Microsoft Virtual PC is now free

Written by Brett Thomas

July 14, 2006 // 8:38 a.m.

Tags: #emulation #free #microsoft #pc #virtual #virtualisation

If you've ever wondered what it would be like to run something like Linux, but were way too scared to take the full plunge by reformatting and reinstalling, you've probably heard of emulators like VM-Ware and Qemu. Among these, you've probably also heard of Virtual PC, a handy little commercial emulator that's been owned by Microsoft since 2003.

Well, it's not commercial anymore.

Microsoft has decided to release its latest version of Virtual PC 2004 SP1 for free at its downloads site. The move is not because they've halted work on it, though... there is a Virtual PC 2007 in the works that will be fully compatible with Vista and have enhanced efficiency/stability, which will also be a free download.

For people who have yet to try the software, it's pretty nice. It's about one step down from VMWare commercial, but way above many other free products like VMWare Player. If you're interested in emulation either as a tinkering or because you actually need the functionality, give it a try.

Virtual PC for Mac is still commercial, however.

Got a thought or an experience you'd like to share on emulation, or Virtual PC 2004 specifically? Drop it in our forums.

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