Developing against Windows Virtual PC

Developing against Windows Virtual PC

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One of the big “under the covers” features of Windows Virtual PC is that it now has a programmable COM API that is based off of the Virtual Server COM API.  In fact – I have been able to take many of my existing Virtual Server scripts and turn them into Windows Virtual PC scripts by just changing the COM object that I am connecting to.  I am going to do some posts in the coming weeks exploring the uses of the Windows Virtual PC COM API – but in the mean time – you can go and read the beta COM API documentation here:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd796757(VS.85).aspx

Cheers,
Ben

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  • One simple question: does / will windows virtual PC support 64-bit virtual machines

  • No - it only supports 32-bit virtual machines.

    Cheers,

    Ben

  • I use this app called Automise (http://www.automise.com/automise.aspx) to automate VPC and VMware Workstation. Quite expensive but I use for other automation as well.

  • @Ben -> I have to admit that as a long time VPC user, I am seriously considering moving to VirtualBox which *DOES* support 64bit guests, even on 32 bit hosts with 64 bit capabilities.

    I'm thinking I am not the only one who is getting tired of artificial product limitations designed solely to create a different product sku.

    In fact, the only thing that is keeping from switching already is the current lack of drag and drop support between guest and host OSes.  The only thing keeping me from moving already is the drag and drop betwixt guest and host - the same feature now dropped in VPC for Windows 7.  Once that becomes the official release, it won't even matter if VirtualBox does not have it yet - I will probably migrate that day.

    I'm guessing I will not be the only one to make that change - I will certainly be encouraging others to migrate at that point as well.

    It's a shame that MS has become so disinterested in what VPC users actually want out of the software (not that this is new, how many years did it take to get USB support on the map?)  Perhaps the focus is too heavy on hypervisor and VirtualServer for MS to really care about VPC users any more.

  • I purchased, and assembled (hacked is probabbly a better word) a bunch of stuff from your VS book using VB, and .bat files in order to assign serial ports to specific VM. Can I can reuse my stuff with Win7VPC. Can I run multiple instances of Win7VPC, and switch on/off the serial port for each instance from the COM interface?

    I realize that this is asking alot, but just how do I go about changing the COM object? Or, is that something you plan to cover later?

  • Wesley -

    For the most part you can just change the COM object from Virtual Server to Virtual PC and have scripts work.

    Cheers,

    Ben

  • Just for the sake of history, Ben, can you explain what happened with the scriptable COM API in Virtual PC 2004? The "Virtual PC.exe" file shipped with a crippled typelib. You can see the VirtualPC.Application class using a COM object browser such as the one in Visual Studio, but you can't instantiate it. Attempting to create the object results in the exe being invoked with a command-line option of -Embedding but this option was disabled in the released build. Was this API something that Connectix had prototyped before the Virtual Server object model was chosen as more strategic?

  • Ronny Ong -

    Virtual PC 2004 / 2007 never had (and were never meant to have) a COM interface.  If one is exposed it is completely accidental.

    Cheers,

    Ben

  • Is there a COM interface for Virtual PC 2007?  Have a Vista host machine (32bit) so the new Windows 7 version of VPC not that useful to me as yet, at least I assume I'd need Windows 7 for that version.

    I see 2004 gets a mention below but here's hoping 2007 was slightly better!

  • Simon -

    No, this was only added with Windows Virtual PC.

    Cheers,

    Ben

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