Langa Letter: Virtual Excellence: Microsoft's 'Virtual PC' Is Too Good Not To Check Out - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Hardware & Infrastructure
Commentary
3/30/2004
05:23 PM
Fred Langa
Fred Langa
Commentary
50%
50%

Langa Letter: Virtual Excellence: Microsoft's 'Virtual PC' Is Too Good Not To Check Out

In this introduction to the technology, Fred Langa says Microsoft Virtual PC provides a viable alternative to dual booting and should be a solid choice for software testing, evaluation, and support.

Installing Linux
Next, I'll run a popular Linux distribution, Lindows 4.0, in a separate virtual PC session, as you can see in Screen Three.

Screen Three

Screen Three
(click image for larger view)

In this screen, you can see the previous MS-DOS VPC is still running (I've moved its window to the lower right) with Lindows in the foreground. Each VPC thinks it's alone; each thinks it has a PC all to itself.

You also can see the Mozilla browser running inside Lindows; Mozilla is connected to the Lindows home site. Lindows thinks it has a direct connection to the internet via a unique and unshared network card. In reality, it's using a virtualized network card, supplied by the VPC software, which in turn accesses the real network card via XP, the host operating system.


Screen Four

Screen Four
(click image for larger view)
In Screen Four, you can see we've left the Lindows and DOS VPCs running--they're alive and fully functional, and any active tasks there continue to run normally. But we've also added a new VPC running Windows ME.

Note that the Device/Hardware Manager is open inside WinME: all the hardware shown there is virtualized, provided solely in software by the VPC.

Next, in Screen Five, you can see I've started a separate Linux session, this time running Xandros 2.0 Deluxe.

Screen Five

Screen Five
(click image for larger view)

As with Lindows, I've launched a browser to connect to the operating system's home page. And as before, all the other VPCs and the host XP system continue to run normally. That means that both Xandros and Lindows are online simultaneously through their virtualized network cards; both are really using the single real network card in the XP host system.

One more to go: Screen Six shows a separate installation of Windows XP Home running in its own VPC.


Screen Six

Screen Six
(click image for larger view)
At this point, there are six separate operating systems running: one copy of XP Pro is running Microsoft Virtual PC, which in turn is hosting separate, independent, and active instances of DOS, Lindows, WinME, Xandros, and XP Home. Although the XP Pro host system "sees" all the virtualized sessions, each session still thinks it exists alone, on its own private PC.

This is powerful stuff, and seeing six operating systems running at once speaks far more eloquently than mere words!

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
3 of 4
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
Slideshows
10 Ways to Transition Traditional IT Talent to Cloud Talent
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  11/23/2020
News
What Comes Next for the COVID-19 Computing Consortium
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/24/2020
News
Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends for 2021
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/13/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Why Chatbots Are So Popular Right Now
In this IT Trend Report, you will learn more about why chatbots are gaining traction within businesses, particularly while a pandemic is impacting the world.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll