This paper describes the traditional, sequential development environment and its shortcomings with respect to true concurrent hardware and software development and verification; outlines the concurrent development process and the use of virtual systems prototyping; describes a virtual systems prototype in depth; and shows how a virtual systems prototyping development process helps to ensure the business goals of maximizing time to market through platform-based design. The paper concludes with a look at several examples of projects that have benefited from the virtual systems prototyping development process.