Windows 8 To Run Windows 7, And Vice Versa - InformationWeek

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Software // Operating Systems

Windows 8 To Run Windows 7, And Vice Versa

Microsoft TechEd keynote demonstrates how developers can use Win8's built-in hypervisor to test software on old and new versions of the operating system.

Windows 8 Preview: Key Features
Windows 8 Preview: Key Features
(click image for slideshow) />
In an effort to show how Windows 8 may be the most flexible version of Windows to date, Microsoft officials demonstrated Tuesday how it will allow users to run instances of previous versions of the operating system within a Win8 desktop, and how it also can easily boot on older systems running Windows 7.

"I find this exceedingly convenient," said Linda Averett, who leads program management for Microsoft's developer experience team, during a keynote presentation at the TechEd conference in Orlando, Fla.

Averett demonstrated how the hypervisor software that's built directly into the Windows 8 client lets users run a virtual instance of Windows 7, as well as related apps, within Windows 8. That could be useful for development teams who need to see how an app written for one version compares to the other.

"IT pros can check out how things work in different versions," said Averett.

Not only can Windows 8 run Win7 virtually, it can split the display screen so that the same app running in Win8 and Win7 can be shown side by side, to make comparison easier. Averett demonstrated how a Win8, Metro version of the game Cutthroat could be pinned to one side of the desktop while developers ran a Windows 7 version.

"It makes it easy to determine if they'll behave the same way," said Averett.

[ Get expert guidance on Microsoft Windows 8. InformationWeek's Windows 8 Super Guide rounds up the key news, analysis, and reviews that you need. ]

Averett also demonstrated how a Windows 8 feature called Windows To Go allows users to store their personalized image of Windows 8 on a USB drive, and then boot it from an older PC running Windows 7. "It's an IT-sanctioned, pure image that can boot from any piece of hardware," she said. The Windows BitLocker tool is used to ensure the security of the process.

Averett said Windows 8's flexibility and portability will allow businesses to support a wide range of devices with minimal compatibility problems. "You can now feel free in an enterprise to mix and match" new Windows 8 tablets and PCs with older systems, she said.

Also during the keynote, Antoine Leblond, Microsoft's corporate VP for Windows Web services, talked about how developers are already stocking the Windows Store with apps in anticipation of the arrival of Windows 8 systems later this year. Leblond demoed a Metro-style sales app from SAP that leveraged data from Microsoft's Dynamics CRM engine running in the cloud. "Apps are not in a silo anymore," said Leblond.

Microsoft has yet to confirm an official launch date for Windows 8, but it's expected to arrive later this year.

InformationWeek is conducting a survey on Windows 8 adoption. Upon completion of our survey, you will be eligible to enter a drawing to receive a 16-GB Apple iPad. Take our InformationWeek 2012 Windows 8 Survey now. Survey ends June 15.

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User Rank: Apprentice
11/4/2012 | 8:31:42 PM
re: Windows 8 To Run Windows 7, And Vice Versa
Will Windows 8 be able to run the old Windows 98 and 95 32 bits Programs also.
Ann Ann
Ann Ann,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/26/2012 | 2:40:00 AM
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User Rank: Apprentice
6/15/2012 | 5:04:05 AM
re: Windows 8 To Run Windows 7, And Vice Versa
I'm with Faye. "Windows to Go", cool right? WRONG! It's only available in the enterprise edition. When "to go" is available on my home machine, so I can take it to work and run a virtual HOME session at work, then I'll cheer. That's not happening.

Being able to run a Win7 emulation inside of Win8 may be nice if we don't have to buy a separate win7 license. Not likely. Same with Win8 on win7, you still have to pay for a separate license ...
User Rank: Ninja
6/13/2012 | 10:38:49 AM
re: Windows 8 To Run Windows 7, And Vice Versa
Of course it can...after you pay for a license for the other Windows versions. Microsoft makes it sound as if this all comes straight out of the box. And it is nothing revolutionary. VMWare has Unity for years and it does the same thing. When do we get to read about something new meaning something that wasn't done before? OK, the ugly Metro UI wasn't done before...for good reasons.
Faye Kane, homeless brain
Faye Kane, homeless brain,
User Rank: Strategist
6/12/2012 | 10:40:04 PM
re: Windows 8 To Run Windows 7, And Vice Versa
OBOY! Windows 8 "lets users run a virtual instance of Windows 7 within Windows 8!"

So what? I can boot a virtual machine inside win7 too.

And if I did, why the %$#! would it be win 8? MS has given not a SINGLE reason for anyone but teenage girls to use 8. And every week, I read something else that makes it hard to believe they're not commuting software-suicide on purpose.

Two weeks ago I discovered they're not including a DVD player. Even though they're free all over the net, it seems that MS figures they'll make you pay extra for something included in the previous release, like spreadsheet auditing in Excel 2010.

Then last week, I found out it won't play music from a network drive. In fact, it can't even do domains(!) This week it was when I read that IE in 8 ignores active X.

What?? ActiveX is Microsoft's main web technology! Or, it WAS.

"Was" is becoming Microsoft's nickname.

Windows 8 will be known for decades as Ballmer's Last Mistake. In January, when not a single copy of 8 has been bought on purpose, the board (and maybe even Gates) will finally have had enough. Sinofsky will be gone too, if they have any sense, as he's responsible for this abomination.

But when was the last time Microsoft management had any sense?

8 is the same mistake they make every time. They do what they think is best for Microsoft instead of what's best for the users.

But that's not the mistake. Their mistake is thinking there's a difference.


BTW, yes, I'm really a homeless ex- IT manager. I live naked in a cave because I'm completely fed up with the stupidity of the so-called "real", business world. I can't decide if American business is so stupid they act crazy, or so crazy they act stupid. tiny url dot com slash kanecave
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