Good News Everyone: VPC and licensing goodness ensue!


We’ve got some great news for you today, guys and gals.


Robert McLaws recently made a post on LonghornBlogs asking us to be a little bit more transparent with out plans for Virtual PC.  Ask and ye shall receive, Robert 🙂


As of today, Microsoft has announced that Virtual PC will be availble as a free download to anyone who wants a copy.  We’ve already made Virtual Server available for free, so it only makes sense that Virtual PC should follow suit.  (Note: This does not include Virtual PC for Mac.)


Secondly, we’ve announced plans for a new version of Virtual PC – VPC 2007.  While we haven’t gone into a great deal of detail about new features of VPC 2007, we have stated that it will include support for Windows Vista as both a host and guest operating system.  It will also include support for 64-bit Vista as a host OS, and that VPC 2007 will have increased performance over VPC 2004. 


Third, we’ve announced a change in licensing for Windows Vista Enterprise (and Windows Vista Ultimate if it’s under Software Assurance):  Customers who deploy Windows Vista Enterprise have the ability to install up to four (4) copies of the operating system in a virtual machine for a single user on a single device.  Even better, nothing in the license requires that Microsoft Virtualization technologies be used – if you want to use a competing product as your Virtualization solution, you still get the four extra installs for use with VMs. 


It’s not everything on Robert’s wishlist, but it’s a pretty good start, eh?


[7/13/2006 1:22 PST :  I changed the wording in the last sentence of the paragraph on the licensing changes to say “installs” instead of “licenses” to more accurately indicate what’s going on here. 


Oh – and welcome Slashdotters 🙂


– mikekol]


Comments (46)

  1. Ok so there have been assorted hints that a new version Virtual PC is on it’s way — but as of today…

  2. Virtual Man says:

    Uh, it looks like someone forgot to tell the Mac Business Unit that they’re expected to give away one of their flagship products.

    You might want to revise your post to include that fact. It looks like only Virtual PC for Windows is free. Which sucks, because Microsoft would be able to sell another copy of Windows for me to run on my G5 if VPC/Mac was free.

    Oh, well. They’ve handled this announcement with the same grace that they’ve handled all the other bad news of the past couple of years.

    [Sorry for the confusion, Virtual Man.  I’ve never talked about Virtual PC for Mac on my blog, so I didn’t even think to specify that this announcement doesn’t include it.  I’ve updated the post.  – mikekol]

  3. anonymous coward says:

    But does it run linux?

    [It sure does.  – mikekol]

  4. Robert Brown says:

    As a big user of Microsoft products as well as Mac, I think Microsoft should consider offering Virtual PC for the MAC Free as well?

    They are of course up against the likes of PARALLELS and iEmulator.  

    I have PARALLELS running Windows XP Professional and it is truly the best of both worlds.

  5. anonymous coward II says:

    anonymous coward,

    Not officially supported, but yes, it will run linux.

  6. anon says:

    So you are trying to do to VMWare what you did to Netscape?

  7. Pasamio says:

    Only a few typos in this as well…

    Will bring it inline with the current market leaders, which sounds familiar really…

  8. Jon says:

    As a student I could already get this for free. And yet I still find myself using VMware Server. What can I say? Somehow VMware just feels faster and better – I’m happy to see what VPC 2007 has to offer but it’s a shame that it will of course not accept a linux host (this is probably my main use for VMware these days).

  9. Juan Diego says:

    Will Windows XP owners be allowed to install another copy of the operating system in his own machine using Virtual PC?

    [Nope – the licensing changes will only effect Windows Vista Enterprise (and Ultimate under SA).  The license for XP requires that you have a separate license for each instance running, even if it’s in a VM.  – mikekol]

  10. John Ritchie says:

    Wish it mattered to me… But it doesn’t. If you buy a new PC you get stuck with the Operating System it was designed for.

  11. Zwirwel says:

    This is really great news. Virtual PC is excellent for tech support call centres like ours, where we often need to have quick access to different versions of Windows and be able to tinker with them along with the customer.

    Now what we’d love to see in Virtual PC would be a way to emulate a wireless card, even if its just to the host, with WEP/WPA.

  12. Nick says:

    Does anyone care? The world uses VMware and XEN already, MS are a bit player in this market, the one positive piece of  information in this announcement is about four instances on one license being useful.

    I know I won’t be switching my virtual servers anytime soon.

  13. mickey says:

    i don`t konw

  14. Ken says:

    Personally as both a Mac user and a windows user I do not mind paying for VirtualPc on the Mac.  BUT I would like the Mac’s version of VirtualPc to allow a user to use more than 512 of RAM.  Kind of sucks when you have a 2 GB Mac and can only use 512 while in VirtualPc.

    Please pass that on…

  15. Chris says:

    If virtual_pc for windows is free, then the Mac version should not be priced at more than twice as much!

  16. Glenn says:

    I have to agree that if the Windows version is free then the mac version should also be free.

    Does anyone think that this realease is only because VMWare released the final version of thier server product today? The only reason anyone in their right mind would use virtual pc is on a powerpc mac. Otherwise use VMWare. Much more streamlined product. Microsoft had a chance here to convince me otherwise but since the Mac version still costs money they have blown their chance.

  17. Shadowin says:

    Great news from Redmond today:

    As of today, Microsoft has announced that Virtual PC will be availble as a free download to anyone who wants a copy.  We’ve already made Virtual Server available for free, so it only makes sense that Virtual PC should

  18. blanky says:

    Considering I paid over $100 for it before MS took over connectix the "free" doesn’t really do anything for me.

  19. Not impressed says:

    Yey, free Virtual PC. But would you really use that? It’s stupidly slow and everything runs like a terminal. If you want real virtualization, wherein the virtual OS doesn’t run like a terminal, go for VMware Player. It’s free, stable, and doesn’t take forever to load. VMware’s website even has an entire directory listing of virtual appliances that you can download.

    Free? Sure, it’s free… but that’s all they have to offer: free.

    [I’m curious – why is it you think that we run things as a “terminal”? – mikekol]

  20. TheScogg says:

    Sweet!  Now I can run WindowsXP apps under ReactOS in WindowsXP through emulation via VirtualPC!

  21. Hommie the Clown says:

    >If virtual_pc for windows is free, then the Mac version >should not be priced at more than twice as much!

    Twice as much? Two times free, or two times nothing, still equals nothing. But, the Mac version is not free. What gives?

    The Mac version is infinitely more expensive. However much the Mac version costs, it’s value divided by zero will always be infinite.

  22. jogo says:

    it makes sense to do so, because it sells copies of windows.

    it will also be good for the same reason to offer it free for the next version that works for the intel macs because this will also help sell copies of windows.

  23. Mort says:

    Has anyone actually tried running a single instance of Vista in a VM? Now try running four of them at once and see how much fun it is!

  24. Chris W says:

    1. Why are you doing this?

    2. With all of the whining you have been doing about iTunes Music Store songs not being open for playing on Plays For Sure devices, why won’t you allow your made-for-Windows software to be freely downloaded and run on other systems?

  25. Virtualization > Emulation says:

    In response to:

    [I’m curious – why is it you think that we run things as a “terminal”? – mikekol]

    Well, it’s simple really. VPC uses emulation techniques while VMware uses real virtualization layer. Here’s an experiment for those of you who can’t tell the difference:

    – Try running memory intensive application on one machine that has the spec of a 1990s computer. See how everything is slow and response lags by 2 seconds or more? That’s how VPC feels like.

    – Now try running your modern computer with the same memory intensive applications. That’s how VMware feels like.

    It’s terminal-feel vs real-live-computer-feel. They should call it MS PC Emulator not Virtual PC. Don’t fret, everyone still uses/loves Windows 😉 I know I do.

    [It all depends on what you mean when you’re referring to ‘VMWare’.  VMWare Workstation and GSX Server use emulation technology similar to Virtual PC and Virtual Server, so they’re comparable products, respectively. 

    ESX Server uses a hypervisor-based approach, which is comparable to Xen and Microsoft’s Windows Server Virtualization offering that’s still in development.

    So, if you’re comparing apples to apples, VPC and VMWare Workstation aren’t all that dissimilar. – mikekol]

  26. Virtualization > Emulation says:

    Not to be rude, but it’s more like apple seeds to apple tree there. You mentioned you’ve never used VMware, so I know where you are coming from. If you say MS VPC to VM Workstation is more comparable, then it’s even worse than I thought. I was comparing VPC to VM Player under the freebie criteria. Even at that level, VM Player out performs the MS VPC. I actually bought MS VPC long ago for my Mac. Why? Because they are the only viable option. MS is lucky VMware did not go into that market. Too bad.

    Oh and don’t say "with VPC you can create VMs, with VM Player you can’t!" Google that subject and you’ll find out that people have been creating VMs out of VM Player for free. Yeah ok, it’s a hack, but it’s an easy one.

    About:

    ESX Server uses a hypervisor-based approach, which is comparable to Xen and Microsoft’s Windows Server Virtualization offering that’s still in development.

    "Comparable" isn’t the right term here. That’s not even close to reality. MS and Xen had just started to pack up for their camp. VMware has already built an entire civilization when it comes to Hypervisor technology. MS/Xen is years and years behind that technology.

    Slow, unstable, too many limitations, and takes forever to launch or close… That’s what’s disappointing about VPC. It’s cool that MS is "trying."

    Free? Well, that’s the easy part.

  27. anonymous says:

    imagine a beowulf cluster of <i>those</i>

  28. Petter says:

    To sum it up, Virtual PC is easier to set up and use than the VMWare offerings. It is generally considered slower and with less features, but as Microsoft user, VirtualPC has more features and better support for my needs.

    Your mileage may vary, but I have dabbled with VMWare and have no need for the added complexity.

    Petter

  29. &amp;nbsp;

    It’s nice to have VMWare Player for free, to be able to install on any pc for virtualization….

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    &amp;nbsp;

    crosspost from http://rextang.net/blogs/work/

    It’s nice to have VMWare Player for free, to be…

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  32. Hypervisor. Vanderpool. Pacifica. These are the technologies that are going to rock my world in the next…

  33. ap says:

    not fair

    virtual pc should be free for mac too.

    or is there anyway of making it possible?

  34. Ping says:

    These guys are stoned.  VMWARE is head and shoulders above Virtual PC.  

  35. mck says:

    Third, we’ve announced a change in licensing for Windows Vista Enterprise (and Windows Vista Ultimate if it’s under Software Assurance)

    Why only under SA for ultimate and Enterprise. If you offered it for Ultimate off the self I’d be more than happy to buy it instead of the lesser versions, mainly to run virtual browser applicances in.  Why you ask? Honestly do you think Vista is going to stop the Hackers.  Come on!  Anyhow I think there

    would be a market here.  But I’ll just get a free applicance from VMware instead, can you say Linux?

    [I don’t make the licensing rules – I just report them. – mikekol]

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