Download Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 Compatibility Cookbook


Microsoft has released the Cookbook, in that they provide info about changes to new features of the Windows and Windows Server 2012 operating systems. They also help us to verify the compatibility of our existing and planned apps with the new operating systems. Apart from this, I’ve already blogged about Windows 8 Migrations Application Compatibility Tool – See more at: here. Download the Microsoft’s Cookbook which explains Windows compatibility, reliability, and performance from here. If you don’t want to download it and looking to read this online. Here is the version for viewing.

In the following section, I’m trying to point out or highlight few eye catching features which are included or removed from windows 8 and windows server 2012 (discussed in the cookbook mentioned above). I’m pretty sure that this book will also help IT pros to get more details about Win8 and server 2012 (Microsoft says “the Cookbook is for third party developers”).

1. How to determine which version of Windows Server 2012 is installed

Detecting Minimal Server Interface and Server Core. Windows Server will install a corresponding registry value for each server level installed. You can query for the existence of these keys to determine if the Server Graphical Shell or Minimal Server Interface features are installed and enabled.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Server\ServerLevels: 

2. Switch text input changed from per-thread to per-user 

3. .NET Framework 4.5 is default and .NET Framework 3.5 is optional

How To enable .NET Framework 3.5 on machines with clean installs of Windows 8:

A. Copy \sources\sxs\ from the mounted operating system build ISO image to dotnet35 or similar folder. For example:

xcopy e:\sources\sxs\*.* c:\dotnet35 /s

B. Execute this command line using admin privileges:

Dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFX3 /All /Source:c:\dotnet35 /LimitAccess

4. Desktop apps might not be visible after launching the default web browser or Windows Store apps.

5. Queued present model is being deprecated.

6. Program Compatibility Assistant scenarios for Windows 8.

7. Advanced format (4K) disk compatibility update.

8. Enhanced storage is now optional for WINPE and server SKU.

9. Virtual Disk Service is transitioning to Windows Storage Management API.

10. Previous versions UI removed for local volumes.  StorAHCI, a Storport miniport, supports serial advanced technology attachment (SATA) advanced host controller interface (AHCI) controllers in Windows, and replaces MSAHCI, an ATAport miniport.

11. Windows 7 Backup and Restore deprecated.

12. To advance the storage data movement, Microsoft has developed a new data transfer technology – offloaded data transfer (ODX). Instead of using buffered read and buffered write operations, Windows ODX starts the copy operation with an offload read and retrieves a token representing the data from the storage device, then uses an offload write command with the token to request data movement from the source disk to the destination disk

13. In Windows 8, Desktop Window Manager (DWM) is always ON and cannot be disabled by end users and apps.

14. Direct2D rendering does not support rendering to “rich” metafiles in Internet Explorer 9.

15. Windows 8 does not support MSAA (Microsoft Active Accessibility) for reading or automating accessible data from Windows Store apps.

16. Windows 8 removes platform support for NDIS miniport WLAN drivers to create or start up the IHV extensibility port (also known as 3rd port).

17. In Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, including WinPE, the kernel has been locked down to prevent malware introduced by boot or root kits from circumventing Windows operating system security requirements for signed drivers.

18. Windows 8 introduces a new feature called Measured Boot, which measures each component, from firmware up through the boot start drivers, stores those measurements in the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) on the machine, and then makes available a log that can be tested remotely to verify the boot state of the client.

19. The Startup tab in Task Manager shows a list of startup apps, along with controls that allow users to disable startup apps.

20. Automatic Maintenance is to combine all background maintenance activity in Windows and help third-party developers add their maintenance activity to Windows without negatively impacting performance and energy efficiency.

21. Input method editors (IMEs) are software components that allow a user to type text in a language that has more characters than can be represented on a keyboard.

22. New API allows apps to send “TRIM and Unmap” hints to storage media – TRIM hints notify the drive that certain sectors that previously were allocated are no longer needed by the app and can be purged.

23. Multipath I/O (MPIO) supports extended SRBs and allows Device Specific Modules (DSMs) to specify extended SRB support.

24. Resilient File System (ReFS) is a new local file system. It maximizes data availability, despite errors that would historically cause data loss or downtime.

25. Server Message Block 2.2 (SMB 2.2) protocol and Resilient/Cluster Shared Volumes (ReFS/CSVFS) file systems will be made available.

26. The new File History feature replaces the existing Backup and Restore function, and offers protection for user files stored in user libraries

27. How to disable zero power ODD (ZPODD)-Operating system now controls power to optical disk drives (ODD).


Its type is DWORD (32 bit), and if its value is 0, then ZPODD is disabled; if it’s any other value, then ZPODD is enabled.

28. Support for USB 3.0 – a new software stack to power the USB 3.0 host controller, called an eXtensible Host Controller (XHC).


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