VRTUAL Machine

A while ago we received an email from a colleague inside Microsoft asking if we new about a spelling mistake in our product.  They stated that we had used the word “vrtual” instead of virtual.  Needless to say – we were surprised to hear about this – but it was soon confirmed:

If you look at the BIOS (or firmware) version string inside a virtual machine it says “VRTUAL”.  After some investigation – we received a quick answer that the problem was that the SMBIOS field (where this data is stored) only supports a 6 character string, and “VIRTUAL” is 7 characters long.

Now – some of you are likely saying “Ben! HYPERV is 6 characters!  Why didn’t you use that?”.  The simple answer there is that Hyper-V Generation 1 virtual machines (shown first above) use the same BIOS as we did for Virtual Server and Virtual PC – which was when this string was decided upon.