I am very excited, to say the least, to start using the preview/beta releases of Windows 8 Server, Windows 8, IIS 8 and Visual Studio 11.

I did choose to install the instance of Windows Server 8 and Windows 8 into a Hyper-V Virtual Machine.  I did this mostly just to save time and I still needed my work machine to perform my day-to-day activities.

The first thing I noticed was, whoa…where is the Start button?  In both Windows Server 8 and Windows 8, I was not able to find it.  The following two images, Figure 1 and Figure 2, show the toolbars.

Figure 1, Windows Server 8 toolbar

Figure 2, Windows 8 toolbar

It took a few moments to finally decide to use shortcut keys to navigate around, but because I was using Hyper-V my key combinations were being executed on the host machine and not on the virtual machine. 

It was a simple modification to configure Hyper-V so that my shortcut key combinations are executed on the virtual machine.  First, select the Hyper-V Settings… menu item from within the Hyper-V Manager as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3, Hyper-V Settings… in the Hyper-V Manager

Next, select Keyboard and then "Use on the virtual machine" as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4, Hyper-V Settings… Setting keyboard key combinations

You will need to restart the connection to any open virtual machines before the modification will take effect.  Then I was able to navigate around with ease.

Here is a very good link with descriptions of Windows 8 shortcuts. 

A few of my favorites are in the following table, but they all are useful:

Result Key combination
Show Desktop Win + D
Open Windows Explorer Win + E
Open Settings Charm Win + I
Open Run Dialog Win + R