How to install multiple operating systems (and programs) on the same Windows computer? The answer is simple: using a virtualization software.
Host: the name for the main operating system, where the virtualization software is installed.
Guest (Virtual Machine): the name for the virtual computer (operating system with programs).
After you install a virtualization program on your Windows computer (the host), you can use this virtualization program to install another operating systems (guests). The guests can have different programs and settings than the host.
These programs are smart and once you install a operating system, you don't need to install the drivers because the guest will automatically recognize and use the soundcard, internet connection, graphic settings, DVD-ROM, USB from the host machine.
These programs are used by the IT professionals to test different applications in different environments or even to test viruses. As a regular home user, you can use them for other purposes such as testing a new software to see if contains any virus or malware, to see how it looks another operating system without buying another computer and so on.
A computer has limited hardware resources and a guest machine can slow down the entire computer when the guest is powered on.
To achieve a higher performance:
Emulation Platforms It depends what operating systems you want to install on your Windows computer. The best programs support all new versions of Windows and , some of them, some versions of Mac OS.
Features Is useful to make backups (snapshots) for a guest machine in any state. For example, if you install some programs on a guest machine and you want to undo or uninstall them, just select a previous snapshot (backup) point instead remove them manually. Also, is important to transfer files between host and guest (virtual machine) with drag&drop, with copy or at least using shared folders. Not ultimately, is good to customize and change the hardware resources (CPU ..) for each guest.
Help & Support Virtual machine programs aren't very easy to use for beginners, so is important that these programs to provide a detailed documentation and an user forum, or at least a FAQ section.