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Author Topic: Virtualization with VirtualPC and Microsoft VPC images available for download  (Read 20151 times)
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Gena01
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« on: September 25, 2008, 10:53:33 pm »

One of the items that got raised during the last NYPHP user group meeting was VirtualPC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Virtual_PC). Unless you have been hiding under a rock or just not following the technology sector then you would not know about all the hype about virtualization. This is not a new technology, but something that became quite popular. The idea is based on running a piece of software that emulates a piece of hardware to run another Operating System. In other words if you run Windows as your desktop environment then while you are in Windows you can run other Operating Systems in a window/sandbox. Also if you have plenty of available resources you can run more than one instance at a time. This solves one big issue: not needing more hardware. The hardware box is emulated inside your computer. This is now quite common in the enterprises today. They are trying to consolidate their hardware and virtualize as many of their servers as they can to save on energy and hardware costs. So if you are not an enterprise, then why should you care?

Well one big reason is that Microsoft provides VPC images of different Internet Explorer versions that you can download and use for free. You can download all the VPC images and just start the right one to test your site with. You will see exactly how your site renders in particular version of Internet Explorer without having to mess with your current Windows installation. Also running multiple versions of Internet Explorer is something that Microsoft strongly discourages. Another great reason is for setting up a quick Linux development server to experiment with. I was actually playing with Ubuntu server edition which provides a complete LAMP installation in <15 mins. 

Here are some links to get you started:
  • VirtualPC homepage (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/virtualpc/default.mspx)
  • Internet Explorer Application Compatibility VPC Image (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=21EABB90-958F-4B64-B5F1-73D0A413C8EF&displaylang=en)

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