Virtual PC 2004/2007 vs VMWare

I recently started using Virtual PC 2004 when MS released the Orcas CTP (the next version of Visual Studio) as a virtual machine. For reasons I’ll go into at a later post, I needed access to an Ubuntu install to look at some technologies. Seemed natural to try installing Ubuntu on Virtual PC but I recalled a colleague at work trying to get Ubuntu working on Virtual PC without much success. I ran into the similar problems; the Ubuntu install on Virtual PC 2004 was an absolute dog. I checked for a new service pack on my MSDN sub and saw that Virtual PC 2007 has now been released. Installed and had a very similar look and feel. Unsurprisingly, it was the same dog like performance during installation so much so that I decided to give VMWare a whirl. It was a breeze to get Ubuntu running.

I’m a little disappointed that neither incarnation of Virtual PC could get the job done.  But, what really ****** me off is that when I try to load up my official Orcas CTP, 2007 will not let me add it. Unless I’m missing something, it would appear that Virtual PC 2004 machines in a saved state don’t play nice with Virtual PC 2007. What is with that?

PS. Why is VMWare Fusion Mac only? -I appreciate they’re addressing the threat Parallels presents. But I’d like to see a similar product for Windows – yes I know I can run cygwin for linux tools, but it’s not the same thing.

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5 comments so far

  1. Ben G. on

    VMware Workstation 6 for Windows and Linux is pretty darned close to Fusion — hopefully that counts as a similar product for Windows. 😉

    The virtual machines you build on any VMware product are compatible with all other ones, so Fusion VMs work with Workstation, Player, and ESX Server.

  2. Martin on

    Not quite close enough – but I might be missing something bloody obvious 🙂
    It was VMWare Workstation 6 that I installed to get Ubuntu running. The feature that I like in Fusion and Parallels is the seamlessness. VMWare Fusion calls it unity while Parallels calls it coherence.

  3. Martin on

    Hi Martin, (yes same name)
    I also have interest in testing Orcas.
    I wanted to try loading it onto a virtual dvd but it comes in a 300+mb img file. This aparently is a problem due to the fact that I need to convert to an iso file to mount it. I can not find a img to iso conveter program that will handle 300+mb conversion. I also looked at loading the img directly into the Virtual PC and come across your blog. Do you have Orcas up and running on VMware?

  4. Martin on

    Hi Martin, no I don’t have Orcas up on VMWare, other distractions got in the way 🙂
    According to the instructions for the latest beta you should be able to just rename the .img file to .iso. Hope that helps.

  5. Robert on

    One product that supports a feature similar to Unity in VMWare Fusion and coherence in Parallels Desktop is VirtualBox on the windows end. A good free product. It does have its issues but 1.5.0 added seamless mode to it. A couple of issues will be fixed in 1.5.2 but are not an issue if you don’t use then in the VM.

    The first is if the Extend support for Advanced Text Services option is enabled in windows then VirtualBox may not start.

    The second is if you are using Intel VT support then the computer may freeze when you attempt to minimize the VM.

    Both are not an issue if you have them disabled. The first would be disabled on the host and the second would be disabled within VirtualBox.


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