Windows finally gets native ISO support in Windows 8

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...
Written by Stephen Chapman, Contributor
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

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