Windows Sandbox: first impression

Today, I decided to try Windows Sandbox on Windows 10 v1903.

My first impression of Windows Sandbox: Broken apps, can't mount ISO images

Windows Sandbox is meant to help people test apps from unreliable sources. But it suffers from the following problems:

  • It starts as an unhealthy environment where all UWP apps are broken
  • The only way you can get your test subjects into the sandbox is via copy and pasting. There are no shared folders and no way to mount a virtual optical drive.
  • The ISO mounting feature of the sandbox Windows 10 is broken. So, even if you drag and drop an ISO image into the sandbox, you cannot use it.
  • It can use your Internet connection, but it cannot communicate with your local network, even if you try to change its IP address.
  • There is no user interface for configuring it. I don’t think it can be configured at all.
  • It is impossible to test apps whose installation requires a restart
  • It is impossible to use Windows Sandbox when your host Windows 10 is in a virtual machine itself. This is important for desktop virtualization scenarios, where users connect to a virtual environment via a thin or dumb client. This is not a problem with other sandboxing solutions because they employ containerization (as in Docker) instead of full hardware virtualization.
  • It has no documentation, despite being an exclusive feature of the business editions of Windows 10.
  • Installation of Microsoft Office 2019 in it fails. So, in case you wish to test a Microsoft Office deployment scenario, you can’t.
  • It is not available in Windows 10 Home edition. This is ironic because it means you have to pay a premium to be allowed to use such a piece of garbage, while there are better and more convenient sandboxing solutions available for free.

Posted on 2019-10-26, in Windows Administration and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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