Culver City (CA) - Just as promised, Microsoft's Virtual PC 2007 is now available as a free download. The company's virtualization software lets people run multiple operating systems inside of Windows, letting them fearlessly test out configuration changes and software compatibility. Microsoft says Virtual PC will help customers run older applications, just in case Windows Vista's compatibility mode doesn't do the trick.
Microsoft is allowing Windows Vista Enterprise users to install up to four additional Windows operating systems inside of Virtual PC. Windows XP, Windows 98 and even Linux can be installed inside of Virtual PC.
Virtual PC and other virtualization software, like VMWare, have been around for years. 'Guest' operating systems, which reside inside of large files inside the hard drive, are tricked into thinking that they are running in a regular computer. Starting last year, Microsoft offered Virtual PC for free with its Virtual PC 2004 SP1 edition. It also began offering its enterprise Virtual Server software free of charge.
Both 32 and 64-bit versions of Virtual PC 2007 are available and the downloads weigh in at 30 MB.