I recently decided to dump Microsoft’s Virtual PC 2007 in favor of VMWare’s Workstation 6.0. Why? The primary reason is VPC is a pretty lousy virtualization environment, has lousy support for anything but Microsoft and no one outside of Microsoft creates any virtual machines for it. Yes, I sound bitter. I think it’s because I am, I have had enough of all the jumping through hoops to get Linux distributions running on Virtual PC.
I decided to download the VMWare Workstation 6.0 30-day trial to see how well it works. I was a long-time user of VMWare products before Microsoft purchased Virtual PC. I didn’t really make a decision to switch other than VMWare kept upgrading and the cost was too much for a poor developer and the price was right for Virtual PC, so I switched.
Apparently VMWare did not sit back and fold after losing me as a customer. VMWare has a great following of dedicated users who create tons of virtual machines you can just download and just boot-up. VMWare Workstation also does a great job of supporting many different vendors as the guest operation system, which work right out of the box without having to pour through forums like you do with Microsoft’s VPC. Try getting Ubuntu Linux 7.04 to work on VPC without jumping through hoops.
I have installed Ubuntu, Fedora Core 5, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP and Windows Vista on VMWare without a hitch. When setting up a new virtual machine in VMWare you are given many different operating systems to choose from, Virtual PC is primarily focused on Microsoft operating systems. It’s understandable but it says a lot about the value of non-Microsoft OS’s.
The only drawback to VMWare’s product is the price, $189 for a single user versus free for Microsoft’s VPC. Of course I have to think to what my father has always said, you get what you pay for. VMWare’s products are so much more mature and the development much more focused.
I purchased my copy VMWare Workstation 6.0 from Programmer’s Paradise. VPC was uninstalled faster than it ever booted Vista.