Sunday, May 26, 2024

Windows 8 Touts Workstation Virtualization

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Based on Windows 8, virtualization — once the province of businesses with big bucks — will become a default option for mainstream computing. Paul Rubens discusses the trend.

It wasn’t so long ago networking was a complex technology that was the preserve of highly skilled engineers, expensive hardware, and mysterious MAC and IP addresses. Now it’s so mainstream it’s not uncommon for a 12 year old to switch on a consumer-grade router, connect a laptop, and do whatever it is that 12-year-olds do on the Internet.

And virtualization will soon be so mainstream that the same 12 year olds will be creating and firing up VMs on their laptops like there’s no tomorrow. That’s what Microsoft is banking on, anyway. Yesterday, Matthew John, a Hyper-V program manager at Microsoft, announced what many already suspected: The next version of Microsoft’s desktop operating system will have heavy duty virtualization built in.

“In building Windows 8 we worked to enable Hyper-V, the machine virtualization technology that has been part of the last two releases of Windows Server, to function on the client OS as well,” he said.

Now it’s certainly true that this is not the first time that virtualization will have been possible on a Windows system–for example high-end versions of Windows 7 include Windows Virtual PC and XP Mode, which is essentially a virtual machine running Windows XP within Window 7. And Microsoft has other virtualization technologies as well, including MED-V. Not to mention VMware’s VMware workstation, Oracle’s VirtualBox and other, similar products are Windows compatible.

But what’s new is that this is the first time mainstream Windows desktop users will have, at their fingertips, the ability to create virtual machines, configure them, load an OS and boot them up on their desktops, as part of their Windows operating system. You can’t get much more mainstream than that.

Read the rest about Windows 8 and virtualization at ServerWatch.

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