Why won’t the Virtual PC 2007 Virtual Machine Additions load on Windows 95?

A number of people have been confused by the fact that the Virtual Machine Additions that are included with Virtual PC 2007 fail to install on Windows 95.  The reason for this is twofold:

  1. Windows 95 is not supported under Virtual PC 2007.  With each release of Virtual PC we spend a significant amount of time trying to decide which operating system should be officially supported.  While Virtual PC is capable of running many operating systems, official support for an operating system means that we will test it thoroughly, not ship Virtual PC if an issue exists with that operating system, and provide full support for customers who encounter problems while running these operating systems under virtual PC.

    Given that Windows 95 has not been supported by Microsoft for quite a while now, and we’ve been seeing diminishing usage of Windows 95 amongst our customers, it did not make sense to continue to invest in supporting this operating system.

  2. For the Windows Virtual Machine Additions installer we use a WiX based installer that is built with Visual Studio.  With the latest version of Visual Studio we are no longer able to build and install and it can run on Windows 95.

So what does all this mean if you want to run Windows 95 on Virtual PC 2007?  The first thing to know is that it will still run, just without Virtual Machine Additions.  The next thing to know is that if you take the Virtual Machine Additions from Virtual PC 2004 and install them on Windows 95 under Virtual PC 2007, it should work.  Keep in mind that this is all unsupported.

Cheers,
Ben