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Microsoft has announced that Virtual PC 2004 can be downloaded for free!

Microsoft has recently announced that the company is offering is virtual machine application Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 for free. Virtual PC 2004 was sold for about 129 US Dollars for its end users. Now you can free download the Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 SP1 (Service Pack 1) from Microsoft Downloads site at Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 SP1 download link.

Update: Please download Virtual PC 20007 from Microsoft Download Center which is the most recent version of Microsoft Virtual PC.

The download file name is VPC2004SP1.zip and the application can be installed in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. The download size for Virtual PC 2004 SP 1 is 18.2 MB.

One of the major features of the Virtual PC is supplying virtual development, deployment and test platforms for the software development process. One of the frequently faced problem in software development projects is that the application works successfully on the developer's computer but when the application is deployed for production the application fails to run as expected on the end users machines. By using Virtual PC developers and testers can virtualize the end users computers and make the software tests on similar environments with the end users.

An other software problem generally seen is running the legacy systems on new operating system environments. Some applications may be running on some legacy systems that is now feasible or possible to run physically on your company's network. Or you may have a server which is powerful enough to run a few of these legacy applications on it. But you may want the applications to run seperately as working on different machines. So you may install several Virtual PC's on the server. And then you can run the legacy applications as each one is running and up on different computers.

You know Microsoft is going to release a new operating system Microsoft Windows Vista next year. The company is preparing for the Release Candidate 1 (RC1) for the Windows Vista. As software developers and producers you may want to test your applications over such new OS, for example Windows Vista Beta 2 which is the currently available version for public. Then you can install the Windows Vista editions on a Virtual PC 2004 as a virtual machine and develop or test your application over this virtual machine.

For my site as a software developer who is interested on Beta programs and willing to learn new things on the software development topics, tools and applications Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 was a necessary tool which enabled me install the Windows Vista Beta 2 Ultimate Edition and satisfy my great interest on this new generation operating system on Microsoft technologies. You can find my experience about installing the Vista Build 5384 on the article I have written at How to Install Microsoft Windows Vista Beta 2 titled article.

So Virtual PC 2004 can be regarded as an important component of your company's infrastructure. Virtual PC 2004 with SP1 can be downloaded free and the next version of the product Virtual PC 2007 which will also support the Windows Vista is going to be released in 2007. Of course without any charge the users will be able to download the Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 for free.

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