From the "whoa, that's a really good point" department, 8-time BriForum speaker & friend of the show, CTP, MVP, PhD Benny Tritsch (@drtritsch) blogged about an experiment he recently did where he installed Windows Server 2008 R2 on his laptop with Hyper-V enabled. Would this, he wondered, be a workable / usable experience for the end user while providing an admin with "true" bare metal client hypervisor functionality?
It's interesting that Benny actually got the idea at the Microsoft MVP summit earlier this month, where he "learned that Hyper-V is a core component of the Windows operating system. In other words, Hyper-V is conceptually not limited to the server operating system even though the hypervisor functionality is not available for Windows 7."
In his post, Benny explained the tweaks he had to do along the way, including manually installing the WLAN driver and getting the Aero experience and client-looking themes up and running. (Reminds me of the early days of Windows Server 2003 when we used to run that on our laptops instead of XP due to better performance from Server. There were pages of tweak lists to make Server look & feel like XP.)
I'm thinking of a word... it rhymes with "insane" and ends with "why"
Why would anyone of sound mind do this? First, it is technically a bare-metal Type 1 hypervisor running on a laptop. And the device support is huge, since it's running Windows. You could conceivably even configure RemoteApp for Hyper-V to have seamless access to apps from one VM to another.
Second, if you believe that Microsoft is going to go down the client hypervisor path, then this is probably the way they're going to do it (but with Windows 7 of course), so why not get a jump on it? :)
Third, it's an interesting concept, and if you're just going to use this on your own personal laptop, it's probably going to create a better experience for an IT Pro than Virtual Computer or XenClient.
So what's the downside? Well, apart from a lot of manual processes and the fact that you're not using the product in a way that's even close to what it was designed to do, the main drawback is licensing. Running Hyper-V on a laptop means that you need a Windows Server license for it!
Whether you do it or not though, it's a fun idea. Thanks Benny!