8 Free Virtualization Software Solutions For Your Windows PC

Most modern computers today are powerful enough to run multiple operating systems on your main operating system, which means virtual machines are more commonplace today than ever. Virtualization software allows you to run one operating system emulated within another operating system.

8 Free Virtualization Software Solutions For Your Windows PC.

  1. Why we need or use virtualization software?

  2. Free virtualization software solutions for Windows:

  3. 1. VirtualBox 3.0

  4. 2. Windows Virtual PC

  5. 3. Microsoft Virtual PC 2007

  6. 4. VMWare Server

  7. 5. VMware Player 3.0

  8. 6. VMLite Workstation

  9. 7. Microsoft Hyper-V

Why we need or use virtualization software?

You may use these programs to try out other operating systems on your computer without disturbing the existing setup.  For instance, your primary OS can be Windows 7 64-bit, but with enough memory and processing power, you can run Ubuntu and OS X side-by-side within it. Likewise, you can use the Virtual PC program from Microsoft to run Linux, DOS or even multiple Windows environments inside your Windows PC.

Or, if you have upgraded to a newer OS, you can create a virtual machine of your previous OS and use it to run older programs that aren’t supported in your new OS. Or if you want to run multiple versions of the same software (like Photoshop CS4 and Photoshop CS5), you can install one of them on your main OS and the other inside a virtual machine.

Free virtualization software solutions for Windows:

There are a lot of free virtualization software available for you to download and install, here we cover some of the best free options available for you to use in Windows. These options can be installed within your existing Windows operating system for free, allowing you to run a virtual machine (VM) running an entirely separate operating system within. Take a look at them now!

1. VirtualBox 3.0

VirtualBox 3.0

Oracle’s open source answer to virtualization, VirtualBox is free for both enterprise and personal use. It excels at running Linux on Windows, and also allows computers without hardware virtualization to easily run virtual machines. It runs on most platforms including Windows XP and newer, Mac OS X, and most current editions of Linux. It supports all virtual machines using the Open Virtualization Format; this includes support for virtual hard drives from Windows Virtual PC and VMware.

It also supports resizing the guest Operating System screen according to the VirtualBox window. You just need to have “scale mode” enabled for this purpose. It supports 64-bit guests (on computers with a 64 bit CPU) and the supported Guest Operating systems are – Windows NT 4.0 and newer, Solaris, most current editions of Linux

VirtualBox also comes with an extension pack which can be installed along with VirtualBox in order to get additional functionality like USB device support, remote desktop connection and PXE (network) booting capability for Intel NIC (LAN) cards.

Finally, VirtualBox allows you to run a guest OS seamlessly with your host OS using Seamless Mode. This puts the guest’s taskbar in your host OS’ desktop, allowing for full interaction with the guest operating system right inside your standard host desktop.

Pros: Simple to install and use, lots of features.

Cons: No screenshots of your guests, importing existing machines is difficult, non-intuitive disk management.

Download VirtualBox (All Operating Systems)

2. Windows Virtual PC

Windows Virtual PC

Windows Virtual PC, that is designed to run previous versions of Windows seamlessly inside Windows 7, has made desktop virtualization even more ubiquitous. Programs installed in the virtual operating system will show up in the host computer’s Start menu, and you can even set them as the default program for handling a particular file type.

Virtual PC is available as Virtual PC 2004, Virtual PC 2007, and Windows Virtual PC. It’s free, limited, true, and for people working in a strictly Windows environment, it gets the job done. Windows Virtual PC requires hardware virtualization and won’t run on computers that don’t support this. It also supports all USB devices connected to the host system, even if they are not recognized by the host system.

Windows Virtual PC can run on all editions of Windows 7, but users of the Home edition will have to create their own virtual machines from an original Windows installation disk or from old Windows installation. The supported guest operating systems are Windows XP and newer. The other operating systems (like Linux) may work but not officially supported.

Download Windows Virtual PC