This is an an update as to the progress I've made running Windows in VMware as a virtual Operating System. Originally, I was running a Windows XP, but decided to enlarge the area for storing files and installing software. So, I reconfigured and reinstalled a second version of Windows XP. (After speaking with Art Miller from the Freespire Forums via IMing), I decided to go with a larger virtual hard drive. So, I configured a 20 gig area to host the WinXP Virtual Machine.)
The big "must need" application for me is Quickbooks 2005. I use another product to help run certain Windows software programs called Crossover Linux. Quickbooks2005 will not install under Crossover Linux (or Wine), so getting it on the Windows Virtual Machine is a huge help.
Well, Quickbooks installed with no problem! I'm able to run the data file that we use at the main office. I bring this data file home to back-up on my own system. Once I'm in my hone studio system, I open my back-up drive in Linux and drag and drop the Quickbooks file to my shared folder (which Art helped me set up). This shared folder acts just as it would on a networked computer. It allows you to transfer files from Linux to Windows and vice-versa.
Directly from the shared folder, I can run the office data in Quickbooks and generate reports, print invoices, bills, etc. I can do everything in Quickbooks in Virtual Machine that I can do in a regular installation of Windows.
The next time I'm at home and need know sales numbers, etc., I don't have to boot into Windows on a separate Hard Drive. I can boot Virtual Machine, run WinXP, bring up Quickbooks, open the office data file, and give him all the info he requests. And I have access to all this data in less than one minute!
In addition, I was able to successfully install Power DVD Player in Virtual Windows. I can now play DVDs! The movies run quite smooth! it really is remarkable!
I also installed MSWorks due to having a database file I use. MSworks runs in Crossover, but will not save file info. It appears to run in a read only mode. With Virtual Machine, I can run MSworks, open files, create new files, save current files modifications, etc.
With VMware's Virtual Machine, you can run Windows on your Linux machine! It's easy to set up, easy to use, and just plain brilliant! Having Virtual Machine running Windows makes the move to Linux an easy one.