updated 05:00 pm EST, Mon January 21, 2008
MS Virtual Machine Changes
Microsoft today expanded its virtual machine rules for Windows Vista in a way that will match similar competition from Linux and Mac OS X, based on changes to its end-user agreement. While having previously allowed only Vista Business or Ultimate software to run within a virtual environment, the update allows a "licensed device" to run both Vista Home Basic and Home Premium versions inside of such code, regardless of the actual operating system. The license bars the use of Microsoft-made digital rights management (DRM) such as protected Windows Media inside the environment but is otherwise unrestricted.
The company is also purchasing virtual machine specialists Calista Technologies to aid in improving 3D and video playback inside of the simulated environment, which will help Vista run closer to its native speed for more demanding tasks.
The move regains an advantage lost to Mac OS X Leopard in recent weeks. A recent change to Apple's license for Mac OS X Leopard Server allows the software to run in a virtual environment on another Mac OS X system and was recently demonstrated in practice in a Leopard-on-Leopard test by Parallels using the company's Parallels Server software. However, the requirement for another Mac running Mac OS X Server limits the availability of virtualization for other platforms, preventing Linux and Windows operators from legally hosting virtual machines with the Apple OS present.
No companies have yet announced software with explicit support for either of the Vista Home Editions; Parallels, VMware, and other firms so far only recognize support for Vista Business and above. [via ZDNet]