Server 2008 Hyper-V: Secret Handshakes

The first issue is how to send the Ctrl-Alt-Del combination to the VM. Surely it's the same as it was in Virtual Server 2005 and Virtual PC 2007 - right-Alt-Del? Ah, but that would be logical! Nope, this time around the combination is Ctrl-Alt-End. (You can also use the Virtual Machine Connection window's toolbar or Action menu to send the Ctrl-Alt-Del sequence to the VM.)

Next user inteface issue is the mouse business. I assumed that installing the Integration Services software would give me the same freedom of mouse-movement I had under the earlier generation of products. Wrong was I. Once you click inside the VM, your mouse is stuck there. What kind of Integration Services are these? Yes, there's a helpful status bar message advising you to click Ctrl-Alt-Left Arrow to free the mouse from its VM confines. But isn't this a step back from the earlier products, which let you move the mouse in and out of the VM window at will? Maybe I'm missing something here. And, to be fair, I haven't yet built a VM within Hyper-V completely from scratch, although I'm not sure what difference that will make.

Oh, and one more word about that Ctrl-Alt-Left Arrow business: On my Latitude, that's the command to switch the display from landscape to portrait! So *that* was pretty entertaining. For a minute there I thought Hyper-V was rotating my display, and that I was losing my mind! Happily, the rotation key sequence is programmable using the Intel video utility, so that problem was easy to solve. (Although I've already forgotten what I changed it to. Never mind, I'll never use it.)

Next week, we'll take a closer look at the day-to-day workings of Hyper-V, starting with the frustrating discovery that although Virtual PC 2007 supported drag-and-drop between host and guest, Hyper-V does not. Hmmm: apparently worse mouse integration, more complex keyboard combinations, and useful features like drag-and-drop missing in action. It's beginning to look as though Hyper-V's been over-hyped... but I still have a lot to learn and it's important to keep an open mind. See you next week.

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