I’ve been running Windows 7 for a couple of months now. Today I ran across my first application that wouldn’t install on Windows 7. So I needed a Windows XP virtual machine. Luckily, as part of Windows 7, Microsoft has planned to include the ability to run a virtual Windows XP OS. So to get around my predicament, I downloaded a beta of Virtual PC and a Windows XP machine from Microsoft at this website:
It was about a 460MB download, but I had it installed and running in about 10 minutes after the download completed. I didn’t have to go through the entire Windows XP install – the download included an Windows XP virtual machine already setup. One note – this requires that your CPU have virtualization extensions. So before you download, go into your BIOS and see if you can enable the virtualization extensions. I am running on a Lenova Thinkpad T500 with an Intel Centrino vPro 2 CPU, so all I had to do was enable virtualization in the BIOS, save the setting and turn off the laptop, and I was ready to go!