XP Mode. Been there. Done that. Microsoft is catching up to 4 years ago.
> The VM machine is firewalled off the the network. Virueses can not penetrate
> directly to it through common cracks and vulnerabilities.
Virus writers (the ones that actually do the writing, not the script kiddies that use them) are quite a bit more sophisticated then your typical application writers.
They already have their Windows 7 ports ready to go. So, yeah, targetting the VM is a waste of time. It'll be much more effective and easier to target Windows 7 directly.
Plus it does not sound like the XP VM will be standard on all Windows 7. It'll be a OEM option or whatever, which means it'll cost more or be only avialable for certain machines. So, again, trying to go after XP in a VM is silly since it'll be limiting the potential targets.
> An OS with virtualization built in is a nonentity? Really?
*shrug*. It's nothing special.
Mac users have been happy using Parrellels for a long time now. It's not part of the OS, but they were the first ones to really use desktop oriented VMs in a very large manner. Sure there was Vmware, but that was mostly for developers and such. Parrellels on Mac concentrated on desktop integration.
Every single Linux distribution shipping today has built-in virtualization technology that is much more sophisticated then any sort of Virtual PC happy crap. The kernel-level virtualization that Linux supports effectively turns the Linux kernel into a hypervisor. It's performance and feature set rivals any other full-virtualization solution out there... Xen, ESX, or Hyper-V.
Actually with Hyper-V vs KVM I'd say that KVM is superior. For example it has the ability to do live migrations between machines (which is something that Microsoft says isn't really something customers want, which is complete horseshit). It can also migrate between IA64 and AMD64 machines, which is something that nobody else can do.
It'll be displacing Xen as the premier Linux VM solution pretty soon. For example Redhat is using KVM for the basis of the virtualization features that are going to be shipping with Redhat 5.4.
The only serious thing lacking is easy desktop integration, which is why Sun Microsystem's Virtualbox is more popular among the Ubuntu crowd.
For my 'XP mode' on my Fedora desktop I use Virt-Manager to manage the hardware, samba, and remote desktop, for the integration. Rdesktop supports remote desktop protocol 5. Sound works. Copy-n-paste works, etc.
I don't allow the XP VM to access my real desktop folder, althoug obviously I could if I wanted to. But I care about security, so instead I share out a couple folders form the XP installation which get automatically mounted to folders on my desktop.
The CPU performance is very close to native. The Disk I/O is still using emulated hardware so the performance is average and would be on par with Virtual PC. The network performance is using paravirt drivers so that it's fast enough to comfortably running a full resolution XP desktop at full colors.
Youtube works even, as does any music. Plays, looks, and sounds fine. Hulu videos cause it to choke a bit, unfortunately.
But that is 'ok'. The native 64bit flash for Linux works fine. Bugs are mostly gone with recent versions.