shouldn't have used XP Mode to describe an XP VM for this post. 

    Friday, September 16, 2011 2:22 PM
  • "I doubt it since Metro apps really need the touch experience for full
    benefit and you're not going to get that within a virtual machine"

     

    It's just that I'm sure there will be times I need to see a metro app next to my desktop apps. Especially when working on a desktop pc.

     

    I'm fine with poping in and out of dektop apps on a touchpad.

     

     


    • Edited by CraigLaurin Friday, September 16, 2011 2:26 PM
    Friday, September 16, 2011 2:25 PM
  • I am writing this post within Google Chrome (desktop app) and Tweet@Rama metro app side by side. If that is what you want you can just ask the user to dock the metro app to the side. 

    If you want overlapping windows I am afraid you have to go back to the traditional desktop.



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    Friday, September 16, 2011 4:12 PM
  • "Hyper-V is available on the Windows 8 client so that customers can run 64
    bit virtual machines."

     

    Fair enough. Ok, maybe one of the reasons Hyper-V was included with Win8 client is to allow Metro apps to be run in an overlap window on desktops.


    The primary audience for Windows 8 Client Hyper-V is IT Professionals and Developers that would typically need multiple machines for development, testing, configuration management, image testing etc.  For those audiences it would be used to do potentially development on the desktop on root Windows and testing in a VM (or vice versa).

    Another way to have desktop and metro apps both shown is via multi-monitor support.  With 2+ monitors you would have used mostly for Metro apps and the 2nd showing the desktop.  You can then pin desktop apps to the desktop taskbar allowing for 1-click execution off the 2nd monitor.   One of the new desktop task bar features (right click the task bar, properties) lets you have unique programs for each monitor.

    We definitely appreciate feedback after you've tried different options to see what works (or doesn't)

    Saturday, September 17, 2011 4:36 AM
  • Hey Bruce, thanks a lot for posting this as it got me playing around with multiple monitors. I do have some confusion about how all of this is supposed to work and have started a thread on this feature. Since you seem to be very knowledgable in this area, I'm hoping that you can participate in the thread and help us figure all of this out. Here's the link to the thread in question:

     

    http://social.Msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsdeveloperpreviewgeneral/thread/1a525cea-de53-4d45-a367-1880dde197bb#1a525cea-de53-4d45-a367-1880dde197bb

     

    Thanks!

    Paul

    Saturday, September 17, 2011 3:40 PM
  • "Hyper-V is available on the Windows 8 client so that customers can run 64
    bit virtual machines."

     

    Fair enough. Ok, maybe one of the reasons Hyper-V was included with Win8 client is to allow Metro apps to be run in an overlap window on desktops.


    The primary audience for Windows 8 Client Hyper-V is IT Professionals and Developers that would typically need multiple machines for development, testing, configuration management, image testing etc.  For those audiences it would be used to do potentially development on the desktop on root Windows and testing in a VM (or vice versa).

    Another way to have desktop and metro apps both shown is via multi-monitor support.  With 2+ monitors you would have used mostly for Metro apps and the 2nd showing the desktop.  You can then pin desktop apps to the desktop taskbar allowing for 1-click execution off the 2nd monitor.   One of the new desktop task bar features (right click the task bar, properties) lets you have unique programs for each monitor.

    We definitely appreciate feedback after you've tried different options to see what works (or doesn't)

    The taskbar gets cluttered if too many apps are pinned. I don't find that method useable as a complete shortcut solution. I would like a list.

    I do agree though that dual monitor would be the best option for split UI Shells. Especially looking to aquire a touch device. People shopping for 10 inch touch second monitors may be a new norm. Are 10 inch touch monitors available in the consumer market?

    Saturday, September 17, 2011 3:57 PM
  • Don't forget that you can still use the ancient method of placing a shortcut on the desktop to provide single-[touch|click] access to that desktop program. For those limited to a single screen, virtual desktop managers are available.
    Selden
    Saturday, September 17, 2011 5:28 PM
  • Check out the Snap feature in Windows 8.  You can launch say the Metro "Weather" app, and then snap it to the left side of the screen.  On the right 3/4th of the screen you can have the Desktop running Excel or whatever else you like.  This enables the exact scenario you are asking about.  There were a few video demos of this, but you can easily try it out yourself.  

    Also, if you have a Dual Screen setup, you can have the Metro start screen or applications on one screen, and the Desktop environment on the other.  It's pretty slick.

    Sunday, September 18, 2011 9:40 AM
  • Check out the Snap feature in Windows 8.  You can launch say the Metro "Weather" app, and then snap it to the left side of the screen.  On the right 3/4th of the screen you can have the Desktop running Excel or whatever else you like.  This enables the exact scenario you are asking about.  There were a few video demos of this, but you can easily try it out yourself.  

    Also, if you have a Dual Screen setup, you can have the Metro start screen or applications on one screen, and the Desktop environment on the other.  It's pretty slick.


    A true 50%/50% spilt would make the snapping of metro/classic side-by-side a little more usefull. 

    Dual Screen will always be the better solution but it can't be the only solution to making metro/classic side-by-side feel natural.

    Overlapped Metro on the Classic Desktop would be cool too.

     

    Monday, September 19, 2011 9:26 PM