Microsoftannounced via the “Building Windows 8” blog yesterday that at least some client versions of Window 8 will natively support virtualization thought the use of Hyper-V, which has formerly been reserved for only server editions of Windows.
Microsoft’s goal with virtualization on the client editions of its OS is to provide easy-access to virtual machines to software developers and IT professionals who have the need or desire to work across multiple operating systems. From the blog post, “Whether you are a software developer, an IT administrator, or simply an enthusiast, many of you need to run multiple operating systems, usually on many different machines. Not all of us have access to a full suite of labs to house all these machines, and so virtualization can be a space and time saver.” The post continue with, “In building Windows 8 we worked to enable Hyper-V, the machine virtualization technology that has been part of the last 2 releases of Windows Server, to function on the client OS as well. In brief, Hyper-V lets you run more than one 32-bit or 64-bit x86 operating system at the same time on the same computer.”
Although targeted at developers and professionals, having easy access to virtual machines is extremely useful for enthusiasts as well. I have personally used VMs to experiment with other OSes, try out numerous applications, and test out countless tweaks and mods. This is a great move on Microsoft’s part that’s certain to gain favor with enthusiasts and other technical types—mark my words.
The blog post containsmany other technical details and explanations and is worth checking out if you’ve got the time and the topic interests you.