Install Windows 8 Developer Preview in a Virtual Machine

A few days back, Microsoft officially released the developer preview version of Windows 8 during the BUILD developer conference in LA. The Developer Preview is a pre-beta version of Windows 8 which may not be stable, operate correctly or work the way the final version of the software will, and , you bear the risk of using it. Therefore, trying it out in a virtual machine is a smart way to go, since you can do a clean install, play around and remove it easily without worrying about messing up your computer.  We apologize for not giving guidance up front on testing the Windows 8 Developer Preview in virtual machines. This blog post will provide some background and information on that topic. If you want to know how to install Windows 8 in a Virtual Machine, just Google it!

If you are not familiar with virtualization terminology, here is a quick primer. Virtual machine software allow you to run a guest OS on top of an existing host OS that runs natively on the physical machine. Using this kind of software you run multiple operating systems, simultaneously, on a single PC , but with somewhat slower speeds. You’re not restricted to Windows-based operating systems, either.

As many of you know, virtualization is a popular way to try out new operating system products since you don’t have to dedicate a physical machine, add a spare disk, or repartition. To run the Windows 8 Developer Preview as a guest OS, you need a virtualization product that supports it. Since Windows 8 Developer Preview only came out a few days ago, many of the virtualization products on the market have not yet been updated to work well with it.Any way,below is the list of Virtual machine software that is Functional or Non-functional for installing windows 8 as a guest OS.

Functional:

Non-functional:

  • Microsoft Virtual PC (all versions)
  • Microsoft Virtual Server (all versions)
  • Windows 7 XP Mode
  • VMWare Workstation 7.x or older

Some virtualization products only provide a basic display driver that does not support the high performance graphics used in Windows 8. As a result, you get a noticeably slower, less responsive experience when compared with running the OS natively. The setup and configuration process can be complicated and error prone when running as a guest OS, especially if you are running it on older hardware that does not support built-in virtualization optimizations featured in the latest generations of Intel and AMD processors. For these reasons, Microsoft recommend running Windows 8 Developer Preview natively on a dedicated computer for the ideal client computing experience.

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