It would be good to run both Windows vms and linux vms. Early use would be maintaining multiple Windows installs using only one desktop computer with plenty of cores and memory. I would be starting with a Windows host, but probably later switching to a linux host after i learn more about linux.
Free is good, but reliability and ease of use are better.
What is the current Slashdot choice for a vm beginner:
vmware, zen, virtual box, etc. ???