The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
Windows 7 beta version has been available for some months, and thousands of people have been testing it. In fact, I am one of those people. I can report that it works well. Now Microsoft is about to release what is called the "Release Candidate." In other words, this version is believed to be the same as the final version unless any last-minute show-stopper bugs are found.
The Windows 7 Release Candidate will stop working when the product starts appearing in stores. Anyone using the free release candidate version will have to purchase a commercial license in order to continue using it.
I wanted to install the latest Windows 7 beta version but did not have an available computer that I could dedicate to the task. I decided to use one of my existing computers and to also install virtualization software, which allows for running two or more different operating systems simultaneously. With virtualization software I can run Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Linux, OS/2, UNIX, and other operating systems. I can run at least two operating systems at the same time. Indeed, if I have enough memory and enough CPU power, I can run three, four, or more operating systems at the same time. I can switch between virtual systems with the click of a button.
These are not "dual boot" products that allow you to choose from different operating systems at boot time. They are true virtualization products that allow you to run multiple operating systems simultaneously. Use of any virtualization product is a great method of trying a new operating system without destroying the old one.
The process to do all this is surprisingly easy. Best of all, the required software is available free of charge.
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