Microsoft revealed on Friday that nearly a third of all Windows 8 developer preview copies are being run in a virtual environment.
The software giant clocked up 500,000 downloads of Windows 8 in less than 24 hours and is expected to announce further impressive download stats in the coming days. Microsoft’s Windows 8 telemetry systems indicate that one-third of the early installations were completed in a virtual environment. However, some virtual technologies do not fully support the Windows 8 developer preview and this has led to a frustrating experience for some early adopters.
“We apologize for not giving guidance up front on testing the Windows 8 Developer Preview in virtual machines,” said Microsoft group program manager Sue Bohn in a blog post on Friday. Bohn explains that for the ideal Windows 8 experience, a dedicated machine is essential. “Windows 8 takes advantage of hardware acceleration to enable a fast and fluid user interface,” she says. If a dedicated machine is not available then there’s a variety of virtualization options available to Windows 8 developer preview users:
- Hyper-V in Windows 8 Developer Preview
- Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2
- VMware Workstation 8.0 for Windows
- VirtualBox 4.1.2 for Windows
- Microsoft Virtual PC (all versions)
- Microsoft Virtual Server (all versions)
- Windows 7 XP Mode
- VMWare Workstation 7.x or older
Microsoft warns that some virtualization products only provide a basic display driver that will not support the new Windows 8 user interface. “As a result, you get a noticeably slower, less responsive experience when compared with running the OS natively,” warns Bohn. Despite the recommendations, Windows chief Steven Sinofsky admits that the company could have done things better. “The full breadth of our testing was not done (or intended to be done) for the Preview,” explains Sinofsky. “Obviously this one was found early and we could have done a bit better,” he admits.