Two new fresh copies of Windows XP SP2 are available as free downloads straight from Microsoft. This is, of course, not the first time when the Redmond company managed to come up with such an offering. In fact, Microsoft is making quite a tradition out of the practice of giving out free copies of Windows XP, destined for testing purposes. Both copies of the operating system have already been activated, so users need not worry themselves with such a detail.
In combination with the virtualization component, which in this case is Virtual PC 2007, Microsoft has dropped two Internet Explorer Application Compatibility VPC Images, at the end of the last week. Pete LePage, Product Manager, Internet Explorer, Developer Division, has uploaded the images to the company's servers as early as December 5. Both downloads are addressed at web developers that need to test websites on Internet Explorer 6, as well as on Internet Explorer 7. In this regard, IE6_VPC.EXE weighs in at 485.0 MB while IE7_VPC.EXE is 471.1 MB.
The two images have already been optimized for running inside Virtual PC 2007. "VPC Hard Disk Image for testing websites on IE on Windows XP SP2", reads the brief description from Microsoft of the downloads. "VPC hard disk images containing a pre-activated Windows XP SP2, and either IE6 or IE7 and the IE7 Readiness Toolkit. You will need a minimum of 1.5 Gig hard drive space free to expand the VHD file".
As it was the case with the past offerings, the latest examples of Internet Explorer Application Compatibility VPC Images are also time bombed. The expiration date has been set for April 1, 2008. Up until this point, Microsoft has been refreshing the offerings upon expiration, this being the reason of the latest releases, and it is probable that the company will continue to do so in the future.
The two Internet Explorer Application Compatibility VPC Images are available for download via this link.