Q

Reader Feedback: Virtual PC 2004 vs. VMWare

Regarding your article 'Build an affordable practice lab at home,' how does Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 rate compared to VMWare for virtual sessions?
I received the following feedback from another reader who has worked with both versions of Microsoft Virtual PC and had this to say about running Server OSes:

"The only difference I found between the VPC and VS is that VS needs IIS and VPC only runs on 2000/XP. I did run the customer preview of Virtual Server, but after attending a Microsoft seminar where we used VPC, I decided to buy it. I have had no stability issues. I have run a whole slew of different configs and have them backed up to DVD-R to J. I have a Virtual PC setup on a server as a 2003 Terminal Server and have clients log on to do software testing. It has an uptime of 14 days now and still runs strong. http://vpc.visualwin.com/ has compiled a list of all tested OSes. Though not as powerful as VMWare, it lacks in the hardware configuration and network configuration area, I have found it to be a viable option. Go to http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/virtualpc/. There is a free 45 day trial available."

Thus, it looks like you should be able to do what you want with the lower-priced product, despite my apparently erroneous guess otherwise. I'm glad I asked the other reader who used both products in your question, because now we both know the right answer.

This was first published in February 2004

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