I finally took the time to install Windows Server 2008 and the Hyper-V beta on one of my two notebooks.
One important step was to confirm that it would support the required CPU technologies.
As you probably know, Hyper-V requires a 64-bit (x64) CPU with hardware-assisted virtualization (Intel VT or AMD-V).

First, I needed to confirm exactly what was the CPU on my HP notebook, which has a Centrino Duo sticker on it.
Using System Information, I discovered that the CPU is technically an Intel Core2 Duo T7400.
I then check this information against the Intel web site at http://www.intel.com/products/processor_number/chart/core2duo.htm.
This confirmed that I had the required Intel VT technology.

I then got the latest Windows Server 2008 release candidate, which already includes Hyper-V.
I got an internal build, but you can download publicly from http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008
It was an easy install, with Hyper-V now being one of the available roles in Server Manager.

However, when I tried to run a virtual machine, I got a long error message saying I was still missing something:

'<vm name>' failed to initialize. (VMID <vmid>)

The virtual machine could not be started because the hypervisor is not running. The following actions may help you resolve the problem:

1) Verify that the processor of the physical computer has a supported version of the hardware-assisted virtualization.

2) Verify that hardware-assisted virtualization and hardware-assisted data execution protection are enabled in the BIOS of the physical computer. (If you edit the BIOS to enable either setting, you must turn off power to the physical computer and then turn it back in. Resetting the physical computer is not sufficient.)

3) If you have made changes to the Boot Configuration Data store, review these changes to ensure that the hypervisor is configured to launch automatically.

For me, it was #2. The CPU’s virtualization technology was not enable in the BIOS.
I found that switch under “System Configuration”, “Device Configuration” (see screen below).
Sure enough, Virtualization was disabled by default.

Virtualization

After that little change, Hyper-V is working like a charm.
I am now experimenting with x64 editions of Windows running as guests.
I will share more about that experience later.

Here’s a link to the Hyper-V FAQ: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/virtualization/faq.mspx