Windows 8 with VMware and VirtualBox

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How does the latest Windows work in a virtual machine? We tried out Windows 8 as a guest system in vMware Workstation and virtualBox on Linux.

Life without Windows is often quite difficult. One of the biggest problems is that the Linux environment offers no viable alternative for certain Windows programs. In some cases, you can still run the Windows application in Linux using the Wine Windows compatibility API; however, Wine does not work for all applications and situations. A second alternative is a dual-boot system, which requires you to reboot the computer each time you need a Windows program. However, despite these alternatives, users are increasingly turning to virtualization as the most efficient means for accessing Windows applications from Linux.

Virtual machine technology is so mature that, in normal use, it is difficult to tell the difference between Windows on a virtual machine and on a physical system. Unless you are running games, which really do perform better on a native installation, virtualization is a viable option for a wide range of desktop applications. We decided to try out the latest Windows 8 release on a pair of the leading desktop virtualization tools for Linux environments: VMware Workstation 9 and VirtualBox 4.2.2.