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A Virtual Windows Garden Of Eden

Yesterday brought quite a bit of virtualization news on both the consumer and business fronts. Microsoft finally decriminalized the use of Windows Vista Home products in a virtual machine, and made a major push for virtualization in the corporate world. Apple got into the act by supporting 64-bit windows in its Boot Camp product. Yet there are still a few things you can't virtualize.
Yesterday brought quite a bit of virtualization news on both the consumer and business fronts. Microsoft finally decriminalized the use of Windows Vista Home products in a virtual machine, and made a major push for virtualization in the corporate world. Apple got into the act by supporting 64-bit windows in its Boot Camp product. Yet there are still a few things you can't virtualize.Microsoft came all the way up to the altar on relaxing its virtualization rules back in June 2007, but got cold feet and decided that it would still not allow Windows Home Basic or Home Premium to be virtualized. At that time, Microsoft's comments implied there were "security" issues. Yesterday, those security concerns must have vanished. Whatever the motivation, the outcome is great for users.

Related, but in a quiet way, Apple has started to support 64-bit Windows versions in Boot Camp. Mac users can now run just about every major operating system on their hardware.

So in the virtualization world, things are looking pretty good. You can virtualize both XP and Vista on just about any Intel platform, including Apple's. It's great for testing, product evaluation, software development, and software compatibility with applications that can't run natively on the host operating system. What's missing, then? Oh, yeah, Apple won't let you virtualize its OS X operating system on Windows yet. Don't hold your breath on that one.