The Virtual PC download of Visual Studio 2008 “Orcas” has been great. No install. No chance of corrupting your current Visual Studio 2005 install. It just works and allows you to play with the early bits in a virtual environment. That’s one of the things that virtualized environments excel at. The Virtual PC images were timebombed to prevent their use in perpetuity. Now for the bad news… Microsoft originally announced that the timebomb date was March 15, 2008. In actual fact, it is November 1, 2007. After that, you’ve got a few options as detailed on Jeff Beehler’s blog post:

  • The VPC will reboot every 2 hours due to the Windows license being expired. Move your data somewhere else or make sure your demos are less than 2 hours.
  • Upgrade the Windows Server 2003 guest OS to use a non-trial license, such as from a MSDN Subscription. (Details in Jeff’s article above.)

None of these situations is ideal, especially for those without MSDN Subscriptions. Hopefully we’ll get the next Visual Studio 2008 beta in the near future.