A recent leaked build of Windows 8 shows that it will support virtualization technologies – and it is no surprise that the core of these technologies is Microsoft’s Hyper-V.
Having a virtualization client built right into the OS will mean that the system will already support these environments natively, and that plug-ins like Virtual PC or XP will not be required. But while this only makes sense in a market where more and more businesses are making the leap to VPS and cloud options, it may bring more functionality to Windows 8 than simple virtualization access.
Information from a Microsoft Security and Technical Director in France indicated that it might be possible to run almost all Windows 8 applications in a virtualized environment, something that would allow Microsoft to get rid of one of its most important and space-consuming artifacts: legacy code.
This legacy code is the stuff which allows a current version of Windows to interact with programs that run on older iterations. It takes up the bulk of the hard drive space when Windows is installed, and it is this code that is largely responsible for the need for so many patches and updates to the OS.
If Microsoft can ensure that the legacy versions of their virtual machines are stable and easy to use, then they might be able to convince people that having multiple core operating systems would be worth the loss of legacy code. A tighter, leaner, and more stable version of any Windows environment is a benefit for the company and with Windows 8 on the horizon, and a battle for control of the world of the cloud looming, Microsoft needs to ensure that accessibility is among their first priorities.