Note: This blog post is from 2006. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.Many may know that MS had released Virtual Server for free, but this week they also released Virtual PC (VPC) for free. Wow. For those who don't know about virtualization, let me share a little more, including other alternatives.
First, for more on the release of VPC as free, see:
With virtualization you can run one "guest" OS (or Virtual Machine/VM) inside another "host" (your regular machine). That could be Linux inside Windows, or vice-versa. Or you could run Windows 2000 inside XP, etc.
Or you may choose simply to run multiple instances of a given OS on one box, perhaps using one guest to isolate changes to protect your main host. It's such a powerful solution for testing, development, and more.
Licensing the OS within the VM
To be clear: you still need to have licenses for whatever OS's you want to run in the VM/guest. VPC and other tools don't "come with a license" for any OS. You need to install one in your guest and you must own it.
I will note, however, that MS has revamped its licensing to recognize the use of OS's you DO own on virtual machines. I'll leave you to sort through the details to determine how it fits your situation:
Learning More about VM Products
Finally, to get VPC, visit:
And for the server edition, see:
FWIW, its major competitor (on Windows systems), VMWare, had also long ago released their server edition for free:
The also released a free "virtual player". For more, see:
For mac users, you probably already know that Parallels Desktop, while not free, is only $50.
Let the virtual reality begin. :-)
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