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By | Gavin Clarke 2nd September 2009 03:25

Intel vows PC virtualization skoolin' for OEMs

If all else fails, fiddle

Intel has vowed to keep on educating OEMs about PC virtualization, as vendors sell machines that have left customers frustrated and angry.

One of the chip giant's top executives told press Tuesday that Intel had already been working with PC makers so they could "understand the benefits of virtualization technology" on PCs.

Vice president and director for digital enterprise operations Stephen Smith claimed that the majority of business-oriented PC makers are confident with Virtualization Technology (VT) in its Core 2 Duo processors - and they support it.

"In the BIOS they need to enable that [VT]. We continue to work with them to understand that," Smith said.

Microsoft principal program manager Ruston Panabaker speaking with Smith in San Francisco, California, added Microsoft had also been going out to he ecosystem to ensure partners understand the virtualization message.

Confident and evangelical the pair may be, but PC makers as recently as this summer have been selling machines that have stopped working with VT.

The Reg reported last month that Sony and Fujitsu-Siemens are allowing customers to buy PCs that use the Core 2 Duo but whose BIOS they had stopped from working with VT. The PCs in question are Sony's Z series VAIOs and Fujitsu's ESPRIMO Mobile V55x5 range.

Customers have complained bitterly because while the companies have touted their machines' use of the Core 2 Duo and the chip's features, they had not actually stated that VT - a major feature in anybody's estimation - has been disabled in the PCs' BIOS.

The issue has come to light as Sony and Fujitsu along with other OEMs have started advertising their PCs ability to work with Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 7, to cash in on an anticipated wave of sales.

Windows 7 will let you fire up a virtualized desktop called Windows XP Mode to run legacy Windows XP applications. But Windows XP mode requires the kind of hardware virtualization offered by VT.

If the OEMs aren't listening to the evangelism from Microsoft and Intel, customers have one final resort: Smith said you can look to see if the BIOS on you PC support VT, and if not, you can turn it on yourself. "If that [the BIOS] was shipped in default off, IT needs to provision that to on," Smith said.

Good luck fiddling. ®

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