I’ve been waiting for Microsoft to release Virtual PC 2007 and it looks like they finally have. I still remember the day that Microsoft started making Virtual PC a free application, and they are super smart for doing so. It allows users to install other Windows operating systems to test out new software, or more importantly check for software compatibility issues on the new Windows Vista. What’s the catch? Well, if your installing XP or Vista you will have to activate the operating system just like you would when installing it on your computer. It is just another opportunity for Microsoft to earn money off of selling Windows’ licenses.
Using Virtual PC 2007 you will be able to install Vista and all of your favorite software while still using your current operating system. This will let you see if Vista is right for you, or whether you should hold off until more developers get around to providing updated software releases.
When using a virtual PC there are two terms that you should become familiar with, host OS and guest OS. The host operating system (OS) is what you actually have the Virtual PC 2007 application installed on and a guest OS is the operating system that runs within the Virtual PC program. This will surely be helpful when reading about features or looking through documentation.
Here are the features that virtual PC has to offer:
- Drag and drop copying – drag files and folders from your virtual PC to your PC and visa-versa. This is really useful for trying out software before you take the risk of cluttering up your PC.
- Integrated mouse – makes it easy to move your mouse between the guest operating system and the host operating system.
- Time synchronization – synchronize the time between your PC and virtual PC.
- Folder sharing – easily share files and folders between your virtual PC and PC.
Once you have Virtual PC 2007 up and running you will be able to install any of these operating systems:
- Windows 98: 64MB memory and 500MB disk space
- Windows ME: 96MB memory and 2GB disk space
- Windows 2000: 96MB memory and 2GB disk space
- Windows XP Home/Pro: 128MB memory and 2GB disk space
- Windows Vista Enterprise, Business, and Ultimate: 512MB memory and 15GB disk space
If you want to see more on how the Virtual PC 2007 works along with some of the features make sure to watch the demo. That should cover just about everything that you need, and then you can head on over to download the 32–bit version or the 64–bit version.