Windows Virtual PC Beta and Virtual Windows XP Beta– Avaliable for Download!


Today, along with the release of Windows 7 Release Candidate, Microsoft released a new beta version of its virtualization product for end-users – Windows Virtual PC.

Windows Virtual PC, version 6.1 (for now..), will replace Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 (SP1), the current virtualization product for end-users. Among other things, Virtual Windows XP supports USB and Printers redirection, Folder Integration between host and guest, Seamless Applications and more.

Download, features and support information of Windows Virtual PC and Virtual Windows XP, is avaliable at Microsoft Windows Virtual PC Download Page.

To make the story short, here are some facts.

Windows Virtual PC now integrates with Windows Explorer, there is no console like Virtual PC 2007. As you can see in the screenshots below, to create a new virtual machine or change a virtual machine settings, just press the Virtual Machines icon in the Start Menu and after the window opens, press the buttons at the top of the Virtual Machines window to create a new virtual machine or change the settings of existing one.

Windows Virtual PC - Start Menu    Virtual Windows XP - Create VM

The shortcut keys in Windows Virtual PC are like in Microsoft Hyper-V. For Ctrl+Alt+Del use Ctrl+Alt+End and to release the cursor use Ctrl+Alt+Left Arrow. If you already have Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 (SP1) installed, be aware that the installation of Windows Virtual PC will not start and you will get a warning stating that you need to uninstall Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 before installing Windows Virtual PC. After doing so and installing Windows Virtual PC (More info about the installer later in this post), to add your existing VM’s, simply double click the VMC file. Windows Virtual PC will automatically create a backup of your existing VMC file and than create a new one for Windows Virtual PC. When the guest OS starts, you will probably get the following warning about Integration Features:

Integration Features

The reason for this is that your VM most likely have ‘Virtual Machine Additions’ installed’, so in the mean time, press continue and after the OS is up, uninstall VN Additions and then Enable Integration Components from the Tools menu.                                 From the Integration Components installation wizard you can see that they are only supported on Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP1 and Windows 7:

New Virtual Machine - Integration Components Support

From my experience, Integration Components are also partially working on Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2 and Windows Server 2008 SP1. After Integration Components are installed on Windows 2003 R2 SP2 or 2008 SP1, when you start the VM it will pop a the following screen on startup:

Enable Integration Features Credentials

Entering the credentials will automatically log you in, and Integration Components will work. If not, simply click on the Tools menu and choose Enable Integration Features:

Enable Integration Features

a beat tricky, but works…

According to Microsoft Windows Virtual PC Page,  these are the PC Requirements for Windows Virtual PC:

•  1 GHz 32bit or 64bit processor or better
•  CPU w/ AMD-VTM or Intel® VT features turned on
•  2 GB of memory recommended
•  Additional 15GB of hard disk space per virtual Windows environment recommended


That was just in a nut shell…

The real cool part that worth go into detail is Virtual Windows XP.

Check out my blog later for a review of Virtual Windows XP.

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