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Microsoft working with Apple on future of Virtual PC

post #1 of 94
Thread Starter 
Just days after renewing its commitment to develop Office for the Mac, Microsoft revealed that it is also working with Apple to bring Virtual PC to its new Intel-architecture.

According to MacNN, Microsoft said any new version of the Windows emulation application would have to be developed from the ground up for Intel-based Macs because the software is not compatible with Apple's Rosetta emulation environment.

Microsoft reportedly plans wait for receipt of the first shipping machines to better evaluate Virtual PC for Intel Macs as well as determine a release date for Office and Messenger for Intel Macs.

"Virtual PC 7 remains the top emulation software for Mac PowerPC users. However, applications like Virtual PC that are highly dependent on the OS will not run under Rosetta," said Roz Ho, General Manager of Macintosh Business Unit (Mac BU) at Microsoft.

"These types of products require a dedicated team and a lot of work to rebuild them for an entirely new architecture. That said, we know that using Windows-based applications on Macs is important to our customers, and were working with Apple to figure out the best way to bring this technology to Intel-based Macs. Well have a better idea once we have the new machines and can accurately evaluate just what is required to transition the product."

The company also said that the Universal Binary transition may affect the timing of the next release of Mac Office and Mac Messenger. Although it plans to deliver Entourage and Messenger updates in March, they will not be universal binaries.

"We typically deliver new versions every two to three years, as this timeframe is when the majority of customers are ready for new productivity software. Moving to universal binaries will naturally impact our schedule, but were dedicated to bringing Office for Mac and Messenger for Mac to customers and making sure we deliver the highest quality products. Well know just how much the schedule will need to shift as soon as were able to fully test our current and forthcoming solutions on Intel-based Macs," Ho added.

She said the Mac BU will focus on file format compatibility -- the primary conern of its users -- by delivering new XML file formats and improving the layout engines and graphics. Additionally, Ho said the Mac BU will work with Apple to identify new technologies that will benefit its customers.

Earlier this week, Microsoft both vowed to deliver new versions of Office on the Mac for the next five years and announced that it has halted development of Windows Media Player for the Mac.
post #2 of 94
I really hope this improves Virtual PC's stability, usefulness and performance - it would be great to one day be able to open Windows applications transparently, without a major performance hit. Think maybe something like Rosetta?

Though I think their operating system needs some work (I'm actually typing on it :/ but I have to) Microsoft has great potential in Mac software. I mean, while Office is pretty good for the PC, it's amazing on a Mac. Virtual PC could be great one day with Microsoft's help.

I think also that this could help get many switchers - most PC users do admit that Macs have a sexy and nice OS. There's no reason NOT to switch if they could run most applications on Virtual PC! (Maybe I could get my parents or grandmother to switch - on my dad's PC, it takes well over three minutes to open Word! And my grandmother's PC is seven years old now - it has a 3GB hard drive and she's always calling asking why she doesn't have any space.)



EDIT: MODS: Please delete the comments from Robin Hood's to melgross' second comment. It'd be nice if readers could actually see comments that have to do with the article :P
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post #3 of 94
You are a waste of space.
post #4 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by Robin Hood
You are a waste of space.

dude, wtf warranted that?
When you're lovers in a dangerous time,
You're made to feel as if your love's a crime.
Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.
Gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight.

-...
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When you're lovers in a dangerous time,
You're made to feel as if your love's a crime.
Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.
Gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight.

-...
Reply
post #5 of 94
Quote:
dude, wtf warranted that?

lol i think he's one of those militant extremist mac fans. facists!
post #6 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by rok
dude, wtf warranted that?

He might've seen my post before I edited it.

I was going to write a long post, but I had a sentence down, and I accidentally hit submit.


Edit: If there's a mod nearby, we should probably just delete this thing from Robin Hood to here so people can see the real comments.
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post #7 of 94
Quote:
He might've seen my post before I edited it.

if this guy saw ur post BEFORE you edited it, what the hell did you say that was worse than callling him a waste of space! lol
post #8 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by nay_acharya
if this guy saw ur post BEFORE you edited it, what the hell did you say that was worse than callling him a waste of space! lol

I said something about my second post and that was it.

I really meant to write more.

It's true he shouldn't have been so mean, but he did have a point. Most people want to see an informative post rather than spam.
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I'm stuck using a PC right now. Dx
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post #9 of 94
Some of the statements in the article are strange. MS has had developer systems as long as anyone else has, But the article makes it sound as though they could hardly get started until they had these new machines in their hands.

Virtual PC should be halfway there by now.
post #10 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by nay_acharya
if this guy saw ur post BEFORE you edited it, what the hell did you say that was worse than callling him a waste of space! lol

You seem to have it backwards.

Robin Hood called HIM "a waste of space".
post #11 of 94
yea its a good point. But since IE is now gone (whats IE i hear you cry! lol) and now WMP, i dont see much of a prioratising stratergy by MS for apple software!
post #12 of 94
ahhh
Quote:
You seem to have it backwards.

Robin Hood called HIM "a waste of space".

ahhh so right you are! i am sorry! its 2:40am over here and i just took my glasses off! lol

sorry dude! i love you all!
post #13 of 94
OK, that was amusing

As for VPC, it's on my "buy" list unless something better comes out sooner.

* Windows on virtualized hardware means no Windows virus can decide to reformat my Macs' HD! I like my OS X security the way it is

* No rebooting means I can use Mac and Windows app TOGETHER.

* Intel CPU means VPC can now be full speed, or close enough for me.

The only reason I truly need Windows is for occasional testing of apps and web stuff I create, so I can wait until VPC comes out. My ActualPC will serve until then.
post #14 of 94
Well here's hoping we finally get 3d graphics/full Direct X support so that games can run under VPC on the intel platform.

Either that or work via virtualization technology which Intel's chips support at the hardware level to run both OS X and VPC at the same time. In that way, VPC could simply transition to the services needed to allow generic Intel based Microsoft OS's to run alongside OSX but with full native access to the hardware layers (including full use of the Graphics card) to give native execution speed.
post #15 of 94
I hope VMWare is looking at the prospects of Virtualization on OS X.

The more choices the merrier.
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He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
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post #16 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
I hope VMWare is looking at the prospects of Virtualization on OS X.

The more choices the merrier.

Yes, there's nothing like choices. Hopefully, it will make them all better for it.
post #17 of 94
For how I feel about the MacBU see this post.

It's totally inexcusable that there has been access to Intel developer kits for months now and that nobody has even began coding a new version of VPC. I dread hearing this woman speak because each time it's full of bullshit.

Here's my prediction: a number of other developers have already started working on x86 virtualization software for OS X on Intel, MS knows this, and will just announce the end of VPC whenever someone else releases their product (VMWare seems like a good candidate).

Rather than just say that though, you get the normal MacBU filler responses.
post #18 of 94
I agree.. very worrisome report. MS makes it sound like they haven't had access to an Intel Mac system and that they only will when their iMac Intel or MacBook Pro ships... which is nuts!
Also, a complete rewrite?? How about Virtual PC for Windows?? Wouldn't that provide the groundwork for Virtual PC for Mac/Intel??
This is quite pathetic.
post #19 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by bedouin
For how I feel about the MacBU see this post.

It's totally inexcusable that there has been access to Intel developer kits for months now and that nobody has even began coding a new version of VPC. I dread hearing this woman speak because each time it's full of bullshit.

Here's my prediction: a number of other developers have already started working on x86 virtualization software for OS X on Intel, MS knows this, and will just announce the end of VPC whenever someone else releases their product (VMWare seems like a good candidate).

Yes and no. I first thought MS was just stalling as usual but then did the developer kits have EFI? As far as I know not. For an app like VPC that is deeply wired to hardware there might be non-trivial differences between the developer kits and the shipping Intel-Macs.

Furthermore, other emulator apps that seem to come out now much faster than VPC might take (and have taken) a simpler approach to it, not going as deep into the system (that might be why they had worse performance than VPC so far).
post #20 of 94
It's all about DarWINE.

 

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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #21 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by noirdesir
Yes and no. I first thought MS was just stalling as usual but then did the developer kits have EFI? As far as I know not. For an app like VPC that is deeply wired to hardware there might be non-trivial differences between the developer kits and the shipping Intel-Macs.

Furthermore, other emulator apps that seem to come out now much faster than VPC might take (and have taken) a simpler approach to it, not going as deep into the system (that might be why they had worse performance than VPC so far).

There's nothing like VPC that is faster.
post #22 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by BR
It's all about DarWINE.

Darwine will have limited usefulness. Wine is not trivial to install, or use.

Crossover (which is built on top of Wine), puts a GUI onto it, eases the installing of the program itself, as well as the programs you will want to run. It is a long way off as well.

Wine doesn't run all programs either. If what you need is supported, fine. Otherwise, it won't help.
post #23 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
Some of the statements in the article are strange. MS has had developer systems as long as anyone else has, But the article makes it sound as though they could hardly get started until they had these new machines in their hands.

Virtual PC should be halfway there by now.

If they're having difficulties with rewriting their code base then to state that they are awaiting these new machines gives them some PR time to get their work done. Of course when more difficult applications are actually updated as Universal Binaries then the cat will be out-of-the-bag and the MacBU is simply behind in this process.
post #24 of 94
Forget VPC, I want VMWare on OSX.
post #25 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by noirdesir
Yes and no. I first thought MS was just stalling as usual but then did the developer kits have EFI? As far as I know not.

The new Macs having EFI vs. a BIOS is irrelevant to virtualization software. The point is they could have at least started something and they didn't. I expect that after PPC sales of VPC dry up it will be discontinued for Macs. I'm not a betting man, but if I were I'd put $1000 on the table that MS will not bother doing a VPC for x86 Macs. That's fine with me, because it's one less dollar going to a monopolizing non-innovating leech; in my PC days I was a fan of VMWare anyway.
post #26 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by ThinkingDifferent
Forget VPC, I want VMWare on OSX.

Either one would be fine.
post #27 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by thegreatluke
I really hope this improves Virtual PC's stability, usefulness and performance - it would be great to one day be able to open Windows applications transparently, without a major performance hit. Think maybe something like Rosetta?

isnt that kind of optimistic? you cant even do that on most regular window boxes.
post #28 of 94
I'm relatively a moron when it comes to tech (especially that involving Macs... my first is on the way ), so could you guys help me out with something?

If new versions of Virtual PC would allow for more stable Windows apps, would this also mean Mac users could play Windows-only video games? What kind of other software would that require (I'm guessing Direct X...) and is Virtual PC capable of running said software? If not in past versions, do you think this would be possible in the future?

Why or why not? I'm probably missing some big tech no-no about the whole equation, but it seems to make sense to my (small) brain.

Thanks, guys!
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post #29 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by Animal Farm
I'm relatively a moron when it comes to tech (especially that involving Macs... my first is on the way ), so could you guys help me out with something?

If new versions of Virtual PC would allow for more stable Windows apps, would this also mean Mac users could play Windows-only video games? What kind of other software would that require (I'm guessing Direct X...) and is Virtual PC capable of running said software? If not in past versions, do you think this would be possible in the future?

Why or why not? I'm probably missing some big tech no-no about the whole equation, but it seems to make sense to my (small) brain.

Thanks, guys!

highly doubt it. the current version of Virtual PC doesnt emulate the video card. Maybe it will be different with intel based version, but i doubt it. Besides most low and medium end PC hardware doesnt crunch video games very well. The mac starting at an XL 1600 isnt so bad, but tack on preformance disadvantages on top of that and the game isnt gonna look that great. i hope they prove me wrong. until then stick with a custom PC or an Xbox for your gaming.
post #30 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by mike12309
highly doubt it. the current version of Virtual PC doesnt emulate the video card. Maybe it will be different with intel based version, but i doubt it. Besides most low and medium end PC hardware doesnt crunch video games very well. The mac starting at an XL 1600 isnt so bad, but tack on preformance disadvantages on top of that and the game isnt gonna look that great. i hope they prove me wrong. until then stick with a custom PC or an Xbox for your gaming.

Actually, there is every reason to believe it will.

VPC's lack of support for video cards was because it was emulating a very basic PC. Translating code for Mac hardware was too difficult to do for anything more than the most basic tasks. Therefore it emulates a PC video card in software - very slow.

On an Intel Mac, none of this needs to be done. On a PC using VPC, Linux and the hardware supported by the native system works at about full speed. There is no reason to believe that it would work any differently here.

Windows will see a PC when it is running. It will have the drivers for the hardware, and will use them. It's possible that a few percent will be lost, but that's all. Playing PC games should work fine.
post #31 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
Actually, there is every reason to believe it will.

VPC's lack of support for video cards was because it was emulating a very basic PC. Translating code for Mac hardware was too difficult to do for anything more than the most basic tasks. Therefore it emulates a PC video card in software - very slow.

On an Intel Mac, none of this needs to be done. On a PC using VPC, Linux and the hardware supported by the native system works at about full speed. There is no reason to believe that it would work any differently here.

Windows will see a PC when it is running. It will have the drivers for the hardware, and will use them. It's possible that a few percent will be lost, but that's all. Playing PC games should work fine.

It would be ironic if games were the "tipping point" for widespread adoption of Macs by PC-lings. Go Applintel!

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post #32 of 94
Awesome, thanks for the info, guys!

This is leaving me pretty hopeful in regards to the Mactel's future.

One more thing:

Which card is better, an ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 or an ATI Radeon X800 Pro?

Thanks again.
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post #33 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by SpamSandwich
It would be ironic if games were the "tipping point" for widespread adoption of Macs by PC-lings. Go Applintel!

This is really such an interesting bit of history.

Back in the early '80's, when I first had an Atari St, a friend of mine had a Mac. He always used to complain to me that the best games were on the Atari, and almost never on the Mac.

Apple, almost from the first, didn't want to be associated with games because in those days, most computers were purchased by business, and they were already being called "this cute toy". By eschewing games, they were hoping to promote a more serious image to the business world, while at the same time, refusing to give business what they wanted in hardware. The small closed Mac was. of course, insisted upon by Jobs, who seems to have this dislike for anyone messing around with the inside of "his" machines.

After Jobs left the company, the Mac II came out, with 8 slots, etc., but it was too late.

Still, they refused to help game developers by not developing the API's, or by cooperating with them.

Later, when OS 9 came out, Apple wrote specific software for gaming companies, but, again, it was too late.

They then went on hold with the gaming industry with early versions of OS X. Only during the last three years has that really changed. We can only hope that the gaming community will respond.

It will be touch and go. The Mac base is still very small. Intel Macs may provide other ways of getting these games aboard, without the companies raising a finger to port.
post #34 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by Animal Farm
Awesome, thanks for the info, guys!

This is leaving me pretty hopeful in regards to the Mactel's future.

One more thing:

Which card is better, an ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 or an ATI Radeon X800 Pro?

Thanks again.

I would go for the X1600 in a machine that has it.
post #35 of 94
I need a new notebook for work. I have to run AutoCad on it.

I want a new 12" iBook type comptuer with intel chip (size is nice, maybe a little big and the price is right (~$1000 isn't bad).

If VPC would have come out the day the MacBook Pro was announced, I would have ordered a new 15" MacBook Pro in advance with eager anticiapation. Running programs that run on Windows only does matter, in my business anyway.

I am bummed about the news from Roz, but my guess is she is full of crap and just pulling a Scotty. Tell them twice as long, deliver in half the time stated, and look like a Star Trek miracle worker. I am crossing my fingers.

Also, MS Office on the Mac kills the PC version. Gotta love Word and Excel. The rest blows on both versions.
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post #36 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by aplnub
I need a new notebook for work. I have to run AutoCad on it.

I want a new 12" iBook type comptuer with intel chip (size is nice, maybe a little big and the price is right (~$1000 isn't bad).

If VPC would have come out the day the MacBook Pro was announced, I would have ordered a new 15" MacBook Pro in advance with eager anticiapation. Running programs that run on Windows only does matter, in my business anyway.

I am bummed about the news from Roz, but my guess is she is full of crap and just pulling a Scotty. Tell them twice as long, deliver in half the time stated, and look like a Star Trek miracle worker. I am crossing my fingers.

Also, MS Office on the Mac kills the PC version. Gotta love Word and Excel. The rest blows on both versions.

You want to run AutoCad on an iBook equivelent?

I'll give you one point for balls.
post #37 of 94
VirtualPC for Windows does not have hardware DirectX support. And at this point, MS will likely port the Windows version to Intel Macs.

I think the odds that the Mac version will be useful for 3D-heavy games is pretty much nil.

PS: GG Apple for shipping decent video in the iMacs. This will help the native Mac gaming scene enormously.
post #38 of 94
The value of either solution, be it virtual PC or vmware will hinge more on support of DirectX and Direct 3D.

As neither companies current solutions offer a more reasonable video card emulation it looks bleak on that front for games.

Although you'd think at least Rick Rashid's group at Microsoft R&D would have some brainiacs who could solve this problem. Or even some of the research that had to go into the XBox 360 for video emulation the other way (intel to PPC) for legacy support of XBox games on Xbox 360.

Why? Well there is a continued push in the industry for virtualization usuage to better utilize existing and ever more powerful hardware. It would appear that the graphics hardware virtualization side of things is the last hurdle in this area.

Which makes one wonder if the hardware level virtualization technology offers anything cleaner in that regard, so that the OS's being run just think that they have native access to the machine and therefore just use their native video drivers (be it OSX, Linux or Windows.

Or perhaps the graphics card manufacturers should expend some effort in that area to virtualize their own products. Or perhaps have multicore GPUS which could deal with some of this. Hmmm multicore GPUS mmmmmmmmm.
post #39 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
You want to run AutoCad on an iBook equivelent?

I'll give you one point for balls.

He did say an iBook with an Intel chip which shouldn't be too bad.
post #40 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by planetWC
The value of either solution, be it virtual PC or vmware will hinge more on support of DirectX and Direct 3D.

As neither companies current solutions offer a more reasonable video card emulation it looks bleak on that front for games.

Although you'd think at least Rick Rashid's group at Microsoft R&D would have some brainiacs who could solve this problem. Or even some of the research that had to go into the XBox 360 for video emulation the other way (intel to PPC) for legacy support of XBox games on Xbox 360.

Why? Well there is a continued push in the industry for virtualization usuage to better utilize existing and ever more powerful hardware. It would appear that the graphics hardware virtualization side of things is the last hurdle in this area.

Which makes one wonder if the hardware level virtualization technology offers anything cleaner in that regard, so that the OS's being run just think that they have native access to the machine and therefore just use their native video drivers (be it OSX, Linux or Windows.

Or perhaps the graphics card manufacturers should expend some effort in that area to virtualize their own products. Or perhaps have multicore GPUS which could deal with some of this. Hmmm multicore GPUS mmmmmmmmm.

MS has been asked this question. Their response was that for the purpose they sell VPC for to the server industry (mostly) it wasn't necessary. And they are right. But, they also said if the market warranted it, they would consider it. Remember that VPC for the PC no longer runs Linux, only Windows.

VPC for the Mac is a completely different product, so I would doubt that they would simply port that PC version over.

If the object is to get Windows running on as many Macs as possible, and an incentive for that is to play games, then I don't see why they wouldn't want to do that. Direct X and Direct 3D is more a function of the OS, anyway. The servers that VPC runs on in the PC world are a different matter, they don't have to play games.

Several major games are written to Open GL as well, though.

We'll see what happens.

But WINE has been successful in allowing games to play in Linux. It should work here as well. Crossover will give the GUI Mac users need. Let's all hope it works for Vista.
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