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.]

Related articles:
Microsoft license terms limit Vista virtualization to Vista Ultimate or Business versions – October 18, 2006


  1. I don’t think the proliferation of OS X via virtualization on low-cost hardware is any reason to expect loss of hardware sales for Apple. To the contrary, I DO think that widespread usage of OS X would actually boost Apple hardware sales to the point that those that want and could afford Apple quality would indeed purchase it, just as they do right now .. and those that couldn’t, wouldn’t .. just as they don’t right now.

    In short .. I don’t really think it would hurt sales of Apple hardware at all. I think it would help it and help it dramatically.

  2. Oh, and Chrissy?

    Before you start worrying about the potential tragedy of having to see Tiger on a Dell? You’ll never see Tiger running on my four year old $1500 dollar Apple computer either, sadly. That’s because the processor is so obsolete that it won’t even run iTunes or QuickTime correctly and I’m unwilling to add sufficient memory to accomodate Tiger under those circumstances, regardless of who thinks it would look appropriate on my Mac. I have about three grand invested in two not-very-old Apple computers and they are both obsolete. If I could upgrade the processor? Sure. But it’s not upgradable.

    So .. I DID pony up for Mac quality. Twice. And I’ll do it again if I can afford to. But quality doesn’t mean jack if everyday software won’t work on it after four short years. And none of this bunk about four years being an eternity in tech development time. I don’t buy that apologism.

    Right now? I’d take OS X Tiger where ever and how ever I could get it and I’ll still call myself a committed Apple enthusiast, too. Eh?

  3. gwm

    Strange I have a 3 year old PB that uses Tiger very well.

    I also have a more than 6 year old G4 Tower (Sawtooth) that runs Tiger too. I have upgraded the CPU to 1 GHz and added a larger drive, but even with the stock CPU it would work with Tiger.

    The PB cost $3K and the G4 tower cost $1600.

    Now maybe you bought a G3 ibook or G3 iMac. I can’t remember when Apple updated those to G4. I personally wouldn’t have chosen those because I knew G3 support would be limited in the not so far future. That’s why I dug in hard and paid for Macs with more current CPUs (even though the Swatooth was discontinued when I bought it).

    Always good to do your homework and work out whether what you are about to buy will have legs on it.

    MW “low” as in buying something for a low price doesn’t always save you money in the long term!!

  4. G3s, they are indeed. Both of them. I was new to computing. I didn’t know about EOL issues at the time.

    That said .. It seems unreasonable to expect the vast majority of people to be minutely informed about EOL pitfalls. Fifteen hundred dollar tools that the accessories stop working on after only a few years? C’mon, don’t jerk me, man. How do you think the bulk of world’s population is going to feel about that if they were to get a taste of it? You really think they would still say that they’d do it all again anyway, like I have said I would do? I doubt it.

  5. gwm
    You should be able to run Tiger, Quicktime and Itunes on your equipment. If you don’t have the RAM requirements, you can get 256mb for 29.00 or 512mb for 89.00 at

  6. Listen guys, I use Apple and nothing else at present. I’ve never owned or used a PC. But I’m no rube in a cubicle, so ease up with the half-truth apologisms and distortionist spin like a bunch of weasely politicians, ok? It’s unbecoming of Mac users to be doing that stuff.

    I spelled it out straight and you guys all know it. I don’t need to be told how some special G3 DVD ROM drive that didn’t come with my G3 at purchase would work like a champ. As for iTunes, which is dependent on QuickTime; G3s are now below official Apple minimum requirements for video functionality. That’s a fact. It’s also a published disclaimer on the iTunes webpages and you fellas know that.

    My support for Apple is strong, but I won’t be bullshitted and I won’t spread any misrepresentations, either. I call it straight, to the best of my ability.

    Thanks for your input, regardless.

  7. re: gwn’s comments

    I sympathize with your situation. I used my first Mac in 1986 at work–a 512k Mac. I couldn’t have used a computer at that time if it wasn’t for Mac (PCs were still mostly DOS). I became a lifelong Mac enthusiast. I wanted a Mac of my own o badly. I was finally able to afford a $1200 Mac Plus and Imagewriter in 1988. It was a stretch for me at that time, but I loved that machine even though I had to flop discs and there were a lot of things I couldn’t do with putting out more $$ for an external hard drive, etc. When rthe internet got popular, I was using Win 95 on a PC at work. I thought this works pretty well most of the time and in 1996, I wasn’t sure if Apple would even survive. So I bought my second computer, a PC running Win 95 for about $2K with a monitor and printer.I had to wait to I got a bonus at work to afford it. It had very good graphic capabilities and I was able to get on the internet, so I was quite happy about it. Still I lusted after a Mac. I did everything I could to make my PC as Mac-like as possible—changing the icons, installing the standard Mac fonts, etc. It looked somewhat Mac-like but still wasn’t the Mac-OS. Finally in 2004, I got a flat screen iMac, using my severence from a job to pay for it–about $2000+. For a lot of people its rally a stretch to afford a Mac. Even though its probably cheaper than a similarly-equipped PC. Yes, I promote Mac to my extended family members and co-workers, but I know that it would be a stretch for many of them. When I go into Best Buy or Circuit City and I see the sales person talking a new-to-computers customer into buying a eMachine or other piece of crap, I want to scream that I know a better machine. But I don’t because I know that’s all they’ll be able to afford. I still rankle over how expensive my Mac Plus was at the time, only to be superceded a short time later. Recently, my daughter got a money gift from her grandfather to get a computer—she’s going to get a MacBook, but I know she has no appreciation for how long I had to wait and save to get my first computer.
    So, yes, I certainly appreciate what gwm is saying. and I won’t look down on someone who would love to run Mac OS on a cheap Dell box.My computer expenditures are still lmited by my other expenses, though I’m better off financially than when I bought that first Mac. But I won’t forget how expensive it has been to be one of the Apple faithful use a computer with a decent OS.(I won;t forget my joy at having a computer with the best OS, either.)

  8. Thanks for the nod, jimd

    The good news is that it appears that we will probably become a single computer household sometime next year and that single computer is looking more and more likely to be a Mac. Which means that my wife’s PC would be the one that goes away, ultimately. The bad news? hmmm .. I guess there really isn’t any.

    Anyway, thanks again. Hopefully it’ll happen for us sometime before OS X 10.9 (sic). heh. Regardless and in the meantime, that CD drive G3 iMac is indeed the only computer that will be in use on my end of our desk. For sure. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

Reader Feedback

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