I'm a programmer, and am about to upgrade to a new Windows 7 machine (quad, 4GB). Problem is some of my dev tools (e.g. PowerBuilder) do not support 7. I'm thinking about using either XP Mode or VMware as the dev platform for such tools. I've never used 7 or VMware, and have wondered:
- Is there a difference in terms of performance between XP Mode and VMware? Dev tools are heavy, and I'd like to get as much as possible from the hardware (couldn't care less about graphics, though).
- Is there a difference in terms of interaction with the main machine?
- If I'll be using VMware, I'd love to have several images I can load - development tools, clean OS install, some servers etc. They don't have to run concurrently - each is for a different task. Can this be somehow done with XP Mode?
- Can single files be accessed from the main machine (for backups or so) in either XP Mode or VMware? From Jeff Atwood's recent story I understand that backing up VMware is tricky. Is it the same with XP Mode? (I do use source control, but still)
Bottom line: is using a virtual machine to run my main development platform a good idea?