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Microsoft Details Native ISO/VHD Support in Windows 8

As with many previous posts to the Building Windows 8 blog, today's post deals with functionality we already knew was coming in Windows 8, in this case native ISO/VHD integration with the file system. Still, it's nice to see how this functionality is going to be implemented.

"We are adding native Explorer support for ISO and VHD files in Windows 8," Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky writes in the introduction to the post. "While terabytes of storage are available to all of us, managing disk (or disc) image formats remains important for a number of mission-critical operations in many organizations and among power users."

ISO (disc image) and VHD (virtualized disk image) files are integrated into the Explorer shell in Windows 8 exactly as you'd expect, and much in the same way that ZIP files were integrated years ago with Compressed Folders. These files can be mounted so that they appear as drive letters in Explorer, and then you can browse their contents, copy files, and so on, as with any other drive.

So, no surprises here.

However, as many have noticed--it is really obvious, after all--the accompanying video provides a peek at a hitherto mysterious aspect of Windows 8: What's the Start Menu in the classic Windows desktop going to look like now that the new Start Screen is replacing it?

It looks like this:


Of course, this has nothing to do with ISO/VHD integration. So we'll look at that interesting new feature, and the new notification overlay on the right, in a future post.

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