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Difference Between VMWare Workstation and Virtual PC

computer1VMWare Workstation vs. Virtual PC

The VMWare Workstation and Microsoft Virtual PC are two desktop applications, that allow users to run other operating systems, in virtualized environments. The Workstations are from VMWare, an established virtualization company, while Virtual PC is a product of Microsoft. You can see outright that the major difference between the two is the price. VMWare workstation sells at $189 if you download it from their site, or $199 if you buy it packaged. Virtual PC is free for downloading and usage from the Microsoft site.

Aside from the price, there are also other aspects where the two differ. Virtual PC is very user friendly and requires very little configuration from the user. VMWare workstation is a little bit more complex and difficult to configure. Although this might not be an issue with advanced users, beginners would surely be attracted to Virtual PC. Sound is easier to enable on Virtual PC than on VMWare. Getting sound on VMWare has been a problem for a very long time.

VMWare has been around much longer compared to Virtual PC, and it is better in terms of reliability. A lot of the bugs in the software have been ironed out through years of development. When it comes to features, VMWare has a lot more to offer than Virtual PC. This is due, in part, to Microsoft’s efforts to streamline and simplify Virtual PC to make it easier for beginners to use. You cannot find features like the snapshot manager in Virtual PC, but it’s available in VMWare.

VMWare beats Virtual PC when it comes to performance, as several benchmarking software has proven. We can attribute this to the longer time that VMWare developers had to optimize their software. The VMWare workstation is able to take advantage of dual core processors, something Virtual PC cannot achieve. Although the host operating system running Virtual PC can make use of both cores, the guest operating system is not able to achieve this. Using dual core processors on the Virtual PC host allows the user to host more guest operating systems, or to use the host while the guest operating system is running.


1. Virtual PC is free, while VMWare workstation costs at least $189.

2. Virtual PC is easier to use compared to VMWare.

3. Virtual PC supports sound, while VMWare has a lot of sound issues.

4. The VMWare workstation is a more mature software compared to Virtual PC.

5. VMWare has a lot more features compared to Virtual PC.

6. VMWare performs better compared to Virtual PC, although they have the same hardware.

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