Microsoft Previews New Windows 10 Feature
Alexander Neil / 4 years ago
In an understated announcement, Microsoft revealed and released an early preview build of Windows 10, featuring functional nested virtualization. Or in simpler terms, Windows running on Windows, running on Windows, like a matryoshka doll of computers. And while this may seem simple and silly at first glance, think about all the components that make your PC work. For even a single virtual machine, your PC has to fool a copy of Windows (or any other operating system) into thinking it has access to those things, not to mention the resources the physical machine has to surrender to the virtual machine. So to allow a virtual machine to properly share all of these things to a virtual machine of its own is no small feat.
What does this mean for Windows 10? For one, it makes Windows 10 more attractive to developers. When fully implemented, the nested virtualization could allow a developer to run and test their application on different versions of Windows or how their application runs in a virtual environment while keeping it entirely isolated from their own machine inside of a main test virtual machine. The feature also works as a proof-of-concept of the feature that could be including in the upcoming Windows Server 2016, where businesses could run multiple sub-servers or use it to test the usage of their virtual machine configurations without having to risk a host system, which would require far more effort to recover. On a less serious note, there are certainly people out there who would just get a kick out of seeing what they could do with the ability to use these features.
Of course, this is currently a very early preview, complete with the limitations and bugs of such a release, the details of these, including how you try it yourself using the preview build can be found on Microsoft’s own Virtualization Blog.
As a regular user of virtual machines, I’m eager to see how this feature is implemented and whether it helps Windows 10’s adoption in the professional world. Does this feature appeal to you, from a tinkering or professional perspective, or does this seem unnecessary while the storm of discussion over Windows 10s current state rages on?