Windows 8 is all over the internet and enthusiasts have already begun experimenting with the OS. Placing all excitement aside, there is the risk of the beta version not being stable enough or not working. It is very obvious that virtualization is the solution to all that. If you like it, you can install it as the real operating system later. There is one thing to remember when trying out operating systems is that dont use virtual machines to test your hardware compatibility.
If you have been a creative professional who designs visual and have been waiting since a year for the new release of your favorite software packages, because it would contain a feature you wanted badly, you would know the value of virtualization. You can simply install a virtual machine and install your desired OS and software inside it. Virtual machines can help decide whether you really want it or not. There are times when you want to check for viruses using multiple antivirus tools. Virtual machines can also be used to secure browsing. It is just your virtual machines getting affected, reinstall it, or revert back to an older snap shot.
The virtual machine will take time to boot up and there is a little bit of an extra overhead but it is a perfect way to stay secure if you have something to lose. Think of a time when your friend asks you to set up a complex application development environment, just the way you have it on your computer. The solution is simple set up a virtual machine and hand it over to your friend! There is no problem if he does not have internet connection. You do not have to risk breaking his current installation either. It is also useful for people who like to have their working environment with them. Obviously, laptops are the solutions, but there are times are times when you just want to enjoying the feel of a PC. Now you can copy the virtual machine installation directory in an external hard disc and you have the working environment wherever you go and there is no need to carry a big laptop when all that is needed is a small hard disc. I would not recommend that you use USB pen drives for running virtual machines directly from them unless you do not have other options.