Microsoft to give away software to enable multiple operating systems

“Microsoft, accelerating its efforts to convince European lawmakers that it is changing the way it does business, said Tuesday it will give away software that will enable computers to run multiple operating systems at the same time,” Kevin J. O’Brien reports for International Herald Tribune.

O’Brien reports, “Georg Greve, president of the Free Software Foundation Europe, said he had not seen the details of Microsoft’s giveaway but cautioned against assuming that it was motivated only by pragmatism or a new spirit of cooperation. ‘If Microsoft were doing this for altruistic reasons, it would be a first,’ Greve said. ‘I think they are probably trying to get more machines on the Windows platform, and they may also be trying to improve relations in Brussels.'”

“Microsoft said it was relinquishing all license claims on the new software, Virtual Hard Disk Image Format, which will allow computers running on rival products like Apple’s OS X or Linux, its chief competitors in operating systems, to simultaneously run Windows,” O’Brien reports.

O’Brien reports, “According to the research firm International Data Corp., there will be about 500,000 computers, mostly servers, running dual operating systems by the end of the year. That number is expected to explode to 1.5 billion by the end of 2009. Three Microsoft competitors — International Business Machines, Sun Microsystems and Apple [Boot Camp]— already offer similar software.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Matt M.” for the heads up.]

[UPDATE: 1:19pm EDT: After re-reading the article, we modified the headline, removed the extraneous note and edited/removed comments that might have been confusing after our changes were applied.]

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27 Comments

  1. Am I missing something here??

    Where in the article does it mention running Mac OS X on another computer?

    Here is what it says:

    “Microsoft said it was relinquishing all license claims on the new software, Virtual Hard Disk Image Format, which will allow computers running on rival products like Apple’s OS X or Linux, its chief competitors in operating systems, to simultaneously run Windows.”

    So it seems to me that this software allows Windows to be run on pretty much any computer. The article doesn’t say that this software can be used to run Mac OS X or Linux on any computer.

  2. This is an interesting announcement especially when taken with the news that they won’t let you use Vista Home edition in virtualization.

    I’m not quite sure I understand how this software works though. Is it similar to Boot Camp in that it allows you to put Windows on a Mac, or is it the opposite, letting you put Mac OS X on a PC? It seems to me they’d need Apple’s cooperation (or at least consent) to do that. I doubt that they’d get either.

  3. “[…] which will allow computers running on rival products like Apple’s OS X or Linux, its chief competitors in operating systems, to simultaneously run Windows […]”

    Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but to me this says that it lets you install Windows on other computers that would not normally run Windows (and to me this implies that it might be possible to use this software to install Windows on PPC-based Macs–but that’s probably wishful thinking). I don’t see where it says that it lets OS X run on Windows computers.

  4. OK, after MDN’s edit, I get it. It’s essentially like Boot Camp. Like anyone is gonna trust Microsoft’s version when they can use Boot Camp or whatever shape it will take in Leopard. This is strictly political.

  5. Don’t anybody start any breath-holding here. You will NOT be able to run OS X on a “dirt cheap, upgradable box”. It will *NEVER* happen. Apple has proven time and time again that they want to sell you hardware, not software.
    Besides, if I saw Tiger running on a crappy Dell, I wouldn’t be able to type through the tears and spasms.
    Jeebus. Pony up and buy a nice computer for once in your life. Would you drive a brand new $500 car made in North Korea?

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