While Microsoft's first annual BUILD Conference is ending today in Anaheim, California the company is continuing to update its Windows 8 blog site with new information about the upcoming operating system. Today's new blog entry is based on feedback that Microsoft has received from users who have downloaded and installed the developers preview version of the OS. As it turns out a lot of the people who have downloaded the preview version have been trying to run Windows 8 in virtual environments. In fact the blog states, "Our telemetry systems reported that approximately one-third of the early installations are on virtual machines."
Microsoft didn't give out any early guidance on setting up the preview version to run in a virtual environment but the blog post does give some new information on how people can get it to work in that kind of PC set up. The blog states, "Windows 8 Developer Preview only came out a few days ago, so many of the virtualization products on the market have not yet been updated to work well with it. We are working closely with all of the major manufacturers of virtualization products to support Windows 8 as we move toward release."
Some of the products that have worked with the Windows 8 developer preview include Hyper-V in Windows 8 Developer Preview, Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2, VMware Workstation 8.0 for Windows and VirtualBox 4.1.2 for Windows. However, all of the versions of Microsoft Virtual PC and Virtual Server, along with Windows 7 XP Mode and VMWare Workstation 7.x or older don't currently work with the developer preview. The blog post says, " ... there are categories of software than run 'very close to the metal,' and deliberately take dependencies on internal data structures and intricacies of the Windows kernel. These dependencies are not typically publicly supported or exported APIs, and thus must change as Windows changes. We go to great lengths to avoid these changes, but sometimes they are necessary to enable innovation. As a result, some software will require updates when we make significant improvements to Windows."
Microsoft says it is working with third party software companies that create virtual machine software applications but ultimately, "Each will choose to address future compatibility as is consistent with their business goals."
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