I would like to run Windows 7 and Windows XP Pro on one single physical machine. My understanding is that there are various virtual machine software available that can handle this kind of integration (easily).
My questions are:
1) Would the implementation allow both Windows 7 and XP Pro to run simultaneously?
2) Would it be possible to hook up two sets of monitor/keyboard/mouse to the same physical computer and have the ability to have two users using the physical computer simultaneously (one on Win 7 and one on XP Pro).
3) If 2) is possible, does that mean the two users, one on Win 7 and one on XP Pro can be configured on the same network and share files just as if both users are on their own separate physical computer?
4) And a third user on a separate physical computer in the same network can access data on both the Win7 and Win XP Pro virtual machine?
5) The physical computer that I intend to use in this case has a six core Phenom II AMD CPU. Would the two virtual machines equally share the entire resource of the 6 CPU OR would the resource/performance on the physical computer has to be divided in half for both OS?
5-Depends on how you set it up
If you use a virtual machine on Windows 7 with something like Vitual Box you could use a USB input device and attach it to the virtual machine. XP mode is also based on Virtual Box so if you have Win 7 Pro XP mode is already configured for you. You would just basically drag that window to your second monitor and try to keep all the Win 7 stuff on the primary monitor. The only problem is, if the user on the host machine clicks on the XP VM or on it's taskbar icon then they will gain control of the input and it would be very annoying. Also, the XP machine is going to run alot slower in a VM and the host machine is going to get priority. You can set the XP machine to use two cores in Virtual Box, but I believe XP mode only uses one.
If you really want your PC to act as a second computer, then do yourself a favor and build a second computer.
If there is a relatively easy way to apply this concept without very advance technical knowledge, I'd do it right away. The unit with the AMD 1090T, I am using it as a home biz server for our online business, download orders, running the database, file back up, storage, in addition to my own personal computing use. This unit is currently under utilized and it should have enough CPU performance left to add another virtual machine over the physical hardware. This means I could run another business database on the virtual machine. Of course, building another relatively physical computer with capable performance won't cost that much these days, $500 would probably be enough. I will do some more research before I jump further into this project. Thanks for all the replies!