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Windows 7: Virtual PC - need to buy a separate Win 7 license?

11 Feb 2012   #1

Win 7 Pro x64
Virtual PC - need to buy a separate Win 7 license?

I have Win 7 Ultimate. Is my understanding of this correct:
  • if I want to use Windows XP in Virtual PC, I can download it and create a Win XP VM and that is free
  • if I want to create a Win 7 VM, I have to buy another Win 7 license

Is that correct? It really reduces the value of Virtual PC, honestly.

I know if I want to spin up a Win 7 VM in VirtualBox or VMWare, I need to buy a license, but I was hoping Microsoft allowed you to create free Win 7 VMs since you'd already paid for the host OS...apparently not

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Feb 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 - 64 Bit

Well are you using Windows XP Virtual PC Mode, which is probably why it is free.

To run Windows 7 inside Win7 in a VM you need to use VMWare or some other 3rd Party VM Software (which may also cost), yes you will need to buy a license.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center

First, let's correct that wrong information Infinite gave you above: Of course you can run Windows 7 guests on Microsoft Virtual PC. Absolutely no problems there, so you do not need any third party virtualization software for that.

You can install any edition of XP, Vista and Seven to a Virtual PC vm. Just remember that Virtual Application Feature (to run an application on guest directly from host Start Menu) is only supported on XP SP3, Vista Ultimate & Enterprise and Seven Ultimate & Enterprise guests. In other words, you can install for instance Vista Home Basic or Seven Starter to a Virtual PC vm but then the Virtual Application Feature is not available.

Then your original question. Yes, you will need a licence for a Windows 7 guest. A virtual machine is like any other computer; it needs it's own validation / licence, AV, firewall and so on. Windows XP Mode is a completely working, licenced XP SP3 which Microsoft is giving free for those running Windows 7 Professional or higher.

If you are running Windows Seven Home Basic or Premium, you can still download Virtual PC and install any edition of XP, Vista and Seven guest on it. Then you will need a valid licence also for XP guest. Here you will find instructions on how to install Microsoft Virtual PC on Seven Home editions.

Please remember Microsoft Virtual PC can only run 32-bit guests.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Virtual PC - need to buy a separate Win 7 license?

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