Virtual PC 2007 - First thoughts

Virtual PC 2007 - First thoughts

Summary: My thoughts on Virtual PC 2007. Overall, very impressed.


The post I made yesterday about Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 attracted a fair bit of attention so I thought I'd follow up with some initial thoughts on the new release.

Check out the gallery of Virtual PC 2007 screenshots here.

Virtual PC 2007Disclosure - I use VMware extensively and until Microsoft made Virtual PC available for free a few months back I'd not used it all that much.  However, over the past few months I've grown quite used to it, especially as Virtual PC 2007 betas have worked on Vista.  However, I still do most of my virtual PC work through VMware Workstation and ACE.

Overall, I'm impressed with this release of Virtual PC.  Installation was quick and it's easy to get started with the program.  Also, the program has a smaller memory footprint than VMware seems to have, especially on Vista.  However, future releases of VMware might change that.

One of the advantages of Virtual PC 2007 over VMware Workstation (apart from price) is that Virtual PC is easier to get started with.  The interface is simpler and you don't get bombarded by too many questions and choices and a reasonable set of defaults are in place.  However, once you enter the settings page you have the ability to make all the changes you need.

Virtual PC 2007One issue I found with Virtual PC was that it was tricky to boot up off a CD in order to install the OS - set it to use the physical drive and then reboot.

Beyond that, Virtual PC just works.  It's nice and fast and very responsive.  Once you install Virtual Machine Additions it gets simpler to use (for one thing you don't have to hit the right ALT key to release the mouse).

If you're familiar with, say, VMware or Parallels then you'll know what I'm talking about here.  If not, I encourage you to download Virtual PC 2007 and give it a spin. 

Now I'd like Microsoft to release some pre-activated virtual machines of different operating systems ... 

Topic: PCs

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  • Dumb Question

    Is it possible to use VPC to install Vista and them migrate all my applications from the XP host to Vista and then get rid of XP and just leave Vista? Sort of a clean install,,without having to reinsatll all my user apps. That way I could test each app and see if there were issues to resolve before committing to upgrading.
    My problem is I hate to reinstall applications, For me it's either that or do an upgrade in place which is going to be hard to back out of if some critacal app doesn't work yet.
    • Maybe ...

      ... you could take an image of the virtual PC and restore that to the main PC ... never tried it though.
      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
      • Humm

        Could work,,,If I felt my level of expertiese was high enough. You can't load Vista as guest and then run apps out of the host machine without first installing them in Vista (guest) right? I saw where it would let you "copy" between them,,could you copy a short cut to the host and get the app to run under Vista? You can tell I have never messed with Virtual machines before. ;-)
        • No ...

          ... A shortcut wouldn't work. You'd have to install the apps into the guest.

          I suggest you have a play with it - there's no way to hose your system using a virtual PC so it's safe play too!
          Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
          • Thanks

            I was thinking that might be the best approach. Get used to it,,find out if I have any hardware snags and then see where I am at as far as upgrading.
            Thanks for the advise,