Intel has announced that they are offering virtualization technology for their desktop processors. With this technology, users can run multiple operating systems and applications in separate partitions. They will initially offer this on their single-core processors, adding it to their dual-core Pentium D processors in 2006.
There are a number of different applications they envision this being applicable for such as a business isolating a portion of a managed PC to allow upgrades and maintenance without interrupting the user and the ability of a user to run one partition for business tasks and the other for personal use. Running separate for partitions for business and personal use would allow a user to access any content they desire, while the business partition can be kept free from any spyware or viruses that may result. The PC gamer could use a separate partition that would dedicate resources to the power hungry games of today. I am sure the application for this technology will mushroom in the near future as it becomes the de facto standard for all processors and users find ways to take of advantage of this added capability.
While AMD has released virtualization on its Opteron processor line for servers, it appears that desktop virtualization is at least a few months away. While Intel is clearly first to market, AMD should be able to get their processors out at about the same time that software developers are beginning to support this technology in their applications.
Posted by Jeff