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Windows 8 Hyper-V vs. VMWare Workstation

Saturday, October 06, 2012 in Technical Articles (Views: 3358)
One of the greater features of Windows 8 is the addition of Hyper-V. Hyper-V is a welcome addition, because other desktop virtualization solutions have simply sucked - thinking of Virtual PC for one - XP mode (also Virtual PC) in Windows 7. To a lesser degree, I really liked Virtual Server, which ultimately was killed off.

Why is Hyper-V so welcome? Well, among other things..
- There finally is x64 support
- Windows 8 and 2012 is supported. Since I don't have a touchscreen, I am not sure if it's supported as part of the VM extensions.
- There is some degree of seamlessness between desktop and server. This makes creating and migrating machines much easier.

Overall, it's good and stable for a first release. However, for a desktop virtualization, it's still missing a few things against VMWare Workstation.

As a fan of Workstation as well, a few things, if added to Hyper-V could spell a whole new beginning for the desktop virtualization market:
- The mode known as "Unity". This is simply applications which run seamlessly from the VM
- True network bridging (known as NAT). The Windows 8 network bridge still leaves a fair amount to be desired
- Shared folders. This is supported in Hyper-V with an internal network type. However, using internal rather than private I have found the connection drops often to the shared adapter with the Host OS. No issues with VMWare.

Overall, I'm happy with Hyper-V in Windows 8. There are still some limitations, but I know Microsoft has invested a lot in this market and have confidence that it will make it to maturity. If you haven't, I recommend you give it a shot.


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