I want to install Windows on VirtualBox on my Ubuntu laptop to be able to run some Windows applications. However, I'm not sure which Windows version I should install to get the best performances. I'd like the guest OS to be lightweight and fast booting. I hesitate between Xindows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8 (I have access to licences for all those versions). Should I install 32 or 64 bits version? What are the pros and cons for each choice?
closed as not constructive by Karan, BinaryMisfit, Nifle, Dennis, Renan Feb 18 '13 at 12:16
As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.
Your question is likely too broad for a one-size-fits-all answer. "Performances" vary based on input and desires for output. Optimizing for fast booting is only wise if you plan to boot often. I'm going to guess that's not a planned likely scenario for you. Asking for the pros and cons of each choice is asking a lot for not much gain. None of the choices are abjectly horrible.
For most situations, I would install XP for the general case of "to be able to run some Windows applications" in a vm. Newer versions offer more than you need for the task and KISS applies, as ever. 32-bit XP is still the most widely installed version of Windows in the business world. Things have a higher chance of just working how you'd expect. If you find you want something that another Windows version has, cross that bridge when you get to it. I doubt you're limited to one vm :)
Roll up your sleeves and dig in. Have fun!