Today we have made a slew of announcements around work we have been doing for desktop virtualization.  Once of which is that Windows Virtual PC will be updated to be able to run on systems without hardware virtualization support.  The update is not currently available – but should go live later today (I will come back and update this post with the details when it does). Update: Download details are in this blog post.

So some questions that you might have:

  1. Why is Microsoft making this change to Virtual PC now?

    Because of you :-)  We have heard loud and clear from customers that they need to be able to run Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode on systems that do not have hardware virtualization support.  So we are going to enable this.
  2. Why did Microsoft release Windows Virtual PC without this in the first place?

    There are two main reasons here. 

    The first is that we believe that customers will get the best virtualization experience on computers with hardware virtualization support.  This has not changed – and even though we are releasing this update I would strongly encourage anyone who is looking at buying a new computer, and intends to use virtualization, to make sure that they get a system that is capable of supporting hardware virtualization.

    The second is that we had hoped that by the time Windows Virtual PC released – hardware virtualization support would be prevalent enough that this would not be an issue.  We were wrong on that.  Bummer.