August 7, 2006 1:30 PM PDT

Microsoft shelves its Virtual PC for Mac

Microsoft is putting a halt to a version of its Virtual PC software for Intel-based Macs.

The move comes after start-up Parallels introduced its own virtualization software for running Windows on a Mac, and VMware said Monday it plans to provide a beta version of Mac virtualization software later this year.

Messenger 6.0 for Mac

Apple also has its Boot Camp software, still in a beta testing version. Boot Camp allows Intel-based Macs to run either Windows or the Mac OS, but not both simultaneously.

In a statement on Monday, Microsoft said it "has made the decision not to move forward with a Universal version of Virtual PC at this time."

The software maker acquired the Virtual PC for the Mac line as part of its 2003 purchase of Connectix' Virtual PC and Virtual Server products. It still offers Windows virtualization products, though it has made the desktop version of Virtual PC for Windows a free download.

Because of how closely virtualization software is tied to an operating system, Microsoft said that moving Virtual PC to the Intel-based Mac would be "similar to creating a version 1.0 release."

"The (Macintosh business unit) still recognizes that customers need access to Windows applications from their Intel-based Macs and feels confident that alternative solutions offered by Apple and other vendors, combined with a fully packaged retail copy of Windows will satisfy this need," the company said.

Microsoft is moving ahead with its effort to bring a native version of Office to Intel-based Macs. It said that tens of millions of lines of code have been transitioned, but did not say when the product would be ready. It did say it would provide a free converter that allows the current version of Office for Mac to read the new XML formats being employed by Office 2007 for Windows, due to arrive early next year.

The company said the next version of the Mac Office will discontinue support for Visual Basic scripting. However, it will add better support for Mac scripting methods such as AppleScript and Automator.

Microsoft's first native software for Intel Macs is planned to be Messenger 6.0, set for release later this year. It will allow people using the instant-messaging software on the Mac to talk with those running Yahoo Messenger--a feature that has been added to Windows Live Messenger, but is currently not an option for Microsoft's Mac IM users. People will be able to share a message with buddies, as well as show which song they are listening to in iTunes.

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Those jerks -
They gave away VPC for Windows, claiming on their website that
"Virtual PC is now Free". I called them and asked why they weren't
giving away the Mac version, even though the VPC web page didn't
differentiate which version was free until users had registered for
the free download.

And now they've killed the product. Just like Microsoft's previous
behavior - if they can't copy, steal or buy it, they kill it.
Posted by Hep Cat (440 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Well they did buy it...
They bought it from Connectix. I'm not so sad VPC is dead on the
mac, VM Ware announced their upcoming solution, there's parallels
($$) and if you want to reboot there's boot camp (free).

What bothers me is they are dropping vbscript in office for mac,
not that I like vbscript, but that means office files are no longer
portable from pc to mac (and the other way around) if you wanted
to use scripting (mostly in excel) which i tend to do.
Posted by tcarreon (16 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft is doing Apple a favor, actually...
For those that depended on VPC for running Windows on their PPC
Macs this announcement will speed the switch to Intel Macs. This is
bad for PPC Mac users but good for Apple in the long run. OS 9 and
the Power PC are fast becoming distant memories. Never look back
because somebody might be gaining on you.
Posted by lkrupp (1608 comments )
Link Flag
VPC was always a day late and a dollar short...won't be missed.
As a VPC user on a PowerPC machine, I've got to say that it's always been a big disappointment. Its sales came only from the fact that it was the only way to run Windows on a Mac.

Now MS gets it both ways: no need to develop VPC, and they make an even higher margin selling full retail copies of Windows to Mac users. That's fine with me.
Posted by M C (598 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Good Riddance!!
It never performed the way it should to begin with anyway, but it
doesn't surprise me, being an MS Product, it usually takes them
awhile to get things right. Since Apple moved over to Intel, who
would want to use it anyway. So much more innovative
Virtualization software is coming out for Intel Macs, VPC has all
of a sudden lost its marketability. Parallels kicks ass. Bootcamp
kicks ass.

It was a smart move for MS to have discontinued it. For the
consumer it was crap to begin with.
Posted by ServedUp (413 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Please do not say bad words. Somebody there can get hurt!
Posted by benjiernmd (123 comments )
Link Flag
Messenger 6.0
no voice/video for it. let's hope Yahoo will speed up the
development for their messenger; and skype has video coming, i'll
ditch msn messenger for good.
Posted by wayland.ind (20 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I feel bad for Connectix...
Because half their work was just tossed to the compost heap by Microsoft.. But thats the risk you take when you sell out to the dark side...
Posted by steinah6 (21 comments )
Reply Link Flag
VB support is a very big deal.
You've totally missed the point here. By dropping VB support, MS is killing Apple. Without VB, MS Office is just OpenOffice. What's the point of having a Mac-compatible version without VB? There is NONE. OpenOffice is just as compatible (and more compatible with older versions of MS Office) except for VB.

The only rationale is that MS is protecting their turf. So they're crippling Office on the Mac. They've slowing been moving Mac office to the ghetto by changing features, and now they drop the bomb.

And I predict this will lead to more monopoly problems for MS, since their big rationale for Mac Office was basically to demonstrate that they're not leveraging one monopoly to support the other.
Posted by solomonrex (112 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why buy Mac if you're looking to use Windows?
Plain ole STUPID... er... sorry... Apple-ish.
Posted by kamwmail-cnet1 (292 comments )
Reply Link Flag
because some of us actually use our PC for work.
That was a stupid comment and typical of many Apple zealots idiot attitude. I own a MBP. I take it out on calls. I need to access to streets and trips with GPS to get to my calls. I also need access to SAP and IE 6 to access corp online tools. All of which CAN'T be run under OS X. Get a clue. Windows owns the corp environment.
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Link Flag
For one app
You might buy VirtualPC so you can run that one Windows app that doesn't have a Mac version and that your company makes you use at work. You may also use it to do things like check web pages in Windows browsers.
Posted by weberik (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Mac iChat & Yahoo does Video, why not Microsoft Messenger?!
Posted by libertyforall1776 (650 comments )
Reply Link Flag
why bother
Weird to see all the posts trashing Microsoft for poor software that has been rushed to market or copying someone else's efforts (and releasing for free) while at the same time criticizing Microsoft for deciding not release something that others are already doing. I think someone even praised Bootcamp.

Imagine if a piece of Microsoft software had the primitive UI and functionality of something like Bootcamp. Microsoft would very likely give it away and people would criticize it for being junky.

Look at all the free stuff you get from Microsoft, the majority of which works really well, and tell me again why they're bad for you as consumers.
Posted by Hardrada (359 comments )
Reply Link Flag
GREAT! Just what I was looking for...
Overpriced bloatware for overpriced hardware.

Can't wait 'til I rob a bank to be able to pay for it all...

And say, I could use some change... anybody got two fives for a fifty? ... How about selling me a Condo in the twin towers?

See there are lots of way to waste money!
Posted by qazwiz (208 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hi all, Just to let you know (I am a Newbie Mac owner after many years of PC) that Skype now has video as a Beta version. Works very well.

I am also a Newbie in this forum. Take care
Posted by ctengelen (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
It's funny how one sided the MAC conversations tend to be. I am new to MAC and one the first frustrations I ran into was the lack of software options, the cost of existing MAC software, and the boxed in feeling i have with my first G4. It is near impossible to get software products on the market that will run on the G4 one of which happens to be a decent VM platform.

I made the jump to MAC just to see what all the fuss was about. and from a G4 stand point I don't see much for MAC to brag about.

Having said that i do see a real potential for MAC to make the turn. i hope that with the new Intel MAC's we will see better customer support. Better stability when running multiple OS's and the ability to run a much wider range of software at affordable prices.

Windows XP has been around for nine years and with it comes backwards compatibility for almost every version of windows based software ever written. MAC has backwards compatibility as well but a windows PIII can run most of the software developed for the windows XP and even Vista. MAC seems to move forward and leave those of us with a year or two old system in the dust. I don't think that is good consumer practices and it baffles me why us MAC users have let them get away with it.

I am moving forward with a purchase of the MAC Intel Core DUO because it seems to be the only real option to run multiple OS. I have seen VMFusion in action running both 64 bit windows XP and 64 bit Windows Vista. It is very impressive.

Microsoft doesn't care about MAC and that is a good thing because it gives MAC the chance to repeat Microsoft's strategy to take over the work place. Microsoft started with 2% of the business market when NT was introduced and now resides at over 90% of the business market. With the MAC Intel there is a real chance for MAC to gain market share by offering the stability and speed of the MAC with the support of proprietary Windows based business applications.

The key is that VM supprt is a reality on the MAC which puts MAC in a great position. In fact seeing the MAC Core Duo in action running Windows is what convienced me to port over from a Mcrosoft based system to a MAC based system.

If you are looking for real VM capabilities you will need to move into the realm the MAC Intel Core Duo.
Posted by jimmysays1 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag

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