Great news for folks who work with a lot of ISO and VHD files – according to the latest blog post on the official Windows 8 blog – the next version of Windows will have native support for the aforementioned files. Without the usage of any third party programs, users will be able to mount ISO files and access the files on the virtual disc. For those not in the know, ISO files are essentially digital copies of physical discs. Previously, in order for an ISO file to be read, it had to be burnt onto a disc and then inserted into the computer’s drive – or it had to be virtually mounted with the use of a 3rd party app (Windows had no native support for it).
Being able to easily mount ISOs from Windows itself is a useful feature for folks who create ISO images and want some way to test them out without having to waste discs. The native support for ISOs also mean that users can easily replace their physical CD/DVD collections with digital copies. A valid reason, seeing how cheap hard disks are getting these days, not to mention it makes everything searchable digitally.
Windows 8 will also have support for VHDs – virtual hard drives. Working similar to ISO files, except that contents of the VHDs can be modified and worked on just like a regular disk, and then ejected when no longer in use. Not something every consumer will use, but hey – it’s good to know that Microsoft is catering to both advanced and regular users with its OS.