Hurray... one of my favorite technologies, Virtual Server, is now freely available for download at this location.
I suggest that everyone go grab a copy and install it. Especially if you have VMWare.
... except if you are running XP Home for your "production" environment. But then again, what professional uses that SKU and expects to get their job done? It does not support Remote Desktop (a deal breaker for me), does not support Domains, and wacky simplified security that gets in my way more than anything else. I consider it no loss that Virtual Server refuses to install on XP Home, but apparently it is a deal breaker for some. To these folks - you have no idea what you are missing out by using XP Home. Run XP Pro on your laptop!
Personally, I like Virtual Server because it marries the power of Virtual Machine technology with a simple scriptable administration API... so anyone can automatically build Virtual Machines, install OSes into them, and run them... all virtually. The only flaw here is that there is that Microsoft does not provide a ADSUTIL.VBS equivalent for Virtual Server. Not publicly available yet, anyway...
I will have to change that. :-) I'm going to start tossing out sample code snippets from my Virtual Machine Control Tool (basically, the ADSUTIL.VBS for Virtual Server) so that people can see how easy it is to wield and use Virtual Server. Completely scriptable, automatable, and reusable.
Incidentally, this is how the IIS7 Virtual Machines get created - all automatically. I kick off a script which runs the VMCTL tool to create a Virtual Machine and then launches another tool inside the Virtual Machine to install Windows Vista and IIS7 automatically. Then it compacts, compresses, and seals up the VHD for later usage. Yup, I love writing tools and composing them into automation to perform logical tasks. :-)