As the question states, can you run windows 7 RC on a virtual machine? If so, is it pretty straight forward? Even better, is there a pre-prepared image available?
Yes you can. If your VM software doesn't already contains Windows 7 experimental support, choose Windows Server 2008 as the OS you are going to install.
It installs simply and works well on the VM software I've tried. Only thing is Aero probably won't work.
You may be able to find a pre-prepared image, but there is no official image.
The latest version of Sun's VirtualBox supports Windows 7, both 32 and 64 bit. I installed the 64 bit RC in a VM running on a Windows 7 64 Beta.
Windows 7 runs happily on VMWare Workstation and VMWare fusion. You do however need to set the OS on the VM to being Server 2008
I am also running Windows 7 RC x86 (and was running Windows 7 Beta x86) under VirtualBox 2.x.
Does on both ESX 3.5U4 and 4.0
I can confirm it works fine on both Virtual PC 2007 and Hyper-V 2008 windows server.
Works fine on XenServer.
My friend uses beta as his home system and he tells it's much better than Vista...