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1st Published, Dec. 2004

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Microsoft Virtual PC 2004-A Network Perspective (Part 1).

Virtual PC (VPC2004) is an Emulation Console Program than can run on WinXP pro, and Windows 2000.

It provides the capacity to install almost all of Microsoft Operating System (OS), starting with DOS, through all versions of Windows, as a stand alone “Guest Virtual Computers”. 

Microsoft does not officially support None MS OS', but many of the "other" OS' might run well as Virtual PC with No problems.

Link to: What Works and What Doesn't in VPC 2004.

The only thing that it takes is Hard Disk Space (which is very Inexpensive these days).

You can Run on one computer few additional Operating systems without the need of Dual Boots, and other risky means.

Getting Rid of the additional installation is as easy as deleting a file, No need to Reformat, or even to Reboot.

Virtual PC is very important tool to developers it provides them with easy means to test their products on variety of OS'.

Providers of Help Desk do not need more than one computer to support all the versions of Widows.

Virtual PC would become a Great tool for Network use since you can install few Virtual computers, Network them, and use the installation for learning and research.

If you have old software that needs, or works best on older OS, you can install it on a Virtual PC and keep using it without the need to keep few computers.

VPC comes on a regular installation CD and is installed like any other program on your computer (aka the (Host Computer), and takes about 32MB of hard drive. 

The fun starts when you start using the program, it lets you create a Virtual drive, and then you can install another OS on it. The new OS aka Guest PC is stored as regular File on your Host Computer.  The file has a vhd extension and it can be up to 16GB in size.

Once you have a functional Guest PC you can install on it any of the software that might work on the OS, and use it (within certain limitations) as though it is a stands alone PC.

You can keep installing more VPCs with similar or other OS', and create a Network comprised of all these Virtual Computers.

Imagine on one computer you can have DOS, Win98, WinXP, Win2000, Linux.
  All Network  together with an individual capacity to access the Internet.

More about specific issues: Virtual PC 2004 FAQ and  Virtual PC Tips and Tricks

Technical how to: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/833134

All it takes is a Hard Drive that is big enough to keep all the files, and about 1GB of RAM in you Host Computer.

This Page will mainly deal with the Network aspect of VPC. It is an evolving page.  I am in the process of learning the usefulness and usage of VPC and will update the page as I progress in my endeavor.

VPC2004 has a Big brother that can run on Windows2003 server. Virtual Server 2005.

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