updated 02:50 pm EST, Mon February 19, 2007
Virtual PC 2007 Free
Microsoft on Monday surprised many by shipping Virtual PC 2007 as a free download. Officially intended to help users test both new and old software in a sheltered space before using it on the main systems, the software runs a virtual copy of one or more operating systems in a safe environment -- including the ability to run Windows Vista on an XP system, Microsoft said. Its support also works retroactively, covering archaic shells such as MS-DOS or OS/2. The software requires a professionally-oriented version of Windows Vista or XP (including Vista Ultimate) for the host, in either 32-bit or 64-bit form.
The new edition of Virtual PC marks the first since the company officially killed the Mac version in mid-2006 and makes no specific mention of support for operating systems made without Microsoft's involvement.