What is a Virtual Machine?

http://live.pirillo.com/ – A VM – Virtual Machine – allows you to run a, operating system inside of another operating system; for example, with Parallels you can run Windows inside of OS X, or with VMWare you can run Linux inside of Windows.

In the past Virtual Machines were limited to technical positions in companies, so programs could be run under multiple instances of operating systems, or for customer service technicians could debug a problem in another operating system when a machine with the specific Os was not installed.

In addition to allowing you to run Windows application inside OS X, virtual machines allow you to run programs in a "sandbox" environment, where you can test programs in a virtual environment before you run it on your main machine.

Microsoft acquired Virtual PC which runs on the Mac and Windows, but many people have complained that Microsoft has limited VirtualPCs use by only allowing people to run difference versions of Windows.

Chris considers VMWare to be the most powerful VM software, but it comes with a price. What makes VMWare so cool is the ability to switch between multiple virtual machines almost instantly.

Do you use VM software, or have any recommendations for running virtual machines?

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