Introducing Windows Virtual PC

Despite the release of Windows 8, many organizations will continue to use Windows 7 for some time. As previously discussed, Windows Virtual PC is the Microsoft client virtualization solution for Windows 7, so this section takes a brief look at using Windows Virtual PC under Windows 7, as it also forms the foundation for both XP Mode and MED-V.

Windows Virtual PC runs on 32-bit or 64-bit processors and runs on all versions of Windows 7 Home Basic and above. Initially, Windows Virtual PC required the processor to support hardware-assisted virtualization, even though it is only a type 2 hypervisor, but an update released shortly after Windows Virtual PC was released removed that requirement.

Windows Virtual PC is available at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/download.aspx and includes the update. Once installed, Windows Virtual PC is available from the Start menu, and virtual machines can be started and stopped through a new integration with Explorer, as shown in Figure 3-4.

Figure 3-4: Viewing and controlling virtual machines with Windows Virtual PC

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The virtual machines created with Windows Virtual PC can only have a single virtual processor assigned to them; and because only 32-bit guests can run in the VM, a maximum of 3.7GB of memory can be allocated. The guest operating systems supported by Windows Virtual PC are Windows XP SP3 and above, ...

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