Having for years been an exemplar of how to maintain compatibility between software versions, Microsoft have recently suffered some horrible aberrations in this area. Setting aside the user interface horrors of Office 2007, my worst recent challenge has been Microsoft’s Virtual PC technology. This short article recounts the challenges I’ve had with the new version in Windows 7, and how I’ve ended up resolving the problems with a combination of the old version, and a competitor’s product!
January 17th 2010
I have been running XP-Mode in Virtual PC inside Windows 7 for a while. My original opinion is that it was fast and amazingly integrated, especially running standalone apps inside the VM (it still takes a while to fully open the application though)
However, I recently had the following problem: I had to run FreeOTFE to mount an encrypted file. FreeOTFE does not currently run in Windows 7 64-bit without some hassle (due to driver signing) so I needed Windows XP inside Virtual PC to be able to use FreeOTFE (I know…… I also use Truecrypt; and I know that Truecrypt runs perfectly well in W7 64-bit but there were some important reasons for me to stick to FreeOTFE in this particular case).
FreeOTFE obviously installed without issues in XP inside Virtual PC but to my surprise failed to open the encrypted file. So I decided to try VMWare Player 3.xx and glad I did. Not only FreeOTFE runs perfectly in XP inside VMWare Player but the whole OS seems to be faster (might be just my appreciation).
Note that I am not stating that one is better than the other, just that in this case VMWare did the job very well. Sincerely, I am considering buying Workstation in the future.
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