Does Microsoft have a virtualisation trick up it’s sleeve for Windows 8?

Please Microsoft, do the right thing!image

So Windows 8 will be all things do all people, a tablet operating system to rival iOS and Android for consuming content, while at the same time a fully functional desktop operating system that we use to create content. Sounds great, right?

How can that be possible? Can you imagine the iPad having 10 hours of battery life if it had to run all the background processes (and crapware) that comes preinstalled on most PCs? Bloated AntiVirus software, scheduled disk clean-ups, random Adobe icons, it can be a bit unwieldy for a system that is suppose to be “always on” – the iPad will after all, receive notifications while in standby (and yes the 10 hours is actual usage, not standby). I can’t see Windows doing that, and even with specially tuned hardware all it takes is for someone to install a bit of rouge “classic” software (rather than software using the new JavaScript and probably Silverlight APIs) and that all gets thrown out the Window (sorry, bad pun).

So maybe Microsoft has taken the technology it developed for Windows 7’s “XP Mode” and made it so when you buy a tablet PC, the classic side of the system that can run all your old software is completely virtualised. This would mean the entire legacy system would be contained within a single process that could be paused to save battery.

When installed on a desktop, this extra layer probably wouldn’t be needed (Obviously games and other high-end software won’t run well in a virtualised environment) – but for a tablet I think it makes sense.

Obviously this is just pure speculation on my part, so lets hope all will be revealed at this year’s BUILD conference.

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