Virtual PC is free!

Virtual PC is free!

  • Comments 24

Today we announced a couple of cool things:

  1. Virtual PC 2004 SP1 will be available free - now!

  2. Virtual PC 2007 will be available for free in 2007, with support for Microsoft Windows Vista

  3. Windows Vista Enterprise customers will have the right to install four copies of the operating system on a desktop for a single user

A couple of questions I can see people having are:

  1. Why are you giving Virtual PC away for free?

    Microsoft views virtualization as a tool.  Virtual PC is used for a number of reasons, but the primary reasons are for development and test scenarios and application compatibility.  We already provide Virtual PC as part of MSDN for development and test users, and given that all our other application compatibility tools are free - charging for Virtual PC did not make much sense.

  2. Is the Windows Vista Enterprise licensing right restricted to Virtual PC?

    No - you can use any virtualization software for this.  In fact - you do not even have to use virtualization software to exercise this right.  You could - if you wanted - setup a quad-boot physical computer and be licensed for all four instances.

Well - enough talk - go check out the details and download Virtual PC from


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  • This is great news, I was wondering if microsoft would do this after making virtual server free.
    When are we likely to see a beta of Virtual PC 2007.
  • Is it possible to run Vista on Virtual PC 2004 SP1 today? I have not had any luck with it.
  • That's going to make a lot of people legal that run multiple virtual machines.  Good call MS.
  • Is the Mac version free also?
  • Will the Virtual Machine additions for Linux be made available for VPC 2004 SP1?

    Thank you!
  • i guess this also means that virtual pc express has been canceled
  • Great news for developers, testers, and people who need a sandbox or two for security or compatability! Two unanswered questions:

    1. Will existing licenses for Win98, 2k, XP, and 2k3 be extended to also permit multiple instances through virtualization?

    2. What about VirtualPC 2007 for OSX host machines? Not developing for MacIntel might stymie a few would-be switchers, but IMHO Microsoft should continue playing in the Mac virtualization market so Parallels is not the only game in town.
  • David -

    I can't comment on dates for Beta at the moment

    Kris -

    Yes it is.  Search this blog for 'Vista' and you will find a number of posts about this

    TAS -


    Jace -

    No - but you can download them and use them with VPC today

    ikszkom -

    Yup - pretty much

    Richard -

    1) No - this is a Vista thing only (though SA customers have downgrade rights).  2) VPC Mac is a seperate team and I cannot comment on their plans

  • This is wonderful news.

    Is the second Service Pack still in the works for Virtual PC? You know, the one with the speed optimizations ;)

  • Grrr.. just weeks after I purchased VPC 2004. :(
  • Ben:

    How would one go about using the Virtual Machine Additions for Virtual Server 2005 with VPC?

    Perhaps a blog entry on how to do this? Or can someone else outline how to do it?

    Thank you.
  • jace: VM Additions is just an ISO that sits somewhere in Program Files. When you choose "Install VM Additions" in VPC/VS, all it does is mount that ISO in the guest machine's CD, and let autorun work.

    So, you can just download VS, extract the ISO from there, and mount it to your VPC guest OS yourself.
  • Here was I getting my hopes up, too.  Of course the Mac version isn't free.  That would be silly.  That would be... nice.  What WAS I thinking?
  • Thursday, July 13, 2006 4:05 AM by Jonathan
    > So, you can just download VS, extract the
    > ISO from there, and mount it to your VPC
    > guest OS yourself.

    What extraction tool did you use?

    I found a tool that displayed the contents of an .msp file so I could see that an updated VM Additions tool was there, but the tool didn't actually do an extraction.  I found another tool that could do extractions from .msi files but not from .msp files.

    Of course I could install Virtual Server in order to install its patch afterwards and then take a copy of the resulting ISO file that contains updated additions.  But for some reason I thought there was a simpler way to extract the ISO file, and I just hadn't found an appropriate tool.
  • Q: Why are you giving Virtual PC away for free?

     Because VMWare, the market leader, is also free on servers and has a free player ?
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