Microsoft’s virutalization solution, Hyper-V, picks up several important improvements in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
Hyper-V is a sophisticated virtualization solution that allows you to run one or more other operating systems—Windows, Linux, whatever—in virtual machines (VMs) on top of the version of Windows 10 that is installed natively, or locally, on your PC. Hyper-V is common to both Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016, but on the former it is typically used by developers to test their solutions in different OS versions or environments. Hyper-V requires Windows 10 Pro or better, and specific hardware components, and it is not enabled by default.
In the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Hyper-V is being improved with several new features. Each is designed to make it easier for developers to focus on what they’re doing and not on VM creation or maintenance.
Virtual machine gallery. Now, when you use the Quick Create wizard—which was added in the previous version of Windows 10 and simplifies new VM creation—Hyper-V will display a gallery of online virtual machines from which you can choose. This way you can get up and running quickly, even if you don’t have a locally-available ISO file, image, or other source.
Automatic checkpoints. Like other virtualization solutions, Hyper-V supports a feature called checkpoints, which let you undo mistakes or configuration changes and “go back in time” to the point where the checkpoint was made. In the Fall Creators Update, Hyper-V now automatically creators checkpoints for you, so can always reverse a mistake or configuration change in the VM.
Virtual battery support. Hyper-V will now pass through the physical machine’s battery status to the VM if you enable this feature. (This lets you create a VM that works like a laptop or other portable PC.) To do so, you need to create the VM using a PowerShell cmdlet, New-VM, and not via Hyper-V Manager. Just add the flag “-Prerelease” to the cmdlet. You can find out more about New-VM from the Windows IT Center.
VM sharing. The Virtual Machine Connection window in which VMs run now sports a Share icon in the toolbar that will compress the VM into a compressed VM Zip (.vmcz) file so that you can more easily share it with others (or just to another machine). To add this VM to a new PC, just double-click it: Hyper-V Manger will launch and import it.