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For a new development task, I will have to use Microsoft Windows (I haven't used Windows for several years). Normally, I run different applications in several virtual machines. With Windows this doesn't seem to be feasible, because you would need a license for each machine and I'm not willing to buy several licenses.

How do you separate applications on your Windows machines in order to avoid reinstalling frequently?

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You can use virtualization software like Sandboxie...

Sandboxie runs your programs in an isolated space which prevents them from making permanent changes to other programs and data in your computer.

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You can even run sandboxie within a VM such as Virtualbox - there are a few howtos if you do a bit of Googling – Linker3000 Jan 19 '11 at 21:06

A few discussions on the 'net argue that multiple VMs of Windows running on the same hardware are legit but the Microsoft EULA will always win the argument so read carefully.

Apart from buying multiple copies of Windows, there's a few less-than-ideal options:

  • Windows 7 Ultimate and Windows 7 Enterprise let you also run a Virtual copy of XP that you can just download and install - but make sure you have enough RAM (> 4GB) or it runs very s-l-o-w-l-y
  • WINE on Linux can run quite a few Windows apps, but it's not exactly a good 'model' of Windows to develop against.
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Windows XP Mode isn't limited to just Windows 7 Ultimate:… – joeqwerty Jan 19 '11 at 21:52
Thanks for spotting that - answer edited. – Linker3000 Jan 20 '11 at 0:57
Glad to help... – joeqwerty Jan 24 '11 at 17:55

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