I knew VMWare Player was released, but I’d been using VMWare Workstation and so I had no need to look into it.
It turns out many people have found interesting ways to “extend” its functionality.
Here are some instructions for creating a Windows XP guest.
Installing VMWare Tools with VMWare Player is a good idea, for it allows things such as drag-and-drop from the host to the guest. Here’s a program that lets you mount ISO images as drives under Windows XP.
Here is a pre-installed Debian net install.