Free virtual machines from Microsoft

Summary:Finally, Microsoft has started to make something of it's virtualization technology. First, it made Virtual PC 2005 a free download (and Virtual PC 2007 for Windows Vista will also be free) and now it has released four pre-configured VHDs (Virtual Hard Disks) for Virtual Server 2005 R2.

Finally, Microsoft has started to make something of its virtualization technology.  First, it made Virtual PC 2005 a free download (and Virtual PC 2007 for Windows Vista will also be free) and now it has released four pre-configured VHDs (Virtual Hard Disks) for Virtual Server 2005 R2.

The four virtual hard disks are:

The idea behind these VHDs is simple - it offers a way for interested parties to evaluate Microsoft software on their own terms, in their own environment, for free.

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Here are the system requirement details:

  • You need Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition
  • You also need Virtual Server 2005 R2
  • On top of the system requirements for the operating system, you need an additional 10GB of disk space and 512MB of RAM
  • These downloads are massive so make sure that you have a fast connection and plenty of free disk space

What would be really cool is to see some Windows Vista/Office 2007 virtual machines (.VMC files) for Virtual PC - that would give both home users and SOHO users a chance to see what the new products have to offer.

For more information on VHDs, start by checking out this page on TechNet.

Topics: Microsoft

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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