Slides Reveal That Windows 8 May go Fully Virtualized

Slides Reveal That Windows 8 May go Fully VirtualizedMicrosoft CEO Steve Ballmer's comment that Windows 8 was his company's most risky endeavor sparked much curiosity. Little is currently known about the upcoming operating system. So why is Windows 8 such a high risk proposition for Microsoft?

The answer to that may have come in a newly surfaced slide deck from the Microsoft architectural summit held in London in early April 2010. In the deck Microsoft describes how Windows 8 (referred in the deck as "Windows NEXT") will be the company's first OS to throw the user deep into the world of virtualization.

With a traditional OS, maintenance burden is on the user or their hired help. The company writes in the presentation, "[Customers today] see application compatibility issues, they see DLL hell, they see an inability to manage efficiently, they see high costs associated with maintenance and upgrades, they see a relatively short lifespan…..This cannot continue. Customers are increasingly refusing to let this continue."

Microsoft's answer is to deploy "native VHD" (virtual hard disk) capabilities with Windows 8 and change its sales model from OS as a service to "desktop as a service" (DaaS). The slides indicate that under Windows 8, user apps and data will be "treated as cached entities and synchronized with an appstore and 'user state store'".

Windows 8. Pic. 1

The approach has definite advantages. Microsoft could remotely fight malware and fix compatibility issues as they occurred, rather than trying to update OS installations after trouble occurs. And if a user lost their laptop, they wouldn't lose access to their installed programs and data.

Windows 8. Pic. 2

The company writes, "[T]he desktop should not be associated with the device. [T]he desktop can be thought of as a portal which surfaces the users apps, data, user state and authorization and access."

The new virtualization technology is founded on Microsoft's existing virtualization portfolio -- Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI); application virtualization (App-V, MED-V, Remote Apps, Terminal Server); OS virtualization (Remote Desktop, Terminal Services, VDI); data virtualization (folder redirection and synch); hardware virtualization (Hyper-V); and various System Center management offerings.

This would be a huge change for Microsoft, and it would put the company's direction in line with Google's plans for its upcoming netbook/tablet Chrome operating system. But its also a huge risk as virtualization is something utterly unfamiliar to most customers.

As many are speculating, Microsoft may partially back off fully virtualizing all its commercial Windows 8 offerings. With a launch in "2012+" scheduled, beta builds are widely expected to come in 2011. These builds should reveal whether the ambitious DaaS redesign persisted. And if Microsoft indeed goes ahead with this concept, the reaction it gets from the beta may play a role in just how deep Microsoft jumps into the virtualization waters.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows 8

Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
Your comment:

Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party

Last news

Galaxy Note10 really is built around a 6.7-inch display
You may still be able to download your content
Facebook, Messenger and Instagram are all going away
Minimize apps to a floating, always-on-top bubble
Japan Display has been providing LCDs for the iPhone XR, the only LCD model in Apple’s 2018 line-up
The 2001 operating system has reached its lowest share level
The entire TSMC 5nm design infrastructure is available now from TSMC
The smartphone uses a Snapdragon 660 processor running Android 9 Pie
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 / 2
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /

News Archive



Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (16)