Intel has released its first desktop processors featuring technology that allows computers to divide themselves into several virtual PCs.

Intel’s Pentium 4 chips using its new Virtualisation Technology will initially be found in computers by Acer, Founder, Lenovo and TongFang.

Virtualisation has become an industry buzzword – it offers businesses greater efficiencies and security by allowing servers and PCs to do the work of two or more computers. Software partitions the machines into compartments running different operating systems and applications, with any viruses confined to just one part of the computer.

“Analysts believe virtualisation is one of the most disruptive technologies to the PC in a decade,” said Robert Crooke, general manager of Intel’s business client group.

“Our technology combined with industry enabling efforts are going to help bring this into the mainstream.”

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