Apple VP comments on sale of Connectix Virtual PC to Microsoft

Microsoft Corp. today announced that they had acquired Connectix Corp.’s Virtual PC products, including Virtual PC for Mac, Virtual PC for Windows and Virtual Server. Microsoft has also hired many of the Connectix employees that worked on the products to continue development.

The future for Connectix, and for the products that Microsoft did not acquire, is somewhat unclear. For the next six months, the company’s main focus will be the “graceful transition” of the virtualization products to Microsoft…

In a statement released to, Apple spoke well of Microsoft’s move.

“Adding Virtual PC to its product portfolio is yet another example of Microsoft’s continued commitment to the Mac platform,” said Ron Okamoto, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. “Virtual PC has helped people who want to own a Mac but need to run legacy PC applications. We’re glad to see Virtual PC go into such good hands.”

Read SteveJack’s take on the matter in our Opinion Section here.


  1. I was shocked to hear of this news, but quickly saw it as a positivie move by Microsoft to transform itself and develop equally for the Mac platform. VPC has huge potential that has remained untapped. Given other recent announcements by Microsoft, I think the future is going to be very interesting and prosperous.

  2. Microsoft sells a copy of Windows every time someone buys VPC, and its environments and applications get used and promoted from a competing platform. This is not only a brilliant ploy regarding a front door into the Macintosh market; it is also a stealth move regarding the Unix/Windows interface.

  3. Disclaimer: the following is the description of a bad dream I had while having read the story and taking a quick nap after lunch.

    I think this means MS will eventually release Windows XP:mac at around $399, which in essence could “hijack” Apple hardware (bypass OS X) and enable it to run any wintel application with a lesser penalty in speed and compatibility. Since they control the OS and (now) the emulator, they should be able to do a far better job than Connectix ever did. Why would MS care? It means 100% of the computers out there would be able to boot their OS and run their software which means even more money to Mr. Gates empire. This is another way for MS to have a “legal” monopoly in the OS business. Things should get interesting in the coming months. Whether this is good or bad for Apple, well… stay tuned. Talk about “think different” deja vu.

  4. Consider this:

    Maybe Microsoft is so scared sh*tless of OS X and all the promise it has in the future–particularly when it gains additional hardware speed advantages–that it is hedging its bets as THE platform of choice.

    They can then run all their MS Crap in emulation via VPC on OS X after Apple conquers the world. After all, they only have 2 main hardware competitors now: Dell and HP.

  5. Well, That’s what I thought first, Microsoft would stop the development of this product. One reason they are shit scared of OS X. But I’m thinking it’s bad either way. Microsoft may have a few tricks up their sleeves. Apple will need to watch it’s back.

  6. You Mac users remember Bungie?

    Getting together with my Mac buds, drinkin’ beer, playing networked Marathon. Way before the common WinTel lemmings could even figure out how to network their PeeCees.

    Freedom to assimilate… f ms

  7. Worst case scenario:
    Microsoft does such a great job with Virtual PC for Mac that more and more crossplatform developers decide to develop only Windows versions that run seamlessly on Macs. Microsoft complains that not enough Mac users are buying Office so they decide to drop the OS X version. Mac users become used to Windows and decide to upgrade to PC hardware. Could Virtual PC become too good?

  8. Connectix kills off Softwindows, then releases crap (VPC 5), now we may just end up with no choices. Hopefully if MS doesn’t want to continue the product for Mac (like Frontpage, or Project, or Foxpro, or Halo) then they will sell it.

  9. “Adding Virtual PC to its product portfolio is yet another example of Microsoft’s continued commitment to the Mac platform,” said Ron Okamoto, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. “Virtual PC has helped people who want to own a Mac but need to run legacy PC applications. We’re glad to see Virtual PC go into such good hands.”

    You’ve got to be kidding me right? Nice quote. That looks like an interesting way to say, “Oops, we should have bought those Connectix guys a while ago, we better make this look like we don’t care.” I can’t Apple didn’t buy these guys forever ago.

  10. When reading this news the first thing that comes to mind is that Sony bought the Virtual Games Station software from Connectix years ago and stopped any further development of it. The signals from Microsoft are more positive because they are making a point that the software will continue to be offered for OS X. I imagine that with graphics hardware acceleration Virtual PC can become a means of playing Direct X games on the Mac. At the very least I hope Virtual PC is re-written as a Cocoa application because version 6 is nothing but a Carbon re-hash.

  11. Tom Hofheinz’s post is the most clear-eyed of the bunch. Microsoft is not Dell. They sell SOFTWARE and cold care less what platform it runs on. All you fellow Mac whores thinking that this is the end of VPC for the Mac need to get out of the bunker for a second. MS doesn;t need to do that, whereas Apple, with it’s need for hardware sale$ will kill FCP’s predecessor’s Windows support and logic Audio for Windows support without blinking an eye. So, you tell me who’s got the worse track record of killing competitive platform support?

    I bet that, once the boys down at the MBU get their hands on it, they’ll kick ass with that thing! And on the subject of the MBU, I gotta say that they have done some excellent work over the past five and counting years. Come on. Think back to how it was with Word 6 and IE 4… and there was NO Remote Desktop of OS X, either. It pains me to say this, but ya gotta give credit where credit’s due, boys.

  12. I think most everybody is missing the big part of this story, use your head and follow along.
    For Microsoft:
    1)VPC is based on virtual machine technology, which will prove more valuable to MS in the long run than anything related to Windows vs Mac. Note that MS also hired many of the people in the VPC development team. Microsoft is really concerned with the inroads that LINUX has made in the corporate world, and LINUX, like Mac OS, is based in UNIX. It would take very little to apply the VPC program to LINUX, which MS will do either as a standalone product or through integration into it’s own software. Why develop when you can buy?
    2) MS will now largely control how the Windows platform is integrated with the MacIntosh through 3rd party apps. If you were MS you would want to also.
    For Apple:
    1) Apple is now in the process of “liberating” it’s platform from dependence on MS software, something they should have done a long time ago. Remember, the DOS for the Apple II was written on contract by Microsoft. In addition, Apple has largely resolved the problems associated with networking and cross-platform sharing. If Apple is confident that they are largely “fixed”, why invest in a product that will not be needed much longer.
    2) VPC is at it’s core an Intel processor emulator & if future Apples are based on Intel chips as has been rumored, the need for VPC goes away. Why buy what you do not need?
    3) Apple’s software people have a VERY full plate right now , and do not need the expense in people & money maintaining a program with a very small user base. The Mac BU of Microsoft can handle this much more easily than can Apple.
    Steve Jobs & the team at Apple know what they are doing, get on board. The first couple of years after his return have been spent undoing years of mistakes and transitioning to OSX in the toughest tech economy ever. Now that we have the finest OS out there they are in the process of making it fly.

  13. David Gregory has some good points, but there is no way in hell that Apple will go x86. Of this I am certain. It’s PPC all the way, and it’s IBM’s 64 bit PowerPC 970 to the rescue. They need the hardware divide to maintain exclusive availability of Mac OS on THEIR hardware offering$, and the Mac software industry would have a heart attack if they had to NOW port over to x86.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.