Virtual PC For Free?

Could it be true? Is Microsoft really offering Virtual PC for free? Well the answer is yes. And you can find it at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtualpc/default.mspx. Now I know I usually wait until the end of my column to let you in on the good stuff. But this news was too good to hold on to. If you’re familiar Virtual PC than you’re probably already downloading it. If on the other hand you’ve never heard of it and are wondering what all the excitement is about then read on.

Virtual PC is just what it sounds like. It’s a completely separate PC that runs virtually inside your existing PC. More precisely, it’s software that runs on your current Windows or Mac operating system and allows you to run other versions of Windows, MAC, or Linux right inside your existing operating system. Trust me, this is very cool. You won’t truly understand the benefit until you see it for yourself.

What you can do with Virtual PC is only limited by your imagination, but I’ll give you a couple of examples to get you going. One thing you could try with Virtual PC is to set up a Linux operating system right inside your Windows OS without losing anything and you can boot into Linux without rebooting your computer or reformatting you hard drive.

Another thing you could do is run some other version of Windows inside of your current version without disturbing your current setup. If you’ve been itching to try the Vista Beta (the next version of Windows that’ll soon replace XP) now you can.

Many programmers like Virtual PC because it allows them to test their software on various setups with the need for dedicated machines for each OS.

One of the coolest features of Virtual PC is that you can set it to keep your OS of choice in a clean freshly installed state. Anytime you reboot the Virtual PC it will remain in it’s original pristine state. So go ahead make some changes you’ve always been afraid to make to your primary OS. Toy around with it, make some mistakes, install some questionable software. Do anything you like. I urge you to go ahead and download Virtual PC. You never know just how long MS will be giving it away for free. Some day you may find a use for it.

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