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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  • We use VPC as part of an OS/2 based product we sell. VPC allows a piece of OS/2 software we currently offer to run on any PC.

    We currently have five new, unopened, shrink-wrapped boxed sets of VPC in our stock. Is there any way to return this now unnecessary product?

    I would also be interested in seeing Microsoft's licensing terms for redistribution of this free software. My plan is to burn the new free installer on a CD, give it a part number, and distribute it at no or minumal charge with our software.
  • Yag -

    We have announced that we are working on Virtual PC 2007.  We have made no announcments about any SP2 for Virtual PC 2004.

    John -

    I have not been able to get an answer on redistribution of the free Virtual PC.  But if you have stock as a retailer - you should be able to return that to Microsoft.  If, however, the stock was purchased as a consumer there is no way to return it at this stage.

  • That's a great news Ben!!!
    But I've an interesting question for you. Now that VPC 2004 is free, what happen with VPC 5.2 and previous versions? Let me explain: the system requirements for Virtual PC 2004 is the need for Windows 200x/XP running as host, but I still have some Windows 98 and ME computers running as host. Is this new about freeing VPC the include of previous versions (like for example Connectix VPC 5.1) that works on previous Windows versions?

    Thank you very much for your answers in advance.

  • Norman: ISOs are not meant to be extracted as archives.  They are files that contain all data needed to burn a complete CD image, including boot sector.  You either burn them or, in this case, you mount them as a "fake" drive letter which the OS thinks is a real CD.

    However Virtual PC will take care of the CD mounting for you, just select "Install VM Additions" from the menu and then access the CD drive on your virtual machine and run the Setup tool for the appropriate guest OS.
  • I had to pay 200$ to get this software and now they gave it for free???? MS$ is just a bunch of stinking thieves...

    I was thinking of buying MS Office, but I think I am going to get a illegal copy instead.  Why waste money when MS$ will probably give it for free in a few years...
  • I must be dreaming
  • I downloaded VPC2k4SP1 today, installed it but it wont run.

    I get what is described here, but the workaround doesnt work for since I do not have a product key. Wasnt the product free now? ...
  • Ryan, when you run the Virtual PC file from the MS Downlaod the key is already there. I imagine you can run the original install and write it down.
  • Ryan, when you run the Virtual PC file from the MS Downlaod the key is already there. I imagine you can run the original install and write it down.
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