Microsoft committed to Virtual PC for new Intel-based Macs, but when?

“Will the new Macs run Windows and Linux as well as Mac OS X? Will Microsoft support the booting of Windows on Apple’s new machines? Will Microsoft release a Mactel version of its Virtual PC product, letting Mac customers run Windows applications (and Windows) in a pane on the Mac OS X desktop? According to one source familiar with the Microsoft project, the Virtual PC team was caught flat-footed by the Wintel transition announcement late last spring. Much of the work relied on the Metrowerks’ CodeWarrior environment, and Apple has pushed its own Cocoa frameworks for Intel compatibility,” David Morgenstern writes for eWeek. “In addition, Apple has yet to provide developers with the deep hooks needed for such virtualization, the source said. Instead, Apple put its effort in the past year into getting Mac OS X to run on the Intel hardware and making sure its applications were also native—a strategy seen unfolding in Jobs’ demonstration on Tuesday. There were no crashes or problems with the software. It all worked as usual or better, given the increased performance.”

Full article, which also contains a nice history of multiple booting and the Mac OS on page 2, here.

“Microsoft executives said yesterday that the current version of Virtual PC for Mac will not run in Rosetta on the Intel Macs. The company’s Macintosh Business Unit, however, is committed to porting the emulator to the Intel Mac platform. Microsoft would not give a time frame, however, when it would release the product,” MacWindows reports. “The Intel version of Virtual PC for Mac holds out the possibility of running Windows with native-performance on a Mac, with the ability to access graphics hardware, while being able to run both OS’s at once and switch between operating systems on the fly. A source said that one of the performance bottlenecks of today’s Virtual PC, the translation of PowerPC and Intel calls, could be discarded on the Intel Mac.”

Full article here.

The current minimum system requirements for Microsoft’ Virtual PC are: A 700 MHz native (upgrade cards and accelerators are not supported) PowerPC G3, G4 or G5 processor.

More about Virtual PC here.

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  1. “Will Microsoft support the booting of Windows on Apple’s new machines?”

    Once again it’s irrelevant what Mafiasoft does or doesn’t do.

    If you really need to run M$ software on Intel, WINE, Codeweavers and others intend to provide this capability.

    Fsk M-Mess
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  2. bannerate, think about all those people who might switch to the Mac, but don’t because of the fear of not being compatible with work/school/friends, etc.? Those people will no longer have ANY reason to not buy a Mac as their next computer. Also, as many others have pointed out, many people NEED to use Windows because of specific applications that are not available on Mac OS X. Then there are the die-hard gamers who just can’t bring themselves to leave the hated Windows platform because they want to be able to play the latest and greatest PC games. For all of those people, the number one reason to NOT buy a Mac is no longer an issue.

    Let them buy a Mac in confidence and then a year later when they no longer touch Windows because they realize they can do everything they want with Mac OS X better and easier they simply erase VirtualPC and Windows off their hard disk.

    Some people may even buy new Macs purely for the hardware thinking they are going to run Windows most of the time, and only use Mac OS X for iLife and a couple of other neat apps. Again, a year later, they’ll be full blown Mac OS X users who hardly ever touch Windows except to play the occasional game or to access some web site that requires ActiveX.

    It’s a brilliant trojan horse.

  3. I use VPC because there are some programs that my office uses for which there is no Mac-compatible/readable version – specifically MSAccess Database. Until they completely move away from that program, I’m stuck. Thankfully, that’s the only thing that ties me to VPC, and it’s not gonna be long before I can get rid of it, but until it’s completely gone, it’s an albatross on my Mac’s neck.


    Phil did not say that, he said that they wouldn’t purposely prevent Windows from running. i couldn’t get much more out of that article, but it looks like they are simply restating what Phil said, not actually tried it yet.

    Wether the new firmware causes a problem with Windows booting is yet to be seen, but it’s definitely not there to keep Windows out, it’s meant to keep Mac OS X in. (from being installed on any PC)

    So once the hackers figure it out, it will be a cinch to boot Windows, although an app like WINE is better cause i won’t have to shut off the Mac side to get a stupid Windows app up.


  5. I hear people talk about hiw much they NEED to use Windows to do what they do, but the real issue isn’t needing Windows, it’s needing a specific application.

    I hear that all the time, I need Windows to run Excel, Word, my email…

    They need to be educated that Windows is an unnecessary element in the equation. Challenge them (nicely) as to what exactly the use WINDOWS for and they’ll likely not be able to tell you. Differentiate the OS from the app and then you can get them to see the light and feel comfortable about switching.

  6. BuriedCaesar I was also shackled to VPC last spring while working on a project for a lucrative client who used an esoteric Windows only app.

    It felt like I shed 100 lbs. and an old skin once I no longer had to deal with winblows and VPC.

  7. — and of course EVERYONE needs Mac if the only knew it — then this would be the ULTIMATE way to have both!


    Who wants to dual boot… when you can boot dual OSes at once?

  8. Hammer,
    You are sooooo right! Most people are virtual computer illiterates that throw around all sorts of bizarre, 15 year old facts about the Macintosh platform – none of which are true. The only way to get people to see the light of day is to educate them as to why their computing experience sucks as bad as it does on Windoze. Most people think it’s normal to have to reboot a computer every day, to get spyware and viruses, and to have applications freeze and crash all day long. In this case, ignorance isn’t bliss, it’s headache producing!

  9. If the Mac Business Unit at Microsoft finally ports Access and gives Entourage full Outlook/Exchange compatibility that’s 80% of the reasons people currently need Windows. The other 20% are niche apps in various markets such as AutoCAD, various medical software, etc. Christ I know people who are still running DOS apps.

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