Friday, November 5, 2010

iCore brings powerful user account virtualization to Windows XP

iCore Virtual Accounts is a free software that creates isolated virtualized user accounts on your Windows PC within which other programs can run. These virtual accounts can be used as a sandbox program for safer browsing and installing and testing of new software.

Unlike other virtualization solutions, iCore Virtual Accounts does not emulate the hardware or creates virtual machines. Rather, it is an OS-level virtualization solution that creates isolated environments within the current operating system for running programs.

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The core of the product is OS-level virtualization, built on Microsoft Windows XP. iCore Virtual Accounts allows the creation of multiple isolated, secure virtual computers on a single physical computer. Each computer has full dedicated PC functionality with its own processes, files, and applications. Unlike other virtual machines, iCore virtual computers run applications with near-zero overhead.

icore-virtual-account

The software creates multiple virtual user account which can be logged into from the Windows logon screen, like normal user accounts. These user accounts are isolated from each other and each behaves like a separate Windows machine. Users are able to install software, save files, and customize their desktop. These changes remain contained to that account. A software installed on one account cannot be accessed from other accounts. Similarly files created and saved while logged into one account becomes unavailable from other accounts.

Each virtual account is assigned administrator status. However, the virtual computers file system actually only contains references to the actual files, hence it is impossible to damage the system files from the virtual account. Besides, once the host OS has been patched, those updates are immediately seen within each virtual account.

To switch from one virtual account to another, you can either use the Windows account logoff option from the start menu or use the easy ‘switch computer’ icon on the desktop or on the system tray. You can also press Win+1, Win+2 etc to quickly jump from one account to another.

iCore Virtual Accounts is an exceptional software that enables Windows user accounts to be kept totally separate from each other, with the kind of isolation not natively possible on Windows. If you are using Windows XP, I encourage you to try out this software.

The only let down is that iCore Virtual Accounts doesn’t support Windows 7 or Vista. It is only for Windows XP.

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