To date I have never installed, used or touched Virtual PC. I know some customers have said that it’s made their lives a little easier, but until the MEDC trip I hadn’t really thought about it much because the time to go through FBA on VPC is probably comparable or worse in VPC than on the physical device.
But during the MEDC hands on labs, a lot of the presenters used VPC images to demo various aspects of Embedded runtimes or FBA and I have to say that this is the way to go when designing and testing your runtime’s features before you spend time testing on the driver and HW interaction. On my dev machine at work I have multi-mon, so i can probably have VPC on one monitor and everything else on the second monitor, watching the progress of FBA and be able to interact with it post FBA on the same machine i have Outlook running. This should save me a huge amount of time and possibly reduce the number of test machines i have in my office!
Next week I’ll be installing VPC, I can see myself wondering one day how i every lived without it! Customers interacting with VPC for the first time in those MEDC labs were also saying “where do I get it and how much does it cost?”. Start here: VPC 2004 at MS.com, then go here C|NET to comparison shop; looks like it’ll run about a hundred bucks, but the saved time and frustration of deploying images to a test machine should be worth it and will probably result in you living longer.
Yeah, that’s the ticket, buy VPC and live longer! <grin>