VirtualBox, as the name suggests is a powerful virtualisation tool which in lay man’s term means installing the second OS within your existing OS. VirtualBox is a feature rich tool that can not only be used by home users but can be easily and deployed in an enterprise setup. VirtualBox is very light in weight and is available for all platforms which include Mac, Windows, Linux and of course Solaris.
One would find it difficult to understand the reason why VirtualBox is included in the Mac Essentials list. The main reason on including VirtualBox in this list is because of the fact that many a times you come across an application that requires a specific OS to run it on. This is especially true and critical when this software is deployed by the company you are working for and wants you to use it to carry out certain tasks. On the other hand, if you are a developer, VirtualBox is a must have, purely for the reason that you can test your application that you’ve created on all OS on the same machine rather than owning one machine per OS. This makes life much easier for you to operate from any location of your choice instead of being confined to one location that has all facility.
VirtualBox is a Sun Microsystem product and that is why it is freely available as an open source software under the GNU General public license. You can install a large number of guest OS on VirtualBox on any of the platforms mentioned above. The guest OS include Windows (NT 4.0, XP, 2000, Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7), DOS 3.x, Linux (2.4 & 2.6), Solaris and OpenSolaris, OS/2 and OpenBSD.
VirtualBox is constantly upgraded by the developers and there are new features that are constantly added to the software. VirtualBox does not support resource intensive 3D games yet, but for normal usage like office, internet etc it is more than sufficient. With recent upgrade of VirtualBox to 4.0 it has now included the support for modern operating systems (64 bit OS) which runs as smooth as it would on a dedicated hardware.
VirtualBox is available for free at link below
Click here to Download VirtualBox