I saw a couple of questions on the VMTN Communities around running Windows 8 Dev Preview on ESXi 5.0 and support and the fact that it doesn’t work. Although the OS is listed in the dropdown list after you have created a VM it does not mean it is supported. Support for Operating Systems should always be validated through the following page: http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?deviceCategory=software. Currently Windows 8 Dev Preview is not on the list and as such not supported, which means no guarantee that it will work. As some have already noticed it won’t work (HAL_INITIALIZATION_FAILED), for now… as I am sure the engineers at VMware are working on it as I am typing this article. (That’s no guarantee a solution / workaround will come in the near future though.)
There’s a KB article on this topic http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2006859, if you are interested I would suggest bookmarking it or subscribing to it.
I want to point out though that you can run Windows 8 in Workstation 8 or Fusion 4. Yes I know that these are paid products, but you can download the eval version which is valid for 30 days. Workstation 8 comes with VMware Player 4.0, which is completely free! (Not available as a separate download yet unfortunately.)
Installing Windows 8 is straight forward, just use the Windows 7 – 64 Bit profile that is part of both Fusion and Workstation.