Thursday, March 01, 2012

Windows 8 Consumer Preview on Parallels

Yesterday Microsoft launched the Windows 8 Consumer Preview for evaluation. Primarily being a Mac user, I wanted to see what they've come up with, and downloaded the Windows 8 ISO to run as a virtual machine in Parallels 7. The installation went pretty smooth until the Parallels installed "Parallel Tools," which allows you to take advantage of the Mac swipe gestures within a virtual OS.

If you plan to install a copy to evaluate you will need to disable "Smartmouse" in order to actually use your mouse within the Windows 8 preview copy. To do this you'll need to do the following:

How to disable Smart Mouse:
1.) Stop the OS from actively running
2.) Click on the configure button on the lower right side of the screen
3.) Select the "Options" tab and click on "Advanced"
4.) Change "Smartmouse" from auto to off and exit
5.) Relaunch Windows 8 Consumer Preview and your mouse will now work

After changing this configuration you'll need to create a custom user account. If you leave it as the default administrator you won't be able to enter any of the apps they include. This sounds easy enough, but after creating a new user you'll likely notice another bug where your mouse completely disappears. To fix this I just accessed the native desktop and started randomly clicking around until the mouse reappeared.

Overall it does work, but I wouldn't plan on doing anything productive until Parallels releases a patch, or Microsoft launches a new beta.