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