At the Windows 8 BUILD conference we learned that Windows 8 will allow you to mount ISO and VHD files natively. So no longer is there a need for a 3rd party ISO file software such as Daemon Tools however if you have copy protected DVD or games you will still need to unlock these discs so it’s best to use something like Game Jackal which is a virtual ISO drive creator but also removes copy protection codes found on CD-ROM and DVD-ROM PC games.
So is this good news or is it a feature that is 8 years past its prime? Linux has supported ISO files since 2002 or earlier. But since hard drive prices are getting less and less for more and more storage it’s probably a good time to introduce the native ISO file mounter. Personally I like that Microsoft will be including this in Windows 8.
The difference between ISO and VHD is simple, the ISO resolves in a virtual drive while the VHD resolved in a virtual hard disk. If you need straight up burning software for Windows 8, look at our Win 8 DVD software review.
Here is a quote from Rajeev Nagar who is a program manager for Windows about the new ISO and VHD mounting capabilities followed by a video demo of it in action.
“So how does this work in Windows 8? It’s quite simple – just ‘mount’
the ISO file (you can select mount from the enhanced Explorer ribbon or
double-click or right-click on the file), and a new drive letter
appears, indicating that the contents are now readily accessible,” he
wrote. “Underneath the covers, Windows seamlessly creates a ‘virtual’
CDROM or DVD drive for you on-the-fly so you can access your data.”
So in addition to being able to mount CD-ROM and DVD-ROM content as an ISO image, Windows 8 will support VHD which is the Virtual Hard Disk format. Basically you can mount a virtual hard drive and have it appear as a physical disk in your system.
“Accessing a VHD in Windows 8 is as simple as what we’ve done with ISO
files, but there is one important difference: rather than appearing as a
removable drive (as is the case with ISO), VHDs appear as new hard
drives,” wrote Nagar.
So what do you think about this new virtual drive manager that will be built into Windows 8? To late to matter, perfect timing, or what… Let us know in the comments below. And if you want to see a preview of what Windows 8 will look like try this link.