In my last blog entry I described how you can use Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 to help test various software configurations. You can also use Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 for configuration testing. As a very general rule of thumb, Virtual PC 2007 is intended to host desktop OSes like Windows XP and Windows 2000, and Virtual Server 2005 is intended to host server OSes such as Windows Server 2003. However, I have experimented with many different combinations of host and guest OSes on both Virtual PC 2007 and Virtual Server 2005, and haven’t run into any problems. In the screenshots below, I have a physical host machine which is running Windows Server 2008, and I install a virtual guest machine which is running Windows Server 2003. Notice that Virtual Server 2005 uses a Web-based interface instead of a Form-based interface like that used by Virtual PC 2007. Also, Virtual Server 2005 has a fully scriptable interface (although I’m not sure exactly what you can automate yet). Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualization product will ship later this year. I see Hyper-V as a successor to Virtual Server 2005.