Innotek has released the new version 1.5 if its virtual machine software VirtualBox. This release features among other things seamless integration of Windows applications in Linux.
Among all the available virtual machines VirtualBox (Review here) stands out because most of its parts has been released under the GPL.
The newest version now features seamless integration of Microsoft Windows guests. That means that you can use MS Windows programs outside of the virtual machine window. They appear just as any other window at the screen. German derstandard.at shows some screenshots by Andreas Proschofsky in a report about the new version:
The second screenshot shows that even Windows’ task bar is embedded into the Linux system. According to derstandard.at this “feature” cannot be disabled. Also Compiz sees all elements as one which becomes obvious in Compiz’ scale mode. But these problems are bugs – it is very likely that they will disappear with the next updates.
Innotek shows again that they focus on the Windows->Linux integration and trie to deliver a product which really helps in this regard. I’m looking forward to the time when VirtualBox’ kernel modules are part of the standard kernel. As a result VirtualBox would become easily the de-facto standard of desktop virtualization on Linux since it could be installed everywhere without any problem.
Other new features
The other major features listed in the changelog are Virtual serial ports and support for 64-bit Windows hosts. A guest system can now be loaded over the net via PXE 2.1 and guests with X.Org 1.3 are now supported.
There are also various bug fixes and small improvements, however the server is down right now so you have to look for them yourself.