At first glance, this is a funny turn of events. But thinking about it a little more, it makes perfect sense. I'm referring to the fact that Wind River is adding support for Microsoft Windows XP to its embedded virtualization offering.
First, why does it seem odd? Well, why would one major operating system (OS) vendor add support for another? That certainly strikes me as odd. But then I remembered who is actually behind Wind River. It's Intel of course, and Intel is one of the biggest users of the Windows XP operating system. So it's only natural that Wind River would add such support.
What Wind River has done is add support for Windows XP as a guest operating system on its hypervisor product. Hence, device and systems makers can run Windows XP simultaneously with other operating systems, including VxWorks or Wind River Linux on the same single- and multi-core processor. Examples of where you'd want to do this include using XP to create a graphical user interface for patient monitoring consoles or industrial control platforms while implementing an RTOS (like VxWorks) to manage sensors and control with real-time performance, determinism and high reliability, both on the same physical single- or multi-core chip.
The XP support will be available in July 2010 for single- and multi-core Intel platforms that support Intel’s virtualization technology, known as VT-x.