Hyper-V to be in Windows 8 client, Microsoft acknowledges officially

Hyper-V to be in Windows 8 client, Microsoft acknowledges officially

Summary: Windows 8 client -- and not just server -- will include Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisor in some still unspecified SKU/SKUs, Microsoft officials publicly acknowledged in a new "Building Windows 8" blog post.


As those dissecting leaked Windows 8 leaked builds discovered months ago, Microsoft's hypervisor is part of Windows 8 client, and not just server. On September 7, Microsoft acknowledged this fact officially in a new post to the "Building Windows 8" blog.

As the new Microsoft post on Hyper-V in Windows 8 client notes, Microsoft's licensing rules around its HyperV are not changing just because the technology will be available on PCs. "You will still need to license any operating systems you use in the VMs," the post author Hyper-V Program Manager Mathew John, noted. The new post also does not specify which of the coming Windows 8 client SKUs will include Hyper-V.

In June, WindowsNow.com blogger Robert McLaws discovered that there was a so-called "Hyper-V 3.0 "in the Windows 8 client code base. McLaws said the new Hyper-V includes a number of new storage, memory and networking enhancements. It includes support for a new .VHDX virtual hard-drvie format, he added, as well as support for more than four cores.

Back in 2009, a French Microsoft Security and Technical Director outlined a scenario allegedly being considered for Windows 8, via which almost all applications would run virtually, via a combination of Hyper-V V3, App-V application virtualization technology and MED-V desktop virtualization functionality.

Building Hyper-V into the Windows 8 client could give Microsoft a way to support legacy Windows applications despite changes in Windows 8’s underlying architecture. In today's post, John didn't address that scenario. Instead, he explained the purpose of Hyper-V in the client this way:

"With Hyper-V, developers and IT professionals can now build a more efficient and cost-effective environment for using and testing across multiple machines."

Microsoft officials showed this past summer a sneak peek of the new Hyper-V technology in Windows Server 8 (that presumably is the same as what's in the Windows 8 client. The Hyper-V Replica technology in Windows Server 8 will support workloads on more than 16 virtualized processors, Microsoft officials said.

Update: On Twitter, a number of my contacts are pretty jazzed about what's coming with Hyper-V in Windows 8.

By the way, while on the topic of Hyper-V, there are some interesting trends worth checking out in the results of the "The Great Big Hyper-V Survey of 2011."

Topics: Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Would HV3 virtualize Windows 8 as principal partition?

    Can you please give some more details?

    - Would Hyper-V 3 transforms the Windows 8 instance into a VM like the "principal partition" as in Windows 2008 R2 + Hyper-V role?

    - Does Hyper-V 3.0 have fully supported Linux Integration Components for recent Linux distros (Debian, Fedora, LinuxMint, Ubuntu, etc.) ?
    • RE: Hyper-V to be in Windows 8 client, Microsoft acknowledges officially

      @RelaxWalk Microsoft has made significant contributions to the Linux kernel code with regards to virtualization.
      Your Non Advocate
      • Maybe but not on recent Linux kernels

        @facebook@... Since kernel version 2.6.20 (2009 I believe), Hyper-V mouse integration for Linux no longer works. I hope MS will resume their significant contributions.
      • RE: Hyper-V to be in Windows 8 client, Microsoft acknowledges officially

        @RelaxWalk The Linux Integration Components and the Mouse Integration Components are not the same thing Here is a helpful guide to walk you through the steps.


        Choice: Brought to you by Microsoft
        Your Non Advocate
      • RE: Hyper-V to be in Windows 8 client, Microsoft acknowledges officially

        @facebook@... I read and went through these steps already. The article dated from 2009. Trust me. Mouse integration won't work if you use a Linux kernel from 2011. Try it yourself and you will see.
  • Aidan Finn

    76.68 of those surveyed will be very happy about the Windows 8 client addition of Hyper-V. The Great Big Hyper-V Survey of 2011: http://www.aidanfinn.com/?p=11531
  • Why not install the Windows 8 client on top of Hyper-V?

    This would allow users to run the Windows 8 client virtualized as a guest OS without direct access to the hardware. And if older versions of Windows are also required on the PC, one would get the benefit of security by isolation amongst the various guest OSs. Also, if necessary, VM snapshots could be used to revert a guest OS to an earlier malware-free state (does anyone really expect Windows 8 to be the end of malware?). Finally, reverting a guest OS to an earlier malware-free state could be a useful strategy for safely conducting sensitive activities such as online banking and securities trading.

    Sure, this would not be on par with Qubes OS running the Xen hypervisor and Fedora 15 disposable VMs. But, it would be an important step towards a more secure Windows desktop.

    P.S. Windows Steady-State was an early step of sorts in this direction. At least, as far as wiping away potentially harmful changes to the OS with a reboot.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • RE: Hyper-V to be in Windows 8 client, Microsoft acknowledges officially

      @Rabid Howler Monkey

      What about media and graphics performance?
    • RE: Hyper-V to be in Windows 8 client, Microsoft acknowledges officially

      @Rabid Howler Monkey

      TEchnically when you install Hyper-V the host OS does become virtualized to some extent which is how VM's can both get direct access to hardware, as well as be abstracted from direct instruction sets, memory allocations etc.
  • Linux

    I really hope they don't shoot it in the foot and forbid Linux VMs (or make Linux run dog-slow or with bizarro issues). If they're trying to win some VMware converts with this, which I think is a good idea, then MS really needs to strive for parity with VMware Workstation here. If there's any doubt or problems, there'd be no point to moving off VMware and would simply reinforce anti-Hyper-V sentiments.

    Similarly, will Hyper-V guests on Win8 be able to access local USB devices? If not, then can't switch from VMware to Hyper-V on Win8.
    • RE: Hyper-V to be in Windows 8 client, Microsoft acknowledges officially


      From what we could read, most of it is done use rdp into the vm, sound, usb and aero. Of course there is one big advantage, Hyper-v is a type 1 hypervisor, so the performance gains are quite profound as opposed to vmware workstation, they are quite clearly not in the same league. I actually installed win 2008R2 as dual boot on my workstation, as vmware workstation had horrible performance running more then two vm's, hyper-v was performing a whole lot better on the same hardware, due to the hypervisor.
    • RE: Hyper-V to be in Windows 8 client, Microsoft acknowledges officially

      @YukioCowboy - did you miss all the hooplah when Microsoft submitted it's enlightened drivers to the Linux kernel project so that Linux distro's can run even faster on Hyper-V?
  • RE: Hyper-V to be in Windows 8 client, Microsoft acknowledges officially

    Including Hyper-V is going to make it much easier to migrate to the Microsoft Windows platform. They needed to do this to get everyone off of legacy systems and into the new systems.
  • RE: Hyper-V to be in Windows 8 client, Microsoft acknowledges officially

    What this means is Windows 8 will have full compatibility with all legacy software and programs, on desktops, laptops, netbooks, and tablets. Perhaps even on phones with Windows 8. It also means, that with Windows Phone 8, future Windows Phone apps will be forward and backwards compatible with Windows, assuming devs use the appropriate developer tools.

    When people ask how a full OS is going to run on a tablet? This is how. Windows 8 should be butter smooth, extremely fast, stable, and secure on a tablet, while still being able to run legacy apps and software.
    • RE: Hyper-V to be in Windows 8 client, Microsoft acknowledges officially

      @jhammackHTH - sorry, but no.

      Microsoft is enabling Windows8 to run on tablets by recompiling Windows itself to run natively on SOC chips from ARM and Intel. Vendors will have to recompile their native-code apps to ARM if they want them to run on ARM tablets.

      Chances are that Hyper-V will NOT run on ARM chips. Quite frankly, because ARM chips are still relatively underpowered (in terms of performance) compared to Intel's laptop and desktop chips, you wouldn't want to run an x86 emulator on your ARM tablet - the performance would be beyond horrible!
  • Hyper-V Client

    As a consultant for over 20 years I find the hyper-v client still lacking in a major way. In stead of being able to start the client and supply username/password and a ip address to gain access and control of a server I have to be a member of the domain or add a administrator to the local hyper-v server. This is a major problem and considerably slows down the process of managing a hyper-v server.

    Not every company is going to use the GUI version of the hyper-v server and for the most part, I would never recommend it.

    Microsoft needs to add the ability just like the VMware client to easily access and control a hyper-v server. No one should have to tinker with the permissions to get connected.