VMWare, maker of the virtual machine environment of the same name, has signed an OEM agreement with Microsoft that lets VNWare distribute the Windows 2000 (Win2K), Windows 98 (Win98), and Windows NT 4.0 OSs with its product. With VMWare, users can run a second OS--such as Linux, Win98, or the Be OS--under Win2K/NT. For many users, VMWare offers numerous advantages over the typical dual-boot situation because the machine doesn't need to be rebooted to access the guest OS; you can simply run it as an application under Windows.

And, thanks to its new licensing agreement, VMWare will now offer a new version of its flagship product that ships with a Windows OS, providing Linux users with an easy way to run popular Windows applications. Called VMWare Ready to Run, the new product provides a virtual Windows environment without users needing to purchase Windows separately, configure an environment for it, and install it. With VMWare Ready to Run, Windows is ready to go out of the box.

"VMWare Ready to Run will let customers run Microsoft Windows as an additional OS without any of the pain of an install," says Dave Michaud, vice president of marketing for VMWare. "For Linux users who want access to Windows, this will mean a simpler out-of-the-box experience: They can simply copy the VMWare Ready to Run file to their hard drive, and be up and running in Win98, NT, or Win2K in a matter of minutes."

For more information, visit the VMWare Web site