Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 Virtual PC images will expire November 1, 2007. This is four months earlier than the VPC version of the software was set to expire. Microsoft is encouraging anyone with projects saved on a VPC to back them up and save them elsewhere.
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"Since the timeout is at the OS level, we cannot automatically extend the timeout period," Jeff Beehler, lead program manager on Visual Studio Team System, wrote in a blog entry entitled VS2008 Beta 2 VPCs expiring prematurely. "As such," he added, "we are currently in the process of reissuing the VPCs and expect to make them available early next week."
In a subsequent blog entry, Update on expiring VS2008 Beta 2 VPCs, Beehler described how he emulated the timeout experience and revealed what he had learned.
Basically, he wrote, the VPC will run for an hour after the expiration, throw up a message box notifying the user that the VPC has expired, and run for another hour before rebooting. "As far as I can tell, I could repeat that cycle as many times as I wanted," Beehler indicated.
"For some, like those using the VPC for demo purposes, this may be a tolerable situation and no additional action will be required," he continued. "For those that need to use the VPC for longer than two hours at a time, you can upgrade your installation of the OS as long as you have a valid license for Windows Server 2003."
Based on his evaluation, Beehler found three options -- doing nothing, upgrading to a fully licensed operating system version, or using new VPC images that are now available on the Visual Studio 2008 Downloads page under the heading "VPC Images with Pre-installed Software."
For those pursuing the last of the three options, Beehler said the MSDN document Moving Team Foundation Server will assist with the project deployment process.