Why exactly would running Windows VMs be so difficult? In actuality it would be quite a bit easier, if all of the workstations are running the same configuration. You setup the Windows VM as needed and then deploy it out to each machine. Or heck, you get the students to do the work for you. I've found knowing how to find your way around Virtual Box to be a very useful skill as a developer and this is something the students should really learn about. It's so easy to do work on a variety of different projects with vastly different system requirements by using VMs. I do work on VMs ranging from Windows 7 to Windows Server 2012 and almost everything between at work with very little difficulty in setting up the VMs (both with VirtualBox and RDC in Windows to a cloud based VM). A lot of it boils down to knowing how to manage and deploy your VMs, or hiring a company to help if this is not your expertise.