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

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.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

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."

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