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I am new to this so couldn't really grasp what Joel and Jeff were talking about in one of their recent Stack Overflow podcasts. I recall Joel referring to Visual Studio doing all sorts of things with the OS and IIS and then he thought using a virtual machine may be a good solution. To this Jeff said yes but then they discussed the impact of such a machine on memory and performance.

Could some help me here and explain this. Also, if we do want to use a virtual machine, how can we setup one on Windows 7 (once it's out).

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'm hearing more and more developers opting for this setup, and on occasion have used it myself.

Essentially, you have your host OS, where you do your day-to-day work, and you work on a clean VM.

If something goes wrong, you don't have to re-install, just make a new copy of the VM.

This means you can have several versions of your software installed at once (on different VMs) and that all the developers have a standard build-target.

You can set this up with pretty much any virtualization software, simply install a client OS, and clone the drive image.

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I'm assuming that all our files are not part of the VM in this case? That we could switch from one VM to another (even discard an earlier one) and have all our files intact? – ymasood Sep 1 '09 at 11:40
With Virtual PC, you can add a drive letter in the virtual machine which is mapped to a folder on your real machine. Otherwise, if you don't copy your files out before you ask the VM to discard changes, you'd lose your code. – Martin Oct 21 '09 at 8:48
In my case, I develop on the main machine, and deploy on the VM. Either in the case of desktop applications via the installer, or, in the case of web-applications by a symlinked checkout of the repo. – salmonmoose Oct 26 '09 at 7:18

It is a virtual machine (VPC) demonstrating the newest Microsoft development environment under Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition SP2.
See this : "Visual Studio Team System Virtual Machine".

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