Windows Phone 8 Emulator May Work in VMWare Fusion

So after trying to get my MacBook Pro up and running as a dev machine for Windows Phone 8, both using Parallels 8 (which is my standard VM environment) and Bootcamp, I have resorted to using a Sony Vaio instead. My current MacBook is dead-in-the water as a fully working WP8 dev machine. The final knockout blow was when I realised that the WP8 emulator requires hardware-assisted virtualisation using SLAT and that my 2009 MacBook Pro has a Core 2 Duo processor which doesn’t have the right features.

So no matter what I do I won’t be able to get it working… As far as I understand newer Intel Core i5 & i7 MBPs do support SLAT. So running the WP8 emulator in Bootcamp should be simple, but I have also learnt that VMWare Fusion 5 supports nested virtualisation and can pass the hardware virtualization features through from the host to a virtual environment. In theory that means that a Windows 8 install running in a VMWare Fusion virtual machine should have the processors SLAT features exposed to it. This in turn ought to mean that the Win8 machine would be able to run Hyper-V and  since the Windows Phone 8 emulator is based on Hyper-V it should also work…

There is a thread on the Parallels forum where one user confirms that this works in VMWare Fusion, that discussion also states that nested virtualization may be coming to Parallels.

Unfortunately I cannot test this theory or benefit from an update to Parallels until I buy a more modern MacBook Pro but please leave a comment if you have tried this setup and let me know if it works or not!

5 Responses to “Windows Phone 8 Emulator May Work in VMWare Fusion”

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  1. Kielosz says:

    I am using MacBook Pro Mid 2012 and VMWare Fusion. Windows Phone Emulator 8 is working great, very fast and responsive.

  2. Benoit says:

    I’m using MacBook Pro 2010 with i5 processor and 8go RAM.

    My Windows 8 VM is working, but the Windows Phone 8 Emulator not. Don’t know why. My VM and my laptop support SLAT and Hyper-V and Virtualisation.

    I’m looking for a better solution.

  3. Yury says:

    Hi Joshua,
    Hope you resolved your issue already.
    Anyway, I can confirm I was able to launch nested virtualization on simple&free VmWare Player 5, using recipes from StackOverflow:

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