So how come Intel, which has had several successful "Intel Inside" and "Core 2 Duo" programs, has nothing to help people figure out if the PC they are buying will support all of the new capabilities we want for virtualization?
Intel makes processors with two important virtualization capabilities, one known as VT-X and the other VT-D. VT-X is needed if you want to run a type 1 hypervisor. VT-D adds certain hardware virtualizations for disks and the like, it is less important, The problem isn't with Intel themselves, it is with the manufacturers that make the PCs. While you can look at the specs of what you want to buy, that doesn't help. You can see the processor, check the Intel website and see what capabilities are in the CPU -- this Intel provides. But the OEM that manufactures the PC has to add the appropriate chipsets and bios changes to support it. Sometimes, the company buys the right CPU, but doesn't get everything working OK. So the manufacturer disables the capability, either via hardware or in the Bios. Oddly, even when they do support VT-D, the unit ships with the feature disabled in the Bios. But some people have found that even when they find a Bios setting, turning on the Bios setting does not enable the capability - because the manufacturer turned it off in hardware or hidden in the Bios software (we believe this happens because they ran into a problem late in the hardware release cycle).
Sure, sure, it's not just Intel. But who else could run a program that would work? Intel, please fix this for us, at least for people buying PCs with your processors. I know that I'm holding off buying until I can figure out exactly what I'm getting.