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Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 1.0 running on Windows Vista
Microsoft releases the latest edition of Virtual PC

Microsoft has released Virtual PC 2007 1.0 to customers. The program allows Windows users to run multiple operating systems at once from a single physical computer. Users can also easily switch back and forth between operating systems with the click of a mouse.

New features included with the latest release of Microsoft Virtual PC include:

  • 64-bit host operating systems
  • Hardware-assisted virtualization
  • Network-based installation of a guest operating system
  • Running virtual machines on multiple monitors

The following operating systems are officially supported on host machines:

  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows XP Professional
  • Windows XP Professional x64
  • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition

The following operating systems are officially supported as guests:

  • Windows 98 Second Edition
  • Windows 2000 Professional
  • Windows XP Home, Professional, Tablet PC Edition
  • Windows Vista Enterprise, Business, Ultimate
  • OS/2 Warp Version 4 Fix Pack 15, OS/2 Warp Convenience Pack 1, OS/2 Warp Convenience Pack 2

There is also unofficial support for MS DOS 6.22, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME and Windows NT 4.0 Workstation.

Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 is available as a free download in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. You can view the release notes for the software application here.





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By hellokeith on 2/20/2007 10:48:14 AM , Rating: 2
For those wondering what are the differences between Virtual PC 2007 and Virtual Server 2005, here is a document (few years old, but still relevant) that Microsoft wrote:
http://download.microsoft.com/download/1/4/d/14d17...

The basic jist is:
* Virtual Server is more complex, can be administered remotely, and runs on server OS's (though it can be run on XP Professional)
* Virtual PC is more desktop-user friendly, can be run on non-server OS's, and provides sound emulation

Last year, I had Fedora 4 running as a guest OS in Virtual Server on top of XP Pro for a while. I'm interested to see if/how Virtual PC 2007 supports guest Linux OS's.




By Scabies on 2/20/2007 11:15:17 AM , Rating: 2
Does anyone know if the emulated hardware video memory has increased? I know theres no hope of running WoW or GRAW in virtualization, but after buying a 512mb video card, 8-16mb seems so DISMALLY SMALL!


By TomZ on 2/20/2007 2:08:34 PM , Rating: 2
I'm no expert on VPC (only used it a couple weeks), but from what I can tell, there is 8MB allocated video memory. VPC loads a device driver for an S3 Trio32/64, and supports up to 1600x1200x32-bit, which requires just less than 8MB.

Also, VPC doesn't support hardware-accelerated video AFAIK, so I'm not sure why someone would want more RAM than this. But I'm also looking at VPC from a non-gaming perspective, so maybe there are some important uses that I'm not aware of. Would anyone run games on VPC? Seems like it wouldn't be a typical use case.


By Scabies on 2/20/2007 2:23:57 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, if I can emulate/virtualize Win98, all I can think about is Final Fantasy VII PC and Homeworld: Game of the Year Edition :D


By MarkHark on 2/20/2007 6:27:29 PM , Rating: 2
There's a lot of older games, either DOS-based or earlier Windows, which will not run on a w2k or XP environment. All DOS4GW-based games (Doom, Heretic, Warcraft and many others), classic titles like Monkey Island, Civilization, Master of Magic, MechWarriors, just to mention a few.

That was way before 3D graphics became the norm, and at that time they knew how to make GREAT games, instead of relying on beautifully rendered landscapes and the such to try and hide weak storylines and mediocre playability (does it ring a bell?). The graphics might not be not oh-so-good, that's for sure, nevertheless some of those games were VERY addicting, no less than today's best (WoW anyone?). :)))

I surely miss some of that good old stuff, so much that I have at times considered getting an older '95 machine just so I could replay them. Perhaps this VPC software will allow me to install a MSDOS Virtual Machine and run legacy 16-bit games (although I'm not even sure I can get sound from SB16 games on current audio hardware). Anyone has a clue on this?


By Etsp on 2/20/2007 10:25:48 PM , Rating: 2
Virtual PC emulates a Soundblaster 16 card. Which has no driver support in Windows Server 2003, but it does in Windows Vista... Hope that answers your question.
Personally, I really like virtual PC as a great learning environment for different OS's, but I was kinda hoping that SUSE Linux would be officially supported because doesn't Microsoft own them now?


By KHysiek on 2/21/2007 3:56:38 AM , Rating: 2
For old DOS Games use DOSBOX. You can find it on sourceforge.
http://sourceforge.net/projects/dosbox/
or
http://sourceforge.net/projects/fastdosbox/


By StevoLincolnite on 2/21/2007 9:38:34 AM , Rating: 2
DOSBOX is a good program, BUT it cannot play the early windows 95/98/ME games, For instance I was plagued with Problems running Dungeon Keeper 2 on my XP box and on my Vista Laptop.
Even after apply patch 1.7 and doing every tweak known to man, reinstall of all drivers etc nothing would work for me, So I downloaded Virtual PC 2007 to give it a try, But alas, Even editing the Virtual PC vmf file (I think thats what it is) I could manage to increase the memory size from 8Mb to 16Mb but thats as far as it would go, And 3D acceleration was non-existent.
If Virtual PC 2007 Had 3D acceleration I would probably be Playing System Shock 2, Dungeon Keeper 2, And all those old games I used to play on my old 3DFX voodoo and Voodoo 2 (Using a glide wrapper).

My laptop is a Pentium M 1.6Ghz, 1024Mb of Ram, Radeon 9700pro 64Mb card, And its running vista and Aero, what surprised me, Is that not only did I get virtual PC 2007 To have a Windows ME profile and an XP profile, But both operating systems actually ran Without a hitch! Running XP "Felt" like it was running before I made the move to Vista, in that it was quick and responsive, And Windows ME... I was surprised, no issues arised which is rather strange for that operating system. Not even a crash.


By SuinusLatinus on 2/21/2007 11:27:26 AM , Rating: 2
Homeworld doesn't run on XP?
I have it and I think I've already played it on XP...


By Lifted on 2/20/2007 3:34:01 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft should be focusing on Virtual Server since they are YEARS behind VMware at this point. Virtual PC 2004 was fine, but Virtual Server is a joke, and by the time it is even comparable to ESX alone, Virtual Center will still make it look like a joke. The only thing it has going for it is price: $0. I guess they'll watch virtualization pass them by, just like they did with the internet.


By TomZ on 2/20/2007 4:08:32 PM , Rating: 2
I'll have to take your word for it that Virtual Server is no good, since I've not used it myself. But I can see how well VPC 2007 works, and if Microsoft can do the same for Virtual Server, and then give it away as a component of the server OS, I would think that will be the end of VMWare, right?

Anyway, I hope both products (and others) exist in this market - competition is good.


By Lifted on 2/20/2007 5:20:32 PM , Rating: 2
Virtual Server is free, for now. Free or not, VMware is so far beyond Microsoft I don't see Microsoft catching up anytime soon. So no, with the amount of VMware services businesses will be deploying (and becoming dependant on) based on VMware's Virtual Infrastructure, VMware will not be going out of business anytime soon.


By Ringold on 2/20/2007 6:51:39 PM , Rating: 2
OT, but I like that; if one can't compete with free, then they just aren't trying, and it reaffirms that belief of mine. Good to see VMware competing with free, and winning. Meanwhile, average users like me can still enjoy lower-quality free stuff for trying to get Privateer to play...


By ncage on 2/20/2007 11:58:54 PM , Rating: 2
This is kind of 1/2 right. First of all you can't compare virtual server 2005 with VPC 2007. Thats like comparing Windows 2000 Advanced Server to Windows XP. They are different revisions of the software. Virtual Server is pretty much VPCs 2004 core with a small number of enhancements like the web interface and x64 binaries. 2007 seems to be Virtual PC 2004 with small number of enhancements but the main thing seems to be an update for Vista. Don't get me wrong it does have some things in there like x64 binaries.

Ok now on to one of the new toughted features which is Hardward assisted virtualization (pacifica(amd)/VT (intel)). I seen a huge research paper written over at VMWares site on how in most cases Hardware virtualization slows things down. Do i trust the paper? Definitly!! We switched from VPC at work to VMWare because of huge performance differences. Let me give you an example. We have this very intensive process that was taking about 2.5 hours to run in VPC. We ran it under VMWare worksation 5.5 and it ran in 1.5 hours. Now if you want a HUGE performance difference then there you go. We bought liscences for all our developers enventhough VPC is free. Most of VPC slow performance seemed to be Hard Disk related but of course since i dont' know what its doing internally im sure its more complicated. VPC does have a huge gap to catch up to vmware but im sure with enough effort (if MS wants to put the funds there) then VPC can catch up. Someone mentioned ESX from vmware which is all great in dandy if you have ESX certified hardware (HP/Dell) but ESX is like its own OS and the hardware support for it sucks but if you have hardware that supports it...its a very good concept because pretty much VMWare does not have to go through Windows/Linux system calls to access the hardware. It has direct access which makes things quicker. I heard microsoft was going to integerate VPC within the kernal of the OS. Maybe this will help VPC out.


.
By semo on 2/20/2007 9:36:06 AM , Rating: 2
what hardware do you need to send the video to a monitor and user input to the pc through ethernet?

i think it would be cheaper to have one fast pc with 1 or 2 terminals around your house than have 2 or more cheap pcs.




RE: .
By SurJector on 2/20/2007 10:24:23 AM , Rating: 2
Very little, just use any Linux distribution (www.ubuntu.org for instance) and it has built-in networked desktop. If you have a 1GHz+ CPU with 512MB+ memory, you can serve two users (there are limits on what is possible: office+surfing is possible, video compression in parallel is not). The second client can be really crappy in terms of hardware.
SurJector


RE: .
By TomZ on 2/20/2007 1:59:54 PM , Rating: 2
I think that Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) would do what you are suggesting better than VPC. VPC isn't really designed for remoting, although it is possible to run VPC over RDC, I think that is complicated without any benefit.

If you have your "fast" PC running Vista, AFAIK you can have multiple users log in concurrently with RDC and share the fast computer. I don't think this would work with XP on the fast PC because there can just be one user logged in AFAIK. If you decide to seriously pursue this, I would suggest you research it a bit more to make sure that I am right (notice my AFAIK disclaimers!).


RE: .
By zombiexl on 2/20/2007 6:36:00 PM , Rating: 2
There is at least one product that allows you to run multiple Remote Sessions. I've used http://www.xpunlimited.com/ in the past and it worked well.

The demo is free to use and allows upto 3 conections at a time (3 remote or 2 remote and one local). The full version removes the limit.


RE: .
By TomZ on 2/20/2007 8:26:30 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the info - I didn't know such products existed.


.
By Suomynona on 2/20/2007 12:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
MS needs to talk internally about what virulization really is. In VMWare (and probably this product) you can boot a physical disk inside a virtual machine. For example:

HD1 -> XP Install
HD2 -> Linux install

You can dual boot to both with no issues.

Boot to linux. Start vmware and boot up your current XP install inside vmware (note: this is not done by installing a new copy of XP but rather using your existing one). Once XP boots up you'll get a message about a hardware change and the need to activate your copy of XP. If you then quit and dual boot back to XP your activation is shot.

Why is this? MS feels that running XP in a virtual machine is equivalent to using two copies of the software.... even if only ONE install of XP is being used on the SAME hardware. Their solution is to have to separate installs of XP in different partitions... one for native and one for a virtual machine.

It seems they are just paving the way for a new classification of a virtual hardware layer to be added to their licensing scheme requiring additional purchases to use the tools they are providing.




RE: .
By johnsonx on 2/20/2007 12:30:22 PM , Rating: 2
While this is true for XP, hasn't Microsoft changed the Vista license so that you can run Visa Business, Enterprise and Ultimate virtualized without requiring a separate license?


RE: .
By TomZ on 2/20/2007 2:14:27 PM , Rating: 2
I think you are inferring sinister, or at least greedy, intentions on the part of Microsoft. But I think the licensing is just something that hasn't really been worked out yet.

By that I mean that for software that is hardware-locked, it doesn't have any way to distinguish the difference between running in a VM compared to running on a totally separate piece of hardware. I think Microsoft hasn't come up with a solution for this yet.

By the wawy, how would you suggest to solve this problem?

Also, I would point out that this is not just a Windows issue, but it is the same for all node-locked third-party applications. It seems to me that VM's generally break the node-locked license paradigm.


RE: .
By JCheng on 2/21/2007 3:35:22 PM , Rating: 2
Actually I bet this is happening because the hardware hash between the virtual and physical machines will be radically different. Windows XP activation uses the following pieces of hardware to form the hardware hash:

Display adapter, SCSI adapter, IDE adapter, Network Adapter MAC address, RAM amount, Processor type, Processor serial number, hard drive device, hard drive volume serial number, optical drive, and "dockable" (whatever that means).

(Source: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxp...

Obviously most of those devices are going to be virtualized in a VM so they will return different IDs.


Works Well
By TomZ on 2/20/2007 9:04:36 AM , Rating: 4
I've been running the beta of Virtual PC 2007 for a few weeks now for software testing - being able to quickly test applications on a number of OS configurations without having a whole bunch of actual PCs. I've been pretty impressed with VPC in terms of having good performance and being really stable.




RE: Works Well
By SunAngel on 2/20/07, Rating: 0
RE: Works Well
By TomZ on 2/20/2007 1:54:25 PM , Rating: 2
We are mainly testing applications that my company develops, testing them on different OS versions and configurations. I haven't run many commercial apps, except for some development tools, e.g., Visual Studio, MATLAB, etc.

Mainly what I would report with VPC is that it is pretty stable, and seems to work well. By that I mean that the virtual PC doesn't crash or act strange, it runs fast, and that it is nicely integrated with the host operating system, e.g., networking, CD-ROM, mounting ISO images, floppy, etc. Also, the window resizing, mouse, and keyboard control work pretty well, especially after you load the VPC Extensions.

In the past, we had some test PCs and we would juggle HDDs and Ghost images, and it would take a bit of time and effort to run a test on a particular OS. But now, it's just a few clicks on my own computer - much more fast and convenient.


Unofficial support
By ADDAvenger on 2/20/2007 3:07:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There is also unofficial support for MS DOS 6.22, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME and Windows NT 4.0 Workstation.


Ok, I suppose I can understand wanting to run 98 for those that still love their 16 bit games, but ME and 95?!? ME was a piece of goodfornothing crap, and what reason is there to run 95 anymore? Obviously this's why the support is unofficial, but I'm still curious why it's even mentioned.




RE: Unofficial support
By TomZ on 2/20/2007 3:14:40 PM , Rating: 2
Even though most older apps can run fine on newer OS versions, that is not universally the case. Therefore, sometimes people may have to run a VM with a legacy OS in order to run such an older app. The VM gives them the benefit of not having to have a completely separate machine or having to dual-boot.

In addition, businesses may have customers still using legacy OS versions, and so for software developers it may be important to be able to run legacy OS versions on an VM for testing purposes. Again, the VM gives the benefit of not requiring a separate machine.


Why have a 32bit version?
By Mitch101 on 2/20/2007 3:51:14 PM , Rating: 2
Generally you dont want to use more ram on your VM's than the OS you run the VM on.

With that said if Vista requires 2 gig of ram to run smooth and at the optimum speed then running a VM of Vista on Vista would require another 2 gig for optimum performance of the VM. Boom your done because 4 gig is the limit of a 32bit OS. 1-Vista OS and 1-Vista VM limitation of 32 bit.

Me thinks 64bit is the way to go for people who do VM's the right way.




RE: Why have a 32bit version?
By TomZ on 2/20/2007 4:05:41 PM , Rating: 2
I agree generally, but for many people, there is no need to run a Vista VM on top of Vista. If you are running 32-bit Vista with 2GB RAM, it is reasonable and practical to run a 1GB 32-bit WinXP VM. I've got that running right now, and it works like a champ.


BeOS?
By Locutus465 on 2/20/2007 10:41:16 PM , Rating: 2
I hope BeOS will work on it... I liked it enough to have a copy running in virtual pc, but not enough to dual boot. It was a nifty little os




RE: BeOS?
By Nekrik on 2/21/2007 2:15:39 AM , Rating: 2
You shouldn't have any problem.

For those interested in a pretty exhaustive list of OSes attempted with VPC follow ther link below. There are notes for some that need work arounds, 275 on the bad, a few marked as sometimes, and 1205 OSes that have succesfully been installed.

http://vpc.visualwin.com/


By PAPutzback on 2/20/2007 9:17:03 AM , Rating: 2
I have been running several for years.
One XP install has on my money file and excel on it.
Another one runs limewire and bit torrent, this keeps the viruses off the main system.
At work I have one that just has Foxpro on it and another just runs code for a legacy printing application.

These are great for keeping your main pc clean. When you need to fire up rarely used apps then load them on the VPC. The key to performance is a decent chunk of memory and always run them on their own HDD. And if you set them to save state when you close it is like having an instant on PC.




By hellokeith on 2/20/2007 5:41:50 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?Fa...

Go to the bottom of the page, direct DL links for 32 & 64 bit installers.




Just use VMWare...
By robp5p on 2/20/2007 9:37:22 PM , Rating: 2
VMWare is the industry standard for virtualization. They have free products (VMWare player, VMWare server, VMWare converter, etc) that don't limit you to Microsoft only OS's, support much better networking options, and have a community of prebuilt 'VMWare appliances' to use for whatever you like.

I use VMWare on a daily basis. Need a Windows 2003 R2 server for a specific app? Load a VM. Have enterprise applications that get testy if they aren't loaded on a dedicated machine? Load a VM. Need a Linux install but dont want to dedicate a machine/partition to it? VM time. Dont want to install a particular app on your daily machine (testing purposes, unsure if you will continue to use it, etc)? Load a VMWare and use the 'roll back' feature to put the VM back to the exact state you started in.




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