In an official Building Windows 8 blog post by Steven Sinofsky, we learned that Microsoft’s upcoming operating system Windows 8 will have Hyper-V. Hyper-V, a hypervisor-based virtualization system for x86-64 systems, is set to be a big game changer when it comes to virtualization.
Hyper-V lets Windows 8 users run more than one 32-bit or 64-bit x86 operating system at the same time on the same computer by running inside of a virtual machine, rather than working directly with the computer’s hardware.
“By bringing Hyper-V from Windows Server to Windows Client, we were able to provide a robust virtualization technology designed for the scalability, security, reliability, and performance needs of most data centers. With Hyper-V, developers and IT professionals can now build a more efficient and cost-effective environment for using and testing across multiple machines,” Sinofsky states.
Windows 8 users will be able to view their virtual machines(VM) via VMConnect, which is a console view of the VM. It provides a single monitor view of the VM with resolution up to 1600×1200 in 32-bit color. This console provides you with the ability to view the VM’s booting process. By using Remote Desktop Connection (RDC), users can take advantage of hardware present on the physical computer. As Microsoft states, “For example, if you have multiple monitors, then the VM can show its graphics on all these monitors.”
Hyper-V will have .vhd and .vhdx virtual hard disk support as well as the capability to utilize physical hard disks that you pass directly through to the virtual machine.
Hyper-V’s “Live Storage Move” is another feature that makes virtualization easier. “With this, you could move the VM’s storage from one local drive to another, to a USB stick, or to a remote file share without needing to stop your VM,” Sinofsky states.
Hyper-V will also allow users to take snapshots of their virtual machine while it is running. “A snapshot saves everything about the virtual machine allowing you to go back to a previous point in time in the life of a VM, and is a great tool when trying to debug tricky problems.”
In the leaked build of Windows 8 7989, we first learned about Hyper-V and got to play around with some of its features. Take a look below for the official demonstration of Hyper-V, courtesy of Building Windows 8: