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this feature needs more detail. for one I never run windows guests and want to take advantage of new qemu features in my guests. how can i make sure that my guests can use newer abi features. what is actually being done? this feels way to imature to be touted as a feature.

I've updated the page substantially now. I tried to use the page to document the design process for the feature, but I guess that confuses things, so I split those notes out to another page.
The idea here is that an upgrade of qemu should not change the emulated hardware because it may cause weird issues in already installed guests. Windows is where we've seen the most problems, but with radical qemu changes, I wouldn't rule out problems for Linux guests. Sticking with a compatible machine type is certainly the safest behaviour to have by default.
If you want to move to a newer machine type, you just edit the guest config and update it there.
Markmc 13:36, 22 July 2009 (UTC)