VM Ware vs Virtual PC

I've installed and used both VMWare and Virtual PC on my tablet. VPC has one key advantage: It lets the guest OS use the right drivers for your hardware. VMWare installs its own drivers for things like display and network. In my case, VMWare's virtualized drivers caused two problems: The guest OS could not connect to the network using the host's wireless connection. This is meant I always had to be plugged in to an ethernet for the guest to be connected - an inconvenience more than a real problem. The second, more serious, issue was going into full screen. VMWare let me choose 640x480 or 1024x768. Going into full screen with the latter resolution caused my tablet's display to go into vertical (portrait) mode. I tried everything I could think of to put it back to landscape but had no success. This is a real issue since, needless to say, using VS .NET in 640x480 is a real challenge. VPC has none of these problems. I can use my wireless network from the guest OS and I can choose from 640x480, 800x600, and 1024x768 all in full screen mode. Although there's one slight problem in VPC: When using the wireless network, the guest OS cannot ping the host OS. I can live with that.
Next I want to install Longhorn in a VPC on my tablet. I don't even know if VPC supports Longhorn, stay tuned.

Comments (30)

  1. Wallym says:

    Personally, I like VirtualPC better than VMWare. VPC seems to be less cranky, though, VMWare seems to be faster.

  2. Matt Berther says:

    The biggest advantage to VMWare using the abstracted drivers is that you can provide your OS image to another computer, and it will work without issue.

    Im not familiar enough with Virtual PC to know if it provides similar functionality. That, in and of itself, is why I continue to use VMWare. You can test a multitude of hardware configurations with one image. Quite a timesaver…

  3. Longhorn works just fine in a VM.

    Virtual PC is indeed superior to VMWare.

  4. <P>Itron seems to have selected VM Ware as their primary virtual machine software (for testing purposes mostly).

  5. Virtual PC is extremely slow when it comes down to serious installations (i.e. multiple VMs on a single box, communicationg with one another)

    For small installations I prefer Virtual PC, it doesnt create the overhead in your network by adding the drivers the VMWare adds. The copy paste/ drag and drop function is also quite useful.

    But it has a major bug if you are hosting Windows 2003 Server VM. In every menu that has submenus, it takes quite a few seconds to reveal the options which is very annoying if you are working, and not just benchmarking! The effect is similar to that of "real" Windows 2003 Servers, running Windows Acceleration mode in nVidias nView util.

  6. driverdave says:

    I’m a fan of VPC.

  7. Michael says:

    I used to use VMWare until I tried to install Windows Server 2003. I couldn’t find anyway to get the display to go above 640×480 x 16 colours, so I switched to VPC and it worked fine. I had the same problem trying to install Longhorn 4015 on VMWare but once again it worked find on VPC. But over the last week, I’ve been trying to install Longhorn 4051 and the same problem is now occuring on both VMWare ‘and’ VPC.

    So VPC is still my favourite for testing new OS’s, but for the current build of Longhorn, I’m going to have to wait untill I pick up my new computer in a couple of weeks and test it on a physical machine.

  8. Fenix*NBK* says:

    to Matt Berther:

    Yes. Virtual PC has it’s own BIOSes, it only gives the target system your CPU "as is".

    So you can use the same image for different real hardware, and logically it will work without driver changes.

    I love Virtual PC.

  9. Fenix*NBK* says:

    By the way: Final Longhorn won’t run in VPC, because longhorn requires DX9 video acceleration.

  10. arbi says:

    where do i get VM ware? Free download


  11. JW says:

    I like VMware more because it is better in handling audio-extraction

  12. SM says:

    VMWare can use bridged networking over wireless. I have used it and it works no problems. Using the automatic bridging settings I didn’t need to rejig anything to get wireless working over the bridged network.

    I also find VMWare a lot faster. And for anything fancy it rocks, ie Clustering, multiple networks (an ISA 2004 prototype)….

  13. ANONYMOUS says:



  14. JD says:

    Virtual PC take 4 times as long to do simple tasks such as OS installation. Who has time to waste waiting. VMWare always has been and always will be the champ in this real. At least until M$ decides to buy them out…

    VPC is a joke…

  15. ANON says:

    VMWare was already bought by EMC Corp a few months back

  16. Yang Yang says:

    I prefered VMware rather than Virtual PC. Do you feel that VMware 4.x is faster than VPC? And of course, your using tabletPC action cannot be considered very well by VMware. But I think the resolution problem will be solved in the version of VMware 5.x.

  17. maelcum says:

    i have had time recently to use and try out both pieces of software. my conclusion:

    a) i like vpc with wxp as guest os. anything else (win2k or even win98se) are much slower than compared to vmware.

    b) except for benchmarks (which vpc wins more often than vmware) both systems feel exactly the same. i haven’t experienced any of the problems mentioned above.

    c) installation time has been equally slow (plus minus 5 mins) wether it was installation time of the program or installation time for the guest os winxp.

    d) using linux (debian 3.0r2) as a guest os was easier on vmware than on vpc. it worked, on both, but was less a hassle to configure on vmware. my experience with linux is limited, though, so ymmv.

    e) wmware is offered for linux (which i haven’t tested), vpc is not. for my friend at emc (who provided a test license – thanks!) this is definately an advantage, as the os for their storage systems is based on red hat.

    i find both programs well worth a try. I can happily live with both. vpc has a nicer integration in winxp, but isn’t offered for anything else than a windows pltform.


  18. gfhfghg says:


  19. Dave says:

    "vpc has a nicer integration in winxp, but isn’t offered for anything else than a windows pltform"

    Microsoft released a mac version… so VPC can now be used on apple systems.

    If only it SUPPORTED apple systems (hence, using OS X in XP), that’d be awesome!

  20. A friend who uses freebsd told me vmware on windows for learning freebsd is pretty darn good. Highly recommended. I haven’t personally tried it though. I’m going to try Virtual PC though judging from the comments posted on it.

  21. Andrew Zicafoose says:

    Xp does not like to allow a wireless connection, unbridged with a NIC, use printer and file sharing or Client for Microsoft Networks. Most wireless connections have to be bridged with a NIC in order to connect to a printer or share files; however you can use internet connection sharing if the wireless is not what is sharing the connection.

  22. Shawn says:

    I have had use VM Ware on Windows for learning FreeBsd.Actually I think VMWare is quite a good tool for learn unix-like system,however I’ve no experiences of using Virtual PC

  23. Shawn says:

    I have had use VM Ware on Windows for learning FreeBsd.Actually I think VMWare is quite a good tool for learn unix-like system,however I’ve no experiences of using Virtual PC

  24. zivo says:

    For freebsd I had use VM ware and its faster and it have a clean install with vmware tools

    with VPC i had a lot of trouble installing the video card and its sloow

    but maybe the soundcard its working : P

  25. i am having a problem in VPC when using windows 2003 server when i am copying the data form a shared drive to VPC , the system crashes during the copy process, what is this ?

    any solutions..?

  26. - says:

    Virtual PC can’t install fedora linux core 2 final

    Virtual PC takes 5hrs to install Windows Longhorn

    VMWare can install all but takes times to read the virtual disk

  27. stk says:

    i`m using both of the emulators right now and i`m really impressed how slow VPC is.

    i installed Fedora Core2 on a 866 MHz laptop running Windows2000 into VMWare 4.5.1 and started the same installation in a VPC on an 1,6GHz laptop running WindowsXP.

    after having installed the complete OS into VMware, the VPC still copied the installation image on the harddrive.

    now i`m finetuning Fedora Core 2 in VMWare and VPC is still copying the packets to the harddrive.

    is it normal, that VPC is sooooo slow ?

    never used it before, but if it is always so slow, we`re going to buy VMWare instead of VPC.


Skip to main content