Finally a new version of Virtual PC, this time around the product have changed name to Windows Virtual PC and is totally integrated with Windows Explorer. There is no separate GUI any more and there is a lot of exciting features such as application publishing to the host OS (such as used for Windows 7 XP Mode). The Virtual PC requires one of the premium editions of Windows 7.
The current release (beta) is distributed as a hot fix, a single .exe file which you double click and “next-next-reboo”t. After reboot there is two new icons on your start menu Windows Virtual PC and Virtual Windows XP. I decided against installing the Windows Virtual XP system and opted only for the Windows Virtual PC install. The Virtual Windows XP is basically a pre configured Windows XP machine running virtual.
After install you will find a special folder called My Virtual Machines. This is the main “console” where you administer your virtual machines. The machines will be listed here and can be started, stopped and configured here. To add a new machine you just click the “Create new Virtual Machine” in the toolbar.
In the first step you specify a name and location for the image. This is just as in Virtual PC 2007.
Then basic settings of memory and networking. The guest can support four network connections if configured manually later on. If you check the box a shared NAT adapter will be set up.
The last dialog is to setup virtual hard disks. You can select dynamic, existing or advanced. Advanced mode lets you setup differencing disks also.
After the virtual machine is created it will be listed and you are able to left-click and set options and control the state of the running virtual machines.
The settings dialog is quite similar to the earlier versions. You are able to setup IDE controlled disks (4), network controllers, connect serial ports to physical ports, text files, etc. The most exciting features are the Auto Publish which applications installed on the virtual machine available on the host. The feature requires Integration Components to be installed.
The machines are running exactly like in Virtual PC 2007 and besides the above features. Read more and download the beta today from MSDN or TechNet. If you dont have TechNet then you will be able to find it public on http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/ after May 5th. You are able to download Virtual PC and Virtual XP as separate downloads.