If you've always wanted to try out virtualization, such as with suites like Vmware, but were intimidated by the cost, you'll be happy to find out that Microsoft has given a gift
to you. Virtual PC 2004 is available for download
, completely free. It's not a demo, not a trial version, not a crippled release. It's the full product, and can be retrieved
from Microsoft's site.
The software giant says "whether Microsoft virtualization technology is an important component of your existing infrastructure or you're just a Virtual PC enthusiast, you can now download Virtual PC 2004 Service Pack 1 absolutely free." Microsoft also mentions that the upcoming Virtual PC 2007, set to be released along with Windows Vista, will also remain fully free.
While this doesn't do much for Linux or Mac OS X users, it's definitely a neat product for Windows users to try out. Vmware definitely can't be happy with this, and it will be interesting to see their reaction.