Microsoft is providing a free virtualized copy of Windows XP SP2 to assist developers in migrating IE6 applications to IE7. However, it will only work until April 1, 2007.
The time-limited Virtual PC image would come with a pre-activated copy of Windows XP SP2, Internet Explorer 6, and the Internet Explorer 7 Readiness Toolkit. Microsoft says that the solution is the only supported method for running both versions of the browser side-by-side.
Workarounds to permit the two versions to work on the same machine are available, however are difficult to implement and sometimes cause either copy to operate differently had they been installed on separate machines. Microsoft says it will not provide support for those installations.
Microsoft made Virtual PC 2004 a free download in July of this year with the release of Service Pack 1. The company also said it would make Virtual PC 2007 freeware along with providing support for Windows Vista.
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