In some embodiments, the invention involves a system to deprivilege components of a virtual machine monitor and enable deprivileged service virtual machines (SVMs) to handle selected trapped events. An embodiment of the invention is a hybrid VMM operating on a platform with hardware virtualization support. The hybrid VMM utilizes features from both hypervisor-based and host-based VMM architectures. In at least one embodiment, the functionality of a traditional VMM is partitioned into a small platform-dependent part called a micro-hypervisor (MH) and one or more platform-independent parts called service virtual machines (SVMs). The micro-hypervisor operates at a higher virtual machine (VM) privilege level than any SVM, while the SVM and other VMs may still have access to any instruction set architecture (ISA) privilege level. Other embodiments are described and claimed.