Microsoft shows how Windows 8 is the most flexible platform to date

Windows 8 is a radical change in terms of its user interface compared to earlier versions of Windows for Microsoft. But what if you wanted to develop an application or game that would run on both Windows 8 and Windows 7? Informationweek.com reports that during a keynote speech at its TechEd conference in Orlando today, Microsoft showed how a Windows 8 PC could run a virtual version of Windows 7 at the same time.

The keynote included a demo, run by Microsoft's Linda Averett, that showed how the Windows 8 hypervisor software could not only run a version of Windows 7 on the same PC, but could even display both Windows 8 and Windows 7 running at the same time by splitting the monitor. Averett showed a Windows 8 Metro version of the game Cut The Rope that was on one side of the screen while also showing a Windows 7 version of the same game on the other side.

Averett said that such a feature will make it easier for developers to see if a Windows 7 program will work the same way in Windows 8 and vise versa.

The keynote address also showed a demo of the previously announced Windows To Go feature in Windows 8, which lets users store an image of their Windows 8 desktop on a USB drive; that drive can then be connected to any older Windows 7 PC to allow for a Windows 8 work environment.

Source: Informationweek.com

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26 Comments

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Why would one want to do that? More likely, one would run Windows-8 in a Windows-7 virtual box. Showing two OSs on two monitors from one system? Yes, it makes for a nice show-n-tell item. Where is the productivity? Let's not forget businesses have a business to run.

bypass metro at boot? surely you mean the start screen... clearly with a statement like that your experience with Windows 8 is nil and you should refrain from opening your pie hole. Now I feel like a meat pie damn you -shakes fist-

I'm vaguely interested in trying an ASUS transformer running Windows 8 (x64 or ARM, probably ARM) The metro apps would be quite decent on a tablet, sideways scrolling is a bit odd when using metro apps on the desktop though.

DarkyDan said,
bypass metro at boot? surely you mean the start screen... clearly with a statement like that your experience with Windows 8 is nil

So metro is only known as the start screen and not metro, either way doesn't matter, my experience with "8" could be considered "nil" I suppose since it didn't take very long to realize what a waste of time and hard drive space it was before I removed it.

Surprising... won't be often you can run 2 apps on same screen in Windows 8 let alone operating systems... be smart and just use Windows 7 and run 8 in virtual machine if you really wish to play that keyboard short cut game.

Digitalx said,
Surprising... won't be often you can run 2 apps on same screen in Windows 8 let alone operating systems... be smart and just use Windows 7 and run 8 in virtual machine if you really wish to play that keyboard short cut game.

There currently isn't a VM technology as advanced as HyperV available for Windows 7, unless you are willing to run 2008 Server R2 SP1.

Additionally, the lower level advancements in Windows 8 for performance and features are also lost if you make it the Guest VM.

I know people really don't like the Metro screen, but so much they would be willing to give up a significant bump in gaming performance, or new hardware support features?

"...Windows To Go.... which lets users store an image of their Windows 8 desktop on a USB drive; that drive can then be connected to any older Windows 7 PC to allow for a Windows 8 work environment."

What we really need is the opposite. A USB key with Windows 7 on it that will give us a usable working environment on a Windows 8 PC

Chris Williams said,
"...Windows To Go.... which lets users store an image of their Windows 8 desktop on a USB drive; that drive can then be connected to any older Windows 7 PC to allow for a Windows 8 work environment."

What we really need is the opposite. A USB key with Windows 7 on it that will give us a usable working environment on a Windows 8 PC

+1

gb8080 said,
"Windows 7 - I invented it" - then Microsoft dumped it. Then they virtualised it.

Not "invented it", "it was my idea"................silly

Yay so we can have the security enhancements of windows 8 and basically just run windows 7, *things can only get better...*

Unbelievable!

Actually, no.

This 'novel' feature is called virtualization and has been around for a decade or so...

kaczula said,
This 'novel' feature is called virtualization and has been around for a decade or so...

"or so..." indeed. I was using Citrix thin Client of Windows NT 4.0 in 1998 =P

I do believe this is slightly different however, in that (based on the description), you can actually run Win7 INSIDE of Win8, not as it's own separate VM - but I could be wrong.

kaczula said,
Unbelievable!

Actually, no.

This 'novel' feature is called virtualization and has been around for a decade or so...

VM technology has been around for a lot longer than a decade.

Even NT itself uses a subsystem model that is an API VM technology, and shipped with Posix, Win32, OS/2 subsystems that are effectively OS class API VMs.

There is also VDM, that is the DOS VM technology used in the 32bit versions of NT, that the Win16 compatibility sits on as well.

And this is just basic NT technology that has been running on computers for the past 20 years. There was VM technology going back to the 50s and 60s that is rather impressive.

So, ya this is not 'unbelievable' or new.

What is 'new' is the Hyper-V support in Windows 8 and the hardware access it provides to a VM is the best we have seen to date. With even the desktop version of Windows 8 getting parity with the server HyperV technologies.

cool. a lot of eyes are opening on the enterprise with these tablets. ipads are going to the garbage just as fast because finally there is a tablet that can run enterprise code withou the need for RDP and VPNs and incompatible touch based software.

I disagree, VDI coupled with the touch friendly nature of the new server OS will be a boon for all slate devices. Reasons why 'running desktop apps' locally on slates isn't exactly forward looking.

I simply don't understand what need this is supposed to address. From a dev perspective, how exactly is Win8's desktop different from Win7?

Dashel said,
From a dev perspective, how exactly is Win8's desktop different from Win7?

It'll be mostly the same but with improved APIs, as always. Personally, I'm interested in the WDDM 1.2 changes, should be a boon for remote desktop apps since it'll practically remove the need for a mirror driver. And I can totally see the enterprise market caring about that.