Microsoft spent most of the eight months of development time focusing on the security of the product to ensure that a user cannot do anything in a virtual machine that would negatively affect their host operating system or other virtual machines on the host PC, she said. New features of Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 include support for as many as four network cards within each virtual machine, up from one previously; and an XML-formatted file-based configuration of virtual machines to ease corporate deployment and provide cross-compatibility with the upcoming release of Virtual Server. It also now has support for up to 4GB of memory, and users can allocate up to 3.6GB of RAM for each virtual machine, with a total of 4GB for all virtual machines and host operating systems on the machine."However, the majority of legacy applications that we see enterprises dealing with today are applications that they have developed in-house, and in that scenario there is nothing much that we can provide as a rubber stamp around whether it will work or not," he said. The typical scenario is that corporate IT managers will install Virtual PC and then set up their legacy environment and confirm that everything works. Once they have done this, they can then just deploy the image. If there is a problem, the customer can work with Microsoft product support, he said. Asked about the future of Virtual PC, Huffman said Microsoft is committed to the product and there will be a next version. The team is focusing on integration with Virtual Server so that the code base is shared by both. "Aside from that, its just too early for me to comment," she said.
Ben Armstrong, program manager for Virtual PC, said beta testers have not run into any legacy applications that dont run on Virtual PC. Microsoft has tried to test a fair range of legacy applications that are representative of what customers would run.