I was a little short of extra computers for browser testing recently (RIP PCs) and so I gave Virtual PC a try. Installing XP on my Vista Installation is dead easy, and admittedly does save me some space on my desk when browser testing. The fact that Microsoft gives it for free is an interesting one….
Rather than explain how it works or give some instructions, I will make it brief and pass on some links I found useful to sites that do the job perfectly well:
Virtual PC is basically a program that can emulate a PC machine within the window of your OS (On a windows OS of course…). This type of software goes by the name of a “Virtualizer” or “Virtual Machine” among others. The great thing about these programs is you can use it to install an OS within another and use it to run software that only works with that other OS. Vista users for example (although I personaly haven’t found the need for that yet) some programs will only run on XP and this could be a nice convenient solution.
For myself, the beauty of VPC is that I can do browser testing from within my one installation of Vista. No dual booting, or extra PCs needed! What’s better, is it’s possible to use VPC to install other non-MS OS’s including linux but, sadly, not OSX. The only problem is finding that extra space for all the OS’s I want to install!
Here are some useful links: