Microsoft today released their client Virtualization solution Virtual PC 2007 with support for both 64-bit and 32-bit Windows XP and Vista. I hastily downloaded to try out the new release and I must I am pleased so far. All of my existing Virtual Machines work without a hitch, performance is good and everything just work like it does on XP. Version 2004 was known for its incompatibility with Vista, especially since there was no native 64-bit version available.
Was a cinch, I accepted the EULA, entered my user information, selected the default location and was done in less than 5 mins. After installation was completed, I was greeted by the Add a New Virtual Machine wizard. Adding a new Virtual Machine is just the same as version 2004 with the exception of Windows Vista now being a supported operating system from OS listings.
As previously said, not much has changed in this release with exception of full Windows compatibility. I was able to use existing VHDs stored on another partition and they ran perfectly. I have tried three classic operating systems so far, Windows 95, NT 4, 98 and ME all work as expected. Some small issues remain such as Print Screening the Virtual Machine window, which nothing out of the ordinary since its something rarely done unless you take lots of screenshots. I wish there was a better way of switching between Guest and Host in full screen mode. The keyboard acrobatics become daunting after a while, I suggest, maybe a switch between solution by adding a VPC icon in the notification area for both modes, similar to a Virtual Desktop.
Overall, this release strengthens Microsoft’s commitment to Virtualization, I don’t know if this release will get anybody switching from VM Ware, but it just might since it is free. Virtual PC 2007 supports Windows Vista editions, Business, Enterprise and Ultimate for both Guest and Host.