The old-fashioned PC paradigm has run out of gas. As conventional Windows systems are too hard to manage and pose too much of a security risk so that sales are declining. For lack of a better alternative, you may need to live with Windows for the foreseeable future. But now that the sins of Vista and the antiquarian vulnerabilities of Windows XP have been corrected by Windows 7, what could possibly induce you to upgrade to Windows 8?
The answer may lie in the latest build of Windows 8, where Hyper-V 3.0 can be found in Control Panel.
Why? Because that could give the best possible solution for desktop virtualization. Today’s prevalent model for desktop virtualization is VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure), where Windows clients run in virtual machines on a server in the data center. VDI delivers centralized management and security, but it also demands heavy-duty server hardware, sufficient network bandwidth, and a constant connection between server and “client” (typically a dumb terminal), which rules out mobility.
Hyper-V’s role may be in Windows 8, runs a virtual Windows desktop on the client rather than the server. This would give the ability to run without a connection to the server, so users can take their Windows virtual machines with them on a laptop or tablet, and IT still enjoys all the manageability and security benefits of VDI.
Users could run multiple Windows versions to support legacy applications, Linux versions supported by Hyper-V, or, as Peter Bruzzese speculates, even Windows Phone 7 apps. Users could even bring their Macs to work and, Apple willing, Hyper-V could slip right under Mac OS X, allowing the company’s Windows virtual machine to run alongside.
One big advantage to IT is that it would no longer need to manage end-user hardware, just the business virtual machine downloaded to it. In other words, users could buy and maintain their own personal computing device, as long as it could run the business virtual machine.
IT gets a cost lower than that of VDI and with significantly less complexity.
Could Windows 8 change everything? 🙂