Windows finally gets native ISO support in Windows 8

Windows finally gets native ISO support in Windows 8

Summary: Microsoft just let the world know that Windows 8 will come with native support for ISO and VHD files in Explorer! But there's a catch...

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In a new post by Steven Sinofsky on the Building Windows 8 blog, we learn that Windows 8 will not only have native VHD, but also native ISO support in Explorer (finally!). Windows users can now rejoice at no longer having to use a third-party application to view ISOs. A video created by Rajeev Nagar, a group program manager on the Storage and File Systems team at Microsoft, explains the process and gives us another great glimpse of the new Ribbon UI in Windows 8, as well as the updated Taskbar -- all this, after everything revealed in the previous videos: But there's a catch (you knew there had to be): Creating ISOs is not something that will be handled natively. From Steven Sinofsky:
In case you need a utility to create ISO images from existing optical media, there are many tools that give you that capability. One I use is the Oscdimg command line tool that is available as part of our automated deployment kit.
Personally, I think they should just build the functionality to create ISOs into Explorer as well -- or, at the very least, include the Oscdimg command line tool with Windows 8. I'm not much for creating ISOs these days and I know Microsoft is aiming for Windows 8 to exist mostly on portable devices sans disc drives, but it seems a bit halfhearted to make dealing with ISOs a one-way street. Regardless, I appreciate the effort put into at least providing native support to view them in Explorer. Touching back on the updated UI being shown in great detail, here's a close-up screen shot (click on it for higher-res): That time/date/power/Internet gadget (or whatever it is) looks rather interesting, but kind of "in the way" for my liking. We'll undoubtedly find out all about it at BUILD in just 2 short weeks. For some great insight into everything Microsoft revealed from Windows 8 in their previous videos on the Building Windows 8 blog, take a look at my colleague Mary-Jo Foley's latest write-up. What are your thoughts about this functionality and the direction Windows 8 is heading in so far? Are you looking forward to it or dreading the new UI? Many folks out there still seem to dislike the Ribbon UI, so I'd be interested to hear from everyone on that front. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! -Stephen Chapman SEO Whistleblower

Related Windows 8 content here on ZDNet:

Topics: Enterprise Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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56 comments
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  • Only took 11 years.

    I've had native ISO support since Mac OS X 10.0 back in 2000.<br><br>Linux has had it since, well, forever.

    And the Ribbon has to go. Waste of space on a widescreen monitor to have some useless POS taking up a lot of precious vertical real estate.
    itguy10
    • RE: Windows finally gets native ISO support in Windows 8!

      @itguy10

      The Ribbon is hardly a waste of space. Especially on bigger screens. Drop down menus are the things that have to go.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Windows finally gets native ISO support in Windows 8!

        @Cylon Centurion

        Really? Why do I need a ribbon for things I hardly use? I mean it barely makes sense in apps like Word and Excel but for Explorer windows it makes no sense.

        As we have widescreens with less vertical real estate now anything that takes up that real estate is a waste.
        itguy10
      • RE: Windows finally gets native ISO support in Windows 8!

        I take it you really haven't read anything about how the ribbon works for the explorer, have you itguy?
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Windows finally gets native ISO support in Windows 8!

        @goff256
        I agree with itguy10 particularly about losing so much of my screen to what is essentially a fancy menu. I want to see my data. If they must throw in the gew-gaws, put them off to the side.
        Nathan A Smith
      • RE: Windows finally gets native ISO support in Windows 8!

        Note what has been said in the article about hiding the ribbon. I will probably hide the ribbon myself because I use keyboard shortcuts. But I think it's high time that the Ribbon completely replaces menus in Windows.

        Yes, the Ribbon does make sense in Word and Excel. I do not like needing to hunt through lots of menus to find commands. I can access them quickly with the Ribbon.
        skippe93
      • RE: Windows finally gets native ISO support in Windows 8!

        [i]Note what has been said in the article about hiding the ribbon. I will probably hide the ribbon myself because I use keyboard shortcuts. But I think it's high time that the Ribbon completely replaces menus in Windows.[/i]

        So I hit the ALT key and ribbon suddenly appears? That means the whole screen will have to drop down about 2 inches while I tab over. With a menu, only part of the GUI is obscured by the menu itself. The whole screen doesn't just pop up and down all the time. I'm not too thrilled about that.

        [i]Yes, the Ribbon does make sense in Word and Excel. I do not like needing to hunt through lots of menus to find commands. I can access them quickly with the Ribbon.[/i]

        As long as the underscore appears above the button so I can use a keyboard shortcut instead of moving the godamm mouse and having to click on the actual button all the time, then I can live with that.
        ScorpioBlue
    • RE: Windows finally gets native ISO support in Windows 8!

      @itguy10: You've used the ribbon right? Like all places the ribbon appears it can be hidden and using QAT (Quick Access Toolbar) you never need to see it, just stick the shortcuts you need on to it.
      bradavon
      • RE: Windows finally gets native ISO support in Windows 8!

        @bradavon
        Why not just make the toolbar that was already there configurable? Are there any independent studies that support the ribbon productivity religion with actual evidence? And no, MS studies crowing about their own products are not credible.
        Nathan A Smith
    • RE: Windows finally gets native ISO support in Windows 8!

      @itguy10

      I think the ribbon is great. Aside from maybe a 10" or less netbook it does not take up much more space than the traditional file menu's. I have heard that argument over and over when people compare Office 2003 to to 2007/10 and takes a fraction of an inch more than the old pull down menus. Everything is at your fingertips and categorized and you do not have to search through menus and sub-menus.

      As far as the ISO support goes you should know that MacOS and Linux do not have to jump through hoops to include a feature that is offered by third party. Microsoft has to prove that a feature they include is now considered a standard function of the OS which is why they are probably not including native ISO creation because it would cause companies like Roxio and Nero and other burner softwares to raise anti-trust cases. MacOS and Linux do not have to worry about organizations like EU trying to sue them for including things like a browser or a mail client or other softwares.
      bobiroc
      • RE: Windows finally gets native ISO support in Windows 8!

        @bobiroc <br><br>Funny, on OS X there are CD burning apps as well. They sell quite well, too. <br><br>It's hilarious that MS delivers their software (in EA form) on .ISO's yet has no way to natively use them in their OS.

        And for the Ribbon, on my copy of Office 2010 it takes up 3 "lines" at the top of my screen. It can only be configured to auto hide, not shrink. On Office 2003 on a widescreen I can shrink the Quick Access Icons to 0-2 lines. That gives me back precious screen real estate if I want it.
        itguy10
      • RE: Windows finally gets native ISO support in Windows 8!

        @itguy10

        If you go and look at the Microsoft Blog you can see that almost no space is lost to the addition of the ribbon. With regards to the office 2010 suite I think the conversation is irrelevant since your mouse and/or touchpad has the ability to help you scroll up and down (as do your arrow keys) so you can see the words not currently on your screen. I fail to see how this is a big deal at all if the ribbon increases the functionality.

        Yes you can buy CD burning programs on any computer but your market as a whole is smaller for Apple computers at this point. Microsoft (by not having ISO creation or mounting support) has most likely avoided lawsuits, and its not a large deal to go and download some software that burns and/or mounts a ISO do a virtual drive.

        Since you use OS X none of this really matters to you anyway.
        Fan_of_Tech
      • Microsoft made that same argument about alternatives.

        @itguy10: [i]Funny, on OS X there are CD burning apps as well. They sell quite well, too.[/i]

        Didn't stop the legal action against them.
        ye
      • RE: Funny

        @itguy10

        It's not funny it is sad that other OS makers can do what they want and include what they want. Never saw Apple get in trouble for including Safari or various forms of Linux for including Firefox and many other OpenSource Apps. Doesn't change the fact that it is the truth. Why do you think that Microsoft moved things like their MovieMaker and email client to the cloud and they cannot include a Anti-Malware solution with Windows. Heck Microsoft put Security Essentials as an [b]OPTIONAL[/b] download for machines detected with not Anti-Malware protection and people cried foul then.

        Your comment about precious real estate is funny. Either you are using a very small monitor or have it set for the lowest resolution or something. I am wondering if you are like other people that I know that complain about the ribbon and complain about that taking up so much space but insist on having many toolbars in their browser that take up a third or more of the screen in some cases because they find them useful. I get that at work too. The Office Ribbon is too much but they need their Google, Yahoo, Ask, and weatherbug tool bars.
        bobiroc
      • RE: Windows finally gets native ISO support in Windows 8!

        @bobiroc
        I'm looking at the screenshot and that is a lot more space than the traditional toolbar. You need new glasses.
        Nathan A Smith
      • RE: Better Glasses

        @Nathan A Smith

        Take a look at this picture comparing the Office 2003 Menu to the Office 2007 ribbon and tell me that extra line is "a lot more" space.

        http://cybernetnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/09/OfficeComparison.jpg

        You may have also missed the fact that you can minimize the ribbon and it only expands when you click on a category. So if think that is significantly more space you must have you monitor resolution set to the lowest setting and you are in need of the better glasses.
        bobiroc
      • Read Steve's blog for details about space consumption.

        @Nathan A Smith: [i]I'm looking at the screenshot and that is a lot more space than the traditional toolbar.[/i]

        http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/08/29/improvements-in-windows-explorer.aspx
        ye
      • RE: Windows finally gets native ISO support in Windows 8!

        <i>Take a look at this picture comparing the Office 2003 Menu to the Office 2007 ribbon and tell me that extra line is "a lot more" space.</i> <br><br>@bobiroc <br><br>That <b>is</b> a lot more space. Especially on laptops and netbooks with small screens. Plus that's an Office picture, not a Windows Explorer picture which is the topic here.<br><br>Are you blind or what?
        ScorpioBlue
      • RE: Windows finally gets native ISO support in Windows 8!

        @ScorpioBlue

        The Ribbon here is the same size as the ribbon in the screenshot. Plus, if you take a look at a full screenshot, you're actually <I>saving</I> space as the details pane at the bottom of Explorer is now gone.

        Here you go:

        http://blogs.msdn.com/cfs-filesystemfile.ashx/__key/communityserver-blogs-components-weblogfiles/00-00-01-29-43-metablogapi/8422.Figure-21-_2D00_-Real-Estate-comparison_5F00_2.png
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Are you blind or what?

        @bobiroc

        Nope.. Just like Cylon pointed out I look at the whole picture of things and not just what I want to see like you are doing.
        bobiroc