Are you a the brand new owner of a $2,000 Sony Vaio laptop?
Were you planning to run Microsoft's XP virtualization technology in Windows 7?
You're out of luck.
Sony has said that it will enable Intel's Virtual Technology, which supports Windows 7's "XP mode," only on select Sony Vaio models in the future, according to a report by The Register (UK).
So that business executive-flavored Sony Vaio Z ultraportable? No dice.
There will be 10 Vaio PC models that will be incapable of running XP mode, which allows legacy Windows XP applications to work with the new Windows 7 operating system.
Not a single member of the current Vaio product family supports Intel's VT, even though it's one of the features of the Intel Core 2 Duo mobile processor used in the Sony systems.
The BIOS has been blocked in all current Vaio systems from working with hardware virtualization in the Core 2 Duo, The Register reports.
Why? Few requests and security reasons, one Sony representative, Xavier Lauwaert, wrote:
Contrary to perceived opinion, we have received very little if any requests to enable VT technology up until very recently.
In addition, our engineers and QA people were very concerned that enabling VT would expose our systems to malicious code that could go very deep in the Operating System structure of the PC and completely disable the latter.
For these two reasons we have decided, until recently, not to enable VT.
However, with the advent of XP Virtualization, there is impetus for us to relook at the situation and I can share with you that we will enable VT on select models.
Though, i fear t say that the Z series will not be part of our VT-enabling effort.
Indeed, we will focus on more recent models.
In the hope this clarifies the background of our decision as well as our plan moving forward.
It's fair to say customers who purchased Sony systems in anticipation of upgrading to Windows 7 are a little put-off, and some are even calling for a class-action suit against Sony, claiming the company hasn't been transparent with its decision.