Vmware and Microsoft Virtual PC – A quick comparison guide

Virtualization Options – Vmware and Microsfot Virtual Server and Virtual PC

Brief history:

VMWARE, Microsoft, Citrix, VirtualBox, and Parallels are companies that have a presence in the Virtualization market. I will concentrate on the two most popular products out there:

Vmware and Microsoft Virtual PC

VMWARE is one of the pioneers in the virtualization market. They were granted a patent in 1998 for their virtualization algorithms built into Vmware. Vmware has the most comprehensive offering among all the competitors while Microsoft was the newcomer a few years later by buying another virtualization pioneer Connectix.

Microsoft with its many billions dollars in cash can buy pretty much almost any smaller competitor (with some exceptions, of course: Intuit and Yahoo are a couple that come to my mind). So, in 2003 they acquired the company called Connectix Corporation and with that. They obtained the two flagships products from Connectix: Virtual PC and Virtual Server. These products were repacked and renamed Microsoft Virtual PC and Microsoft Virtual Server

Recently, I tested both VM products for a project and confirmed that VMWARE is indeed a more refined product, with more features built in and an easier to navigate and more intuitive interface

The difference of course is price. The Microsoft product is free and VMWARE workstation costs $189.00. To level the plain field, VMWARE has a VMplayer (http://downloads.vmware.com/d/info/desktop_downloads/vmware_player/3_0?ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a ) that you can download for free and create virtual images of your Windows OS. I have VM images of Windows XP and Windows 7 using both applications.

Here are some characteristics of Vmware:

By default VMWARE images are created wit 40Gb of virtual hard drive space
MS Virtual PC comes with 120gb. You can change the default on both. I find the 40Gb size perfectly fine

VMWARE has taskbar icons to connect USB hard drives, Bluetooth and other components (Note: When you connect the USB device on your VMWARE VM image it automatically disconnects the USB device from the host machine. The operation is transparent and you don’t have to do anything. I find this a great feature.

Will revisit this topic later…

good sites with more detailed information on virtualization:


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