Ramblings from another nerd on the grid
Virtual PC 2007 is a great virtual machine execution environment. John Howard, Virtual Machine PM blogs that we have released it to the web and it's currently propagating across the microsoft.com cluster complex. This is the core tool I use for my job and I think you'll find we have added some great new features to this release.
What is Virtual PC 2007?
Use Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 to run multiple operating systems at the same time on the same physical computer. Switch between virtual machines with the click of a button. Use virtual machines to run legacy applications, provide support, train users, and enhance quality assurance.
Virtual PC lets you create separate virtual machines on your Windows desktop, each of which virtualizes the hardware of a complete physical computer. Use virtual machines to run operating systems such as MS-DOS, Windows, and OS/2. You can run multiple operating systems at once on a single physical computer and switch between them as easily as switching applications—instantly, with a mouse click. Virtual PC is perfect for any scenario in which you need to support multiple operating systems, whether you use it for tech support, legacy application support, training, or just for consolidating physical computers.
What are the benefits?
Virtual PC provides a time-saving and cost-saving solution anywhere users must run multiple operating systems. Use Virtual PC in the following scenarios:
Ease Migration: Run legacy applications in a virtual machine instead of delaying the deployment of a new operating system just because of application incompatibility. Test your migration plans using virtual machines instead of actual physical computers.
Do More in Less Time: Support staff can run multiple operating systems on a single physical computer and switch between them easily. They can also restore virtual machines to their previous state almost instantly. Train students on multiple operating systems and virtual networks instead of purchasing and supporting additional computers.
Streamline Deployment: Test software on different operating systems more easily. One crashing application or operating system doesn’t affect others.
Accelerate Development: Increase quality assurance by testing and documenting your software on multiple operating systems using virtual machines. Decrease time-to-market by reducing reconfiguration time.
See the system requirements at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/downloads/virtualpc/sysreq.mspx.
Download from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=04D26402-3199-48A3-AFA2-2DC0B40A73B6&displaylang=en. This link may not work consistently for another hour or so.
Does this version support loading 64 bit Virtual Systems like VISTA 64, Windows 2003 64, Exchange Server 64 etc. If not is there a version of Virtual PC or Virtual Server that supports 64 bit Virtual systems? If not released is that a product that Microsoft intends to develop and support or do we need to look to other vendors for a way to test and evaluate 64 bit operating systems and applications?
Not yet. Guest support for x64 operating systems is still under development. From the Virtual Server FAQ at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/virtualserver/evaluation/virtualizationfaq.mspx :
Q. What is Windows Server Virtualization?
A. Windows Server virtualization, previously codenamed Viridian, is a hypervisor-based technology that is a part of Windows Server “Longhorn”. It provides a scalable, secure and highly available virtualization platform. It is part of Microsoft’s ongoing effort to provide our customers and partners with the best operating system platform for virtualization.
Q. What is Windows hypervisor?
A. A core component of Windows Server virtualization, Windows hypervisor is a thin layer of software between the hardware and the OS that allows multiple operating systems to run, unmodified, on a host computer at the same time. It provides simple partitioning functionality and is responsible for maintaining strong isolation between partitions. It has an inherently secure architecture with minimal attack surface, as it does not contain any third party device drivers.
Q. What benefits does Windows Server virtualization offer customers?
A. Windows Server virtualization provides customers an ideal platform for key virtualization scenarios, such as production server consolidation, business continuity management, software test and development, and development of a dynamic data center.
Windows Server virtualization provides key functionality which an ideal virtualization platform should provide - scalability, high performance, reliability, security, flexibility and manageability. It provides scalability and high performance by supporting features like guest multi-processing support and 64-bit guest and host support; reliability and security through its hypervisor architecture; flexibility and manageability by supporting features like live migration of virtual machines from one physical host to another, dynamic addition of virtual resources and integration with System Center Virtual Machine Manager.