updated 09:30 pm EDT, Fri April 7, 2006
Future of VPC uncertain
Despite the release of Apple's Boot Camp technology, Microsoft says it is still debating the future Virtual PC as it continues to work with Apple to bring Intel-Mac compatibility to the emulation environment that allows users to run Windows, Linux, and other operating systems from within Mac OS X. "We are continuing to work with Apple on a possible next version of Virtual PC," Amanda Lefebvre, marketing manager for Microsoft's Mac Business Unit said. "We still don't have all the answers, but we are trying to understand what changes need to happen in their operating system and what changes we need to make." The company earlier this year publicly committed to developing an Intel-native version of its Office suite, Virtual PC was notably absent from the five-year Apple and Microsoft technology agreement, announced at the Expo in January.
Microsoft said that seamless compatibility with Mac OS X and the ability to run Windows without rebooting may provide the market opportunity for a revamp of the product. The company also notes that legacy PowerPC users may continue to demand a Windows emulation product.
In addition, the company said that the new Intel-based architecture will require substantially changes to the emulation environment, according to the report. "This is like building a brand new version for us," Lefebvre told MacCentral. "It's not just a new operating system, it's new hardware, too--this is a really big transition. It's hard to say right now what it will look like or when it will be."
Meanwhile, Microsoft told The New York Times that it welcomes the move by Apple to provide new "Boot Camp" technology. "Windows is a great operating system," a Microsoft statement said. "We're pleased that Apple customers are excited about running it, and that Apple is responding to meet the demand."