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Virtual PC 2007 Release Candidate Ships

Microsoft began shipping the release candidate for Virtual PC 2007 this week, putting the virtualization environment on track for final shipment in the first quarter as expected. Virtual PC 2007 entered beta test in mid-October.

New features in Virtual PC 2007 include support for Intel's and AMD's hardware-assisted virtualization technologies and support for Windows Vista as a host or guest operating system or both, according to Microsoft statements. It also includes support for 64-bit hosts -- but 64-bit guests won't be supported until Windows virtualization arrives post-Longhorn Server.

The latest build also now provides PXE (Pre-eXecution boot Environment) support for booting off the network. Additionally, it also fixes several problems with beta builds, including keyboard and performance issues on laptops, re-enablement of Virtual Networking on wireless adapters, and fixes for installing Vista off of physical DVDs.

Virtual PC 2007 can run up to 32 virtual machines simultaneously and supports up to 255 VMs configured and registered at any one time, according to the blog postings.

Microsoft announced that Virtual PC 2004 Service Pack 1 and 2007 would be free last summer at the company's Velocity 2006 partner conference in Boston. (See "Microsoft Introduces Virtualization Licensing Plan for Vista," July 12, 2006.)

The Virtual PC release candidate can be downloaded here.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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