Microsoft confirms and demonstrates Hyper-V in Windows 8

Today in the Windows 8 Blog, Microsoft talked about the integration of Hyper-V embedded into Windows 8. The company plans to offer Hyper-V with Windows 8 when it launches, allowing consumers to create virtual machines on their desktops or laptops without the need for third-party software, like VMware.

Hyper-V will likely be available only in the Professional or Ultimate edition of Windows 8, although edition information has not been released, and will require the machines they run on to have a 64-bit version of Windows 8. In order for machines to support and run Hyper-V correctly, the minimum requirement for RAM will be 4GB, but more will definitely be needed for better performance. Hyper-V will be able to support both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of operating systems. Microsoft does state in their blog that users will be able to run 3 or 4 VMs with 4GB of RAM, but will require more RAM if users wish to run more VMs on the same machine.

The VM Console will be able to support a single monitor view with 1600x1200 resolution in 32-bit color. Windows 8 will also launch with native ISO and VHD support, allowing users to create virtual machines directly from an ISO file.

Windows 8's feature list is really starting to come together and we can expect some further exciting announcements next week at the Microsoft BUILD conference in California. Neowin will be live from the event between September 13-16.

Microsoft included a video demonstration of Hyper-V support on their blog, which can be found here.

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That's nice and all but they don't really answer the questions on the blog. They can't respond to each and every one, but they can certainly do a follow up post with the most FAQs. Many finer details or what changes they are going to do based on "feedback" aren't conveyed to the readers at all. They aren't clear about the details or shortcomings the current version has: does it support USB and audio without using RDP, why not? Is there some kind of RemoteApp mode like XP Mode has? Are DVD burners supported? With these limitations, how it is better than Virtual PC which for example supports sound without RDP. Eventually we will come to know all that at a stage when there won't be any time to even make minor changes.

xpclient said,
That's nice and all but they don't really answer the questions on the blog. They can't respond to each and every one, but they can certainly do a follow up post with the most FAQs. Many finer details or what changes they are going to do based on "feedback" aren't conveyed to the readers at all. They aren't clear about the details or shortcomings the current version has: does it support USB and audio without using RDP, why not? Is there some kind of RemoteApp mode like XP Mode has? Are DVD burners supported? With these limitations, how it is better than Virtual PC which for example supports sound without RDP. Eventually we will come to know all that at a stage when there won't be any time to even make minor changes.

This is basically the added-in version of XPMode/VirtualPC; therefore, DVDs and BDs (both of which are supported in VPC/XPMode) will still be supported. Which of the two virtualization modes will be in use? Audio is supported via VT-x without using an add-in to RDP (as it's virtualized at the VM level, as VirtualPC/XPMode does today); VT-d (due to how IOMMU works) may not need it *if* there is an audio device available directly to the VM. RemoteApp comes along for the ride (remember, this is based on, and succeeds, XPMode).
The reason *for* the shims/hacks/workarounds is that both users and those same lazy vendors want direct hardware access (not virtualized access, as in a VM) for performance reasons, however, users can't (and the vendors won't) take the time and expend the necessary skull-sweat to upgrade legacy software and/or hardware. At some point, either the users must replace the legacy software or hardware with modern software or hardware, or the vendors must bite the bullet and do the same; it's not Microsoft's fault, job, or problem, to be fair.

PGHammer said,

This is basically the added-in version of XPMode/VirtualPC; therefore, DVDs and BDs (both of which are supported in VPC/XPMode) will still be supported.

How did you get BD support to work in XPMode?

xpclient said,
That's nice and all but they don't really answer the questions on the blog. They can't respond to each and every one, but they can certainly do a follow up post with the most FAQs. Many finer details or what changes they are going to do based on "feedback" aren't conveyed to the readers at all. They aren't clear about the details or shortcomings the current version has: does it support USB and audio without using RDP, why not? Is there some kind of RemoteApp mode like XP Mode has? Are DVD burners supported? With these limitations, how it is better than Virtual PC which for example supports sound without RDP. Eventually we will come to know all that at a stage when there won't be any time to even make minor changes.

The things you are asking and PGHammer above is talking about have more to do with hardware capabilities, rather the Hyper-V technology.

Even XP Mode in Windows 7 originally only supported its version of Hyper-V, and this was changed a few months after release so that XP Mode could be fully software virtualized, as it already had part of the VirtualPC technology in place anyway and performance was good, which Microsoft thought might be a bit too slow and get complaints.

The Windows7 mix of XPMode relies on RDP, as it provides a simple way into device virtualization; however, it isn't perfect, and neither is the alternative of running the VirtualPC Client for device access and rendering.

Which brings it back to the main issues: hardware vs software virtualization, and interface method of RDP (hopefully with RemoteFX as well) vs the VirtualPC client rendering and device interface technologies.

The issue here with Windows 7, is not on the Windows 7 'host' side, but the 'guest' OS side, especially when it is Windows XP, as even with 'desktop integration features/drivers', it just does not have the full plumbing to handle all the RDP features, which would require an 'upgrade' of XP running as a guest OS, which is not so easy due to how RDP is built into the OS of Windows.

This pretty much means that don't expect much more than you get already with Winodws 7 and its version of Hyper-V via XP Mode if you client OS is still XP.

However with Windows 7 or Windows 8 guest OSes, there is no reason that it can't all be done through RDP, and on Windows 7 apply the Server 2008 R2 SP1 RDP features to even get RemoteFX on the same machine.

Other non-Windows OSes will always be limited to the level of RDP functionality or desktop integration technologies. (Which is what is happening with XP as well on Windows 7 XP Mode)

PeterTHX said,

How did you get BD support to work in XPMode?

Two different ways, actually: If the device is a real device, give the guest access (as all VM software, including VPC. VMware, VirtualBox, and XPMode does today), or, via host-based emulation (even VirtualCloneDrive) and give the guest access to the virtual device (again, something that all existing VM solutions, including VPC/XPMode allows for today).

I wonder whether this will be the future method of backwards compatibility rather than the current situation of shims, hacks and work arounds. I really do wish Microsoft would bite the bullet and make a clear separation between 'Windows Modern' and 'Windows Classic' with Classic sitting in a Hyper-V session which would not only improve compatibility but finally force lazy vendors to update their software.

Mr Nom Nom's said,
I wonder whether this will be the future method of backwards compatibility rather than the current situation of shims, hacks and work arounds. I really do wish Microsoft would bite the bullet and make a clear separation between 'Windows Modern' and 'Windows Classic' with Classic sitting in a Hyper-V session which would not only improve compatibility but finally force lazy vendors to update their software.

There is no need for this...

If Microsoft wanted to separate out say Win32 and its API model, they could just relegate it to the non-default OS subsystem and use a 'new' subsystem as the default. (NT was designed around a form of OS virtualization which is why it has subsystems for Win32, Unix(SUA), and int he past OS/2, etc.)

Also look at what MIcrosoft is doing with .NET - They have gotten the performance up to native C++ applications, while running in a manage VM environment. This means the more .NET is the 'default' applications won't care what OS or architecture they are running on.

(Add this with NT and its 'more than portable' code model, and Microsoft could have WP8 running NT and still look and work like WP7 if they want, and do it on about the same level of hardware was WP7 now uses.)

rev23dev said,
So I no longer need to install VMware or Virtual Clone Drive on a brand new Windows install. Drooling for Windows 8 over here.

You might not need to be installing VMWare anyway. If you are using Professional, Ultimate, or Enterprise, the XP Mode is a 'hybrid' version of hyper-v and virtual PC and supports other OSes.

The ISO mounting should have been in Windows 7, my companies techs screamed at Microsoft for this, and it was pulled because of a backlash from software developers thinking it would just make pirating worse.

This is also why the ability to mount and use VHD images is kind of hidden, but fully supported. In Windows 7 you can boot from a VHD, mount it as a drive letter, and if you have a version with XP Mode, boot it as a Virtual Machine.

(The last is a nice feature if you are killing off old systems, on the Microsoft site there is a free utility that will create a VHD from your current Windows installation, and you can then boot the image inside XP Mode/Virtual PC.)

ThePitt said,

ok, no thx

why is that a bad thing? your virtual environment needs ram also
im not overly fazed pc's these dsays seem to come with 4gig or more, happy with the 8 i got

ThePitt said,

ok, no thx

RAM costs nothing these days.. I saw a high speed 4GB kit advertised the other day for £20.... in the grand scheme of a computer build, even a moderate spec one, that's peanuts.

Chicane-UK said,

RAM costs nothing these days.. I saw a high speed 4GB kit advertised the other day for £20.... in the grand scheme of a computer build, even a moderate spec one, that's peanuts.


Precisely.

The problem really lies with those PCs that are still using DDR2 (or even legacy DDR) as the cost of upgrading those PCs in terms of RAM is prohibitive (and getting worse). I'm upgrading to Sandy Bridge (i3-2100) at the desktop level for precisely that reason - it is actually cheaper to buy a motherrboard, CPU, and 8 GB of DDR3 (the motherboard being Z68 in ATX, no less) than to buy a full-on C2D andd 8 GB of DDR2.

ScottDaMan said,
I really wish they would drop 32-bit completely. It would make for a much easier life for software programmers.

As a software developer I can say, no it wouldn't.

ScottDaMan said,
I really wish they would drop 32-bit completely. It would make for a much easier life for software programmers.

Ya, it would not help anything. And there is no need to drop it due to how NT is designed.

I can see them doing away with a desktop version of Windows that is only 32bit, but that will be a while because Windows 7 (and 8) runs well on a 1ghz machine with 512mb of RAM, so people will continue to use old hardware for a few more years at the very least.

As for easier on programmers? How? Concurrent 32/64bit versions is easy, is a simple recompile to produce the other version. The other thing to be thinking is .NET and the move to architecture agnostic applications, so that they run anywhere, no matter if it is a phone or a desktop server.

I've used Server 2008 R2 + Hyper-V as a desktop, and the other thing I'm curious about it how this will affect the copy protection on games in Windows 8. If it changes the Windows kernel to become a hypervisor in the same way it does on server, some game copy protections will freak out and cease to function both on host and within VM.

Sure this is best suited for IT pros, but it also can be helpful to prosumers if hardware vendors start to add virtualization features to their hardware.

Since virtualization is going to be front and center for the next version of Windows, I hope that the discrete GPU and integrated GPU manufacturers start to consider virtualization support in hardware like the CPU has had for a while now.

It is about time that we can run graphics intensive content from content creation software, have studder free HD video playback, and be able to run PC games on a virtualized OS...

mranderson1st said,
Sure this is best suited for IT pros, but it also can be helpful to prosumers if hardware vendors start to add virtualization features to their hardware.

Since virtualization is going to be front and center for the next version of Windows, I hope that the discrete GPU and integrated GPU manufacturers start to consider virtualization support in hardware like the CPU has had for a while now.

It is about time that we can run graphics intensive content from content creation software, have studder free HD video playback, and be able to run PC games on a virtualized OS...

Already start to add?

Both Intel and AMD have had hardware-virtualization support at the CPU level for the past two years (and by that I mean across the board, from high-end to budget/value - the Intel *Celeron* line has had it since E3200, which isn't even sold any more). This is simply the next step up from XPMode.

coth said,

File Name Size
GRMHVxFRE1_DVD.iso 1.0 GB

muhahahahah......

i guess they have 90% of it filled with zeros? virtualbox is just 78 mb

Or... y'know, it's a full hypervisor OS.

daPhoenix said,
Why is this such a big deal? It's been the default for Linux distributions for friggin' eons.

because this article is not about linux

daPhoenix said,
Why is this such a big deal? It's been the default for Linux distributions for friggin' eons.

I think it's a big deal that you won't need third-party software in Windows anymore to run virtual machines, something a lot of people are doing.

It's just one of those features that is nice to have combined in your operating system for one price, and not having to rely on third-party software like VMware which can get expensive.

daPhoenix said,
Why is this such a big deal? It's been the default for Linux distributions for friggin' eons.

1) No it has not, unless 4 years is eons...

2) This is also subject to exactly 'what' technology you are talking about. Because virtualization and VM technology have been around a long time, (1960s), and you are proud of Linux for finally adding KVM in 2007?

3) Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise already have a base version of Hyper-V built in. This is how XP Mode runs, and you can already load other other OSes.

Going back to #2, you do realize that Windows NT is designed around virtualization technologies, right?

NT's OS layer structure uses the NT kernel and client OS subsystems, which are virtualized OSes. Win32 is just a virtualized OS running in a subsystem, which is also how SUA runs on NT - as it is a full BSD/R5 Unix OS running in a virtualized subsystem.

This is how NT has worked since it was designed. (The original OS/2, POSIX, & WIN32 OSes were virtualized in their own subsystems as well.)

Even the NT kernel and architecture is an example of virtualization, as the NT kernel is a core set of code that does not have to change when ported to a new platform, as it uses a virtualized hardware abstraction layer, called HAL, that it interfaces with. Only the HAL has to be coded for the specific architecture, NT itself doesn't have to technically be 'ported', just recompiled.

Which is why NT is far more portable than Linux and other OSes that are traditionally ported to a lot of architectures.It would be a lot easier if the OSS world would dump Linux and use a new OS model and kernel technology like NT, that was more portable and modular.

There are several types of virturalization before you even get into a specific virtualization implementation. (API, OS, Architecture, Service, Application, Hardware, and on and on.)

Hyper-V is Microsoft 'hardware virtualization' technology. It uses the features of newer Intel and AMD processors with AMD-V and Intel-VT to provide a separate, but direct hardware access layer.

(XP Mode in Windows 7 is a combination that original was a Hyper-V implementation, as it uses a version of Hyper-V if the hardware supports it, but will fall back to an OS VM using Virtual PC technologies.)


PS... Here is why Hyper-V is important, and why your statement looks a bit silly...

Microsoft Hyper-V is the 'only' hardware virtualization technology that supports both concurrent CPU and GPU virtualization on a single CPU and GPU.

So technically, Linux still does NOT have this feature/technology.

The reason Hyper-V can fully virtualize and 'share' the GPU is because of the WDM/WDDM model introduced in Vista, that was advanced with WDM1.1 in Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2. Which makes them the only OSes that truly manage the GPU threads and VRAM, and provide GPU threading features that previously only existed for CPUs.

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 preemptively multi-tasks GPU threads. This is how Windows Server 2008 R2 (SP1) can do RemoteFX, that provides server side GPU rendering to clients, and can do it with a single GPU, or using SMP an array of GPUs in the server.

Here is where people will say, but but with Linux I can do VirtualGL and VirtualBox, blah, blah... Yes you can, but you have two choices...
1) Only 1 user gets access to the GPU, (or install more GPUs)
2) Or shove the GPU rendering to the remote client.
(*Technically there is also real time video options, but this takes a few GPUs and a ton of computing to get a real time 3D video stream.)

So technically Linux STILL does not have this feature, and unless the kernel and video model are changed to handle GPU threading, it probably won't happen either.

Windows 2008 Server R2 can supply 3D graphics from the server to the client, using the server's GPU, because the NT kernel using WDM/WDDM does handle GPU threads and can preemptively multi-task GPU operations and even use multi-GPUs flipping a single applications 3D GPU threads to several GPUs. (Crossfire/SLI are no longer necessary on Windows because of this.)

If you look the WDDM/WDM technology up, from when it was introduced in Vista, it is called:

GPU Virtualization

(Which also means it handles VRAM, and shares it with system RAM transparently as was introduced on the XBox 360. The XBox 360 also is using an early form of Vista's GPU virtualization technologies, which does the RAM sharing and 3D GPU thread handling for games if the developer decides to let the XBox Windows NT OS handle the thread scheduling.)

RemoteFX also implemented please. I've used RemoteFX. Its quite usefull if you have the technology to take advantage of it. But it sucks that the only OS that you can use it on is Windows Ultimate/Enterprise editions, Professional should have been one of them

this is cool!Most pcs now have multicore processors, this will be seamless on windows 8. So windows 8 won't be a minor release up from Windows 7!

excellent, i switched to VirtualBox (Which is a great VM and free to boot) i was a big fan of VirtualPC but after years of non-development and needed features being added to competing products i had to switch, Hyper-V on the desktop has been the missing link in the IT managers toolbox for a while. I know a lot of engineers/IT Admins who install Win2k8R2 for hyper-v alone (presentations, testing etc..)

Really like the refinement and evolutionary (not revolution) feature set

PeterTHX said,
Wonder if it will support 3-D acceleration.

I haven't really been able to find a free solution that does.


VMWare Player? VirtualBox?

SharpGreen said,

VMWare Player? VirtualBox?

I futzed with those quite a bit (Windows 98SE) but couldn't get anything above 16-bit color 2D.

PeterTHX said,
I futzed with those quite a bit (Windows 98SE) but couldn't get anything above 16-bit color 2D.

Acceleration only works with Windows 2000 and above.

Lord Venom said,

Acceleration only works with Windows 2000 and above.

Wonder if you could start out with a Win98 installation, perform a 2000 Upgrade, and have 3D work?

I wouldn't mind being able to use a bootable VHD to put linux on. Will this be possible in Windows 8?

SK[ said,]I wouldn't mind being able to use a bootable VHD to put linux on. Will this be possible in Windows 8?

Nope, only mount them, which people don't seem to realize is already in Win 7. What people also fail to realize is that they're also adding a new format known as, "VHDX," which Win 8 can mount too, &, well, THAT'S what's new besides ISO mounting. But, anyways, if you wanaa boot a VHD, use VBoot: http://www.vmlite.com/index.ph...le&id=51&Itemid=148

EDIT: Wait, were you talking about booting in Hyper-V or natively booting it?

MASTER260 said,

Nope, only mount them, which people don't seem to realize is already in Win 7. What people also fail to realize is that they're also adding a new format known as, "VHDX," which Win 8 can mount too, &, well, THAT'S what's new besides ISO mounting. But, anyways, if you wanaa boot a VHD, use VBoot: http://www.vmlite.com/index.ph...le&id=51&Itemid=148

EDIT: Wait, were you talking about booting in Hyper-V or natively booting it?


Uuhhh, yes you can boot from VHDs in Windows 7

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/dd758779

MASTER260 said,

Nope, only mount them, which people don't seem to realize is already in Win 7. What people also fail to realize is that they're also adding a new format known as, "VHDX," which Win 8 can mount too, &, well, THAT'S what's new besides ISO mounting. But, anyways, if you wanaa boot a VHD, use VBoot: http://www.vmlite.com/index.ph...le&id=51&Itemid=148

EDIT: Wait, were you talking about booting in Hyper-V or natively booting it?

May I ask how would you exactly mount an ISO in Windows 7? From what I've known, you can only burn them natively.