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Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 is the latest in Virtual PC technology allowing you to run and test different operating systems and programs without intruding upon your main operating system.
Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 is very easy to get started with, first you will need to obtain the program by visiting the Microsoft site, where the download is available, for free I might add. When you first run the program you will be greeted with the Virtual PC Console screen. From here you can set up your Virtual PC configuration, simply click New and a configuration wizard will guide you through the various steps allowing you to configure your virtual machine, you will need to tell it things like what operating system you plan to run, how much memory you plan on using, Virtual PC will use your system memory so don't set it too high or your machine will slow to a crawl! Then you will need to set up your virtual hard disk, if you are only planning to run an operating system to try it out along with a few programs 10GB is more than enough. Once this is configured you will see a new Virtual PC in your console and you will be able to start it up by clicking Start. A black screen will then come up with some confusing looking writing, don't be alarmed, simply insert your installing CD for the operating system you want to install (this can be Linux, Windows XP, Windows Vista) and press the CD button and tell it to use your physical CD drive. If you have a downloaded version of your operating system, like Linux, you can use an ISO file. Then simply install your operating system as normal.
The look of the Program is pretty basic, it won't make you coo in admiration of its amazing design but is definitely is functional and easy to use. The Virtual PC Console unit is a small Window, here you will have buttons to set up new Virtual PCs, change their settings, remove them and run an existing virtual PC. You will also see your existing virtual PCs in a little window and you are given a little preview of what was last running on your Virtual PC so if you cannot read you will be able to tell which one it is simply by looking! The Virtual PC unit itself is very easy to use, at the top you have some buttons to access your PCs physical CD/DVD/Floppy drive for use on your Virtual PC as well as some help options and the Action button where you can install VM Additions, reset your Virtual PC and other useful things. At the bottom of the window you get little icons which indicate your Hard Disk, CD drive, Floppy, Shared Folders and Network connection, when any of these are in use a small light will flash and let you know. Virtual PC will normally run in a window but if you want to use it as a dedicated machine simply press alt and enter and you will be able to run it in full screen.
Once you are fully set up you will be able to use your Operating System just like it was installed on your computer, the great thing is you won't mess up any of your main system settings by using Virtual PC so feel free to install any software you want to try without any risk of messing up your main configuration. Another great feature is Undo Disks, this makes Virtual PC even safer to use as if you mess up your Virtual Machine when you close it, you will be prompted to save the changes or discard them, if you have messed up simply discard them and the next time you boot up you will be able to boot into your previously saved state. Furthermore you can share all of your devices in the Virtual PC, your CD/DVD drive, Hard disk, Floppy Disk, Internet Connection, Mouse, Keyboard.. the lot! This makes Virtual PC a pleasure to use as you don't need to configure any of these things separately and they will all work perfectly. If you use a widescreen monitor Virtual PC won't support your resolution straight away, you will need to install Virtual Machine Additions, have no fear as this is free and is accesable through the Action menu. Now you will have support for widescreen resolutions and a few other things, like then Undo Disk feature I previously mentioned.
Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 is one of my favourite pieces of software, I now have no need to set up complicated dual boot solutions to access another OS, the software is professional and easy for anyone to use. The only disadvantages I can think of are, if you have a small amount of memory on your PC you may experience poor performance on Virtual PC and also if your OS becomes corrupt you won't have a backup which you would have if you had used a dual boot configuration. There is other Virtual PC software out there like VM Ware that cost hundreds of dollars to download, they may offer even more features but who cares! Microsoft Virtual PC is free and does everything I need it to do, to get your copy of Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 visit http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/virtualpc/default.mspx to download your free copy. 5/5
An x86-based or an x64-based computer with a 400 MHz or faster (1 GHz recommended) processor with L2 cache. Virtual PC supports the use of AMD Athlon/Duron, Intel Celeron, Intel Pentium II, Intel Pentium III, Intel Pentium 4, Intel Core Duo, and Intel Core2 Duo processors. You can run Virtual PC on a multi-processor computer, but it utilizes one processor only.
CD-ROM or DVD drive
Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher resolution monitor recommended
Keyboard and Microsoft mouse or compatible pointing device
Host operating system: Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise, Windows Vista Ultimate, Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition, Windows Server 2003 Standard x64 Edition, Windows XP Professional, or Windows XP Tablet PC Edition or any of the various Linux editions.