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Verdict still out on future of Microsoft's Virtual PC

post #1 of 32
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Despite the release of Apple's Boot Camp technology, Microsoft says it is still debating the future of Virtual PC and continues to work with the Mac maker on plans to deliver a version of the Windows emulation environment that will function on Apple's new Intel Macs.

"We are continuing to work with Apple on a possible next version of Virtual PC," said Amanda Lefebvre, marketing manager for Microsofts Mac Business Unit. "We still dont 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."

At Macworld Expo earlier this year, the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant publicly committed to developing an Intel-native version of its Mac Office suite for the next five years. However, it did not make similar promises in regards to Virtual PC, saying only that it was working with Apple on the future of the product.

Since Virtual PC emulates the Windows environment, Apple's move away from PowerPC chips and towards Intel processors requires substantial changes to Virtual PC. "This is like building a brand new version for us," Lefebvre said. "Its not just a new operating system, its new hardware, toothis is a really big transition. Its hard to say right now what it will look like or when it will be."

Still, Microsoft believes that Virtual PC's 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 noted that legacy PowerPC users may continue to demand a Windows emulation product.

In related news, Microsoft had only good things to say about Apple's new Boot Camp technology in a statement obtained by The New York Times. "Windows is a great operating system," the company said. "We're pleased that Apple customers are excited about running it, and that Apple is responding to meet the demand."
post #2 of 32
sweet. a product that microsoft is bound to lose money on developing. Sounds like Apple gave Microsoft no heads up on Boot Camp and let them continue to waste money developing something only a niche few will buy or use.
post #3 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by JohnnySmith
sweet. a product that microsoft is bound to lose money on developing. Sounds like Apple gave Microsoft no heads up on Boot Camp and let them continue to waste money developing something only a niche few will buy or use.

I am in that Niche and hope someone comes out with a stable virtualzation package for Windows in the Mac OS.

My guess is that MS is asking Apple not to Virtualize without VPC as the solution on the Mac. That may be a no decesion with Parallels new software. I would also guess that Apple is hesitant about this virtualzation stuff because no one (MS or Apple) knows where this will end up going.
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post #4 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by JohnnySmith
sweet. a product that microsoft is bound to lose money on developing. Sounds like Apple gave Microsoft no heads up on Boot Camp and let them continue to waste money developing something only a niche few will buy or use.

The vast majority of the Mac installed base is PPC-based. This will remain the case for quite some time. Most Intel-based Macs on sale today primarily serve non-professional users. These are not the target buyers for VPC. Those of us using professional-level PPC-based Macs remain the target market. Microsoft has the option of serving us, its customers, or abandoning us.

Having said that, I will remind the OP that VPC is currently cross-platform and has been so since before Connectix sold the product line to Microsoft. VPC runs on Intel-based Windows computers and PPC-based Macs. Are we to believe that Intel-based Macs represent such a huge hurdle that Microsoft will abandon the entire Mac platform?

Does this mean that I believe that VPC is safe? No, but it has nothing to do with Apple's switch to Intel and everything to do with Microsoft's own issues. I am particularly troubled by Microsoft's conversion of Virtual Server to a giveaway product. If you will remember, Microsoft bought out Connectix for VS which was still in beta at the time. VPC came along for the ride. If Microsoft is now giving VS away, this tells me that the product has failed in the marketplace. I don't see VPC surviving the death of its newer product sibling.
post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
"This is like building a brand new version for us," Lefebvre said. "Its not just a new operating system, its new hardware, toothis is a really big transition. Its hard to say right now what it will look like or when it will be."

She's so full of crap, plenty of people are making alternatives to vpc and are doing it faster.

All software being translated is "a new version."

Everyone has to make this "really big transition"

It's not a new operating system.
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post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by JohnnySmith
sweet. a product that microsoft is bound to lose money on developing. Sounds like Apple gave Microsoft no heads up on Boot Camp and let them continue to waste money developing something only a niche few will buy or use.

I think you are confused. Dual booting is not the same as running software for one OS within another OS.

Boot Camp isn't so directly comparable to Virtual PC as you suggest. The first runs only one OS at a time, the other allows you to run Windows software within OS X, i.e. without having to shut down all your programs to reboot, it just runs.

I want some sort of thing like VirtualPC, and Boot Camp simply doesn't do that at all.
post #7 of 32
"Microsoft had only good things to say about Apple's new Boot Camp technology"

Of course Microsoft had only good things to say. Microsoft doesn't care what hardware you purchase, just as long as you use Windows (even if it's only partially).

Boot Camp's success means Apple wins at selling more hardware and Microsoft wins at selling more software. It's probably the best compromise I can imagine in the PC industry.
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
I think you are confused. Dual booting is not the same as running software for one OS within another OS.

Boot Camp isn't so directly comparable to Virtual PC as you suggest. The first runs only one OS at a time, the other allows you to run Windows software within OS X, i.e. without having to shut down all your programs to reboot, it just runs.

I want some sort of thing like VirtualPC, and Boot Camp simply doesn't do that at all.

I am not confused. Unless Microsoft pulls off a miracle I doubt Windows will run nearly as fast in a virtual state inside Mac OS instead of being diretly booted up on it's own.

I would say more than half of the people who would want to run windows on a mac are doing so for games or professional applications where it only makes sense to directly boot up and get maximum performance.

I know there is a market out there for people who want the two systems running together, but with Dual Boot, Apple cut out a chunk of Microsoft customers for Virtual PC.
post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by toosday
Of course Microsoft had only good things to say. Microsoft doesn't care what hardware you purchase, just as long as you use Windows (even if it's only partially).

Boot Camp's success means Apple wins at selling more hardware and Microsoft wins at selling more software. It's probably the best compromise I can imagine in the PC industry.

I think that is the short term view of it for MS. I don't believe either company takes virtualzation of the others OS lightly. It could really bite them in the arse one day. If OS X runs XP 90%, then why is Joe Schmoe buying a Dell? Price, maybe. But Mr. Comp USA is going to upsell a box that runs BOTH OS's. Short term, everyone wins, long term, MS possibly loses market share.

MS doesn't care what hardware you are on, at least up to the now. Once Apple made their hardware friendly to Windows, I am sure they are still scratching their heads on what to make of it.

Apple does care what hardware you are on. It's a one way street in a sense. What if MS starts to lose market share? Could they license their stuff on anything besides Apple hardware? Lots of questions, and then some more.

I personally like it.

Oh, and I believe that most people who prefer a Mac but need Windows around don't use it for games/intense apps. Some programs are just not availible on the Mac platform. The two for me are FrontPage and AutoCad. I personally think your casual user is where the sales go but that is a WAG.
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post #10 of 32
I am confident this dual boot strategy is net positive.

I worry about virtualization. The unintended consequences could be devistating to Apple as they were to IBM. I am certainly not saying this idea is bad and history will repeat itself. I just worry and I don't really know what to think of it.

OS X on PC hardware is a bad idea, that is also certain. (Yes, I know people want it, but it won't be good for Apple.)

But I am most happy about Boot Camp
post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by aplnub
Some programs are just not availible on the Mac platform. The two for me are FrontPage and AutoCad.

FrontPage? FFS, Why?

Pick up a copy of RapidWeaver, Sandvox, Apple's iWeb even or just simply learn some XHTML and CSS at http://www.htmldog.com

Why would ANYONE use FrontPage? Do you have a particularly pointy haired pointy haired boss?
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
Microsoft had only good things to say about Apple's new Boot Camp technology in a statement obtained by The New York Times. "Windows is a great operating system," the company said. "We're pleased that Apple customers are excited about running it, and that Apple is responding to meet the demand."

Define the word...great. Get a clue, Microsoft. Mac users aren't excited about Boot Camp because we want to run your piece of shit operating system. We're excited because sometimes we have to run your operating system, and now we won't have to pony up for a $400 Dell to share the desk with our Mac, or end up with no Mac at all.
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by Cory Bauer
Define the word...great. Get a clue, Microsoft. Mac users aren't excited about Boot Camp because we want to run your piece of shit operating system. We're excited because sometimes we have to run your operating system, and now we won't have to pony up for a $400 Dell to share the desk with our Mac, or end up with no Mac at all.

i completely agree...when i read this article and i saw the part about microsoft saying windows was great my reaction was only "WTF??"

windows pisses me off daily, and I dont think i would run it on my mac even if i did have an intel mac.
post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by BWhaler
I worry about virtualization. The unintended consequences could be devistating to Apple as they were to IBM. I am certainly not saying this idea is bad and history will repeat itself. I just worry and I don't really know what to think of it.

I don't think it'll happen. OSX has a large user base, a large number of applications, a large development community and 'committed' users. Plus six years head start.

OS/2 and Windows went head to head with one releasing at almost the same time as the other. OS/2 had minimal support from IBM and almost no applications. Windows had fantastic support from Microsoft (if you were a developer) and more applications, especially from Microsoft.

Comparing Apple to IBM and OSX to OS/2 just doesn't hold water.

That's not to say we might not see some consolidation amongst the less committed but it'll hopefully be minimal.

On another site someone posted...

"As long as Mac users demand OSX native applications, there'll be OSX developers" and I agree with that sentiment. I wish someone would tell the gamers though. Support your developers.
post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
FrontPage? FFS, Why?

Pick up a copy of RapidWeaver, Sandvox, Apple's iWeb even or just simply learn some XHTML and CSS at http://www.htmldog.com

Why would ANYONE use FrontPage? Do you have a particularly pointy haired pointy haired boss?

I do own and use RW on a daily basis but it does not even support tables at this point. It is fairly unstable when sites get over 100 mb in size and let's face it, it is still in its infancy.

FP is what I use for our business website because it is fast, easy, and repeatable. That and the fact the website was created in FP and we have a solid design so why screw it up?

Why not address my AutoCad need? Some people like what has been working for them. I have tried DW, RW, SV Beta, GoLive (garbage) but none have offered the ease of use that FP has (believe that or not) for the type site we have and the time we want to put in it. I am not going to be coding until the wee hours of the morning, for any site. The site looks great, easy to use, and I didn't have to get a PhD in cascading style sheets to make a master page and apply it to the rest of the pages in the site.

Oh yeah, and DW is slow as a turd falling out of an elephants arse on my Mac.

Back on topic, some people have the need for one or two programs on Windows. Until the day comes that equivalants arise on the Mac, I will require WindSucks in my life to a small degree.
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post #16 of 32
What's sad, and most people don't really see it that way, is that MS is trying to find every reason to abandon the Mac.

They've abandoned IE for Mac...the excuse was Safari.
They've abandoned Media Player for Mac...they admitted they suck and it wasn't worth the trouble anymore to try and fix Media Player for Mac.
They're about to abandon VirtualPC...excuse is likely to be Boot Camp or Parallels Workstation.

And believe me, they'd drop Office for Mac if it wasn't for the contract Apple is always signing with MS. I keep hearing that Office for Mac is a big money maker for MS...possibly...but I still think MS would rather sack the MBU.

I dunno what Apple is paying MS for Office for Mac but this is probably the last 5 year contract it's signing. I'd be surprised if Office got updated more than once within those 5 years.

In 2011, MS won't be making anything for Mac OS X. And it won't matter...Apple will have 10%+ market share and iWork will be a solid contender...oh...and I'm thinking people will have wizened up.
post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by aplnub
FP is what I use for our business website because it is fast, easy, and repeatable. That and the fact the website was created in FP and we have a solid design so why screw it up?

As a web designer I'd have to argue that it already is.

Quote:
Originally posted by aplnub
The site looks great, easy to use, and I didn't have to get a PhD in cascading style sheets to make a master page and apply it to the rest of the pages in the site.

They really aren't that difficult.

Quote:
Originally posted by aplnub
Oh yeah, and DW is slow as a turd falling out of an elephants arse on my Mac.

Pretty much like that on anyone's computer regardless of the OS which is why most pros hand code.
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by kim kap sol
They've abandoned IE for Mac...the excuse was Safari.
They've abandoned Media Player for Mac...they admitted they suck and it wasn't worth the trouble anymore to try and fix Media Player for Mac.
They're about to abandon VirtualPC...excuse is likely to be Boot Camp or Parallels Workstation.

They do have a habit of taking their balls away if they come across real competition in MacBU although IIRC Media Player wasn't part of MacBU.

Still, in general, we've been better off from them leaving.
post #19 of 32
Seriously, who didn't see this coming?
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by kim kap sol
What's sad, and most people don't really see it that way, is that MS is trying to find every reason to abandon the Mac.

They've abandoned IE for Mac...the excuse was Safari.
They've abandoned Media Player for Mac...they admitted they suck and it wasn't worth the trouble anymore to try and fix Media Player for Mac.
They're about to abandon VirtualPC...excuse is likely to be Boot Camp or Parallels Workstation.

And believe me, they'd drop Office for Mac if it wasn't for the contract Apple is always signing with MS. I keep hearing that Office for Mac is a big money maker for MS...possibly...but I still think MS would rather sack the MBU.

I dunno what Apple is paying MS for Office for Mac but this is probably the last 5 year contract it's signing. I'd be surprised if Office got updated more than once within those 5 years.

In 2011, MS won't be making anything for Mac OS X. And it won't matter...Apple will have 10%+ market share and iWork will be a solid contender...oh...and I'm thinking people will have wizened up.

I hadn't really thought of it that way but you bring up an interesting point. Pages and keynote are legitimate alternatives, the question is where is the spreadsheet. Once that comes out that could be the nail in the coffin for mac office.
post #21 of 32
ummm...isn't it a LOT easier to make a virtual machine when you don't have to deal with going from X86 to PPC?
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by akhomerun
ummm...isn't it a LOT easier to make a virtual machine when you don't have to deal with going from X86 to PPC?

You're forgetting that they didn't even program the current VPC.
post #23 of 32
i want virtual pc mostly because i spent such a premium on it with the office "professional" to begin with, if they phase it out, i don't think it's possible for them to roll enough features/improvements into the next office foursome to take up the investment slack. it'd be hard to just say "well, we're killing it off."
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post #24 of 32
Are you kiddin' me? This is great news of course, now Apple will finally be a leader in getting the latest and greatest MS virii.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by kim kap sol
What's sad, and most people don't really see it that way, is that MS is trying to find every reason to abandon the Mac.

They've abandoned IE for Mac...the excuse was Safari.
They've abandoned Media Player for Mac...they admitted they suck and it wasn't worth the trouble anymore to try and fix Media Player for Mac.
They're about to abandon VirtualPC...excuse is likely to be Boot Camp or Parallels Workstation.

And believe me, they'd drop Office for Mac if it wasn't for the contract Apple is always signing with MS. I keep hearing that Office for Mac is a big money maker for MS...possibly...but I still think MS would rather sack the MBU.

I dunno what Apple is paying MS for Office for Mac but this is probably the last 5 year contract it's signing. I'd be surprised if Office got updated more than once within those 5 years.

In 2011, MS won't be making anything for Mac OS X. And it won't matter...Apple will have 10%+ market share and iWork will be a solid contender...oh...and I'm thinking people will have wizened up.

I think you're really off base. MS dropped IE and Media Player because they'd put all of their development efforts into Vista OS hooks that simply do not translate well into the Mac OS. The fact that they then decided that some of those hooks were never going to see the light of day is irrelevant. They'd already made the business decision. Also, the software didn't make MS any money.

About Office. Apple signs no contracts for MS to continue developing a Mac version of Office. MS continues to make it because it makes them money. When it stops making them money, then they'll stop creating new versions.

VPC may be dropped. Or not. It all depends on whether or not MS feels that they can make money by selling it.

Will MS stop developing Mac software by 2011? Not if there's still money to be made!

Sorry to be so repetitive, but it really is all about the money.
post #26 of 32
In related news, a large carbon paper factory is considered near Seattle. The company is conducting marked analysis before the final decision.
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post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by dws
I think you're really off base. MS dropped IE and Media Player because they'd put all of their development efforts into Vista OS hooks that simply do not translate well into the Mac OS. The fact that they then decided that some of those hooks were never going to see the light of day is irrelevant. They'd already made the business decision. Also, the software didn't make MS any money.

Huh? The Windows version of both IE7 and Windows Media Player work on Windows XP and they are both free downloads. They aren't tied to Vista and don't make MS money.

If you'd argued they were strategically important to Windows but not to the Mac you'd have a case.
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by akhomerun
ummm...isn't it a LOT easier to make a virtual machine when you don't have to deal with going from X86 to PPC?

Yep but the problem was VPC for Mac had a lot of coding done at very low levels. It's quite likely true that they will scrap VPC for Mac's code and start again. With hardware support for virtualisation that does seem the logical way to go. I strongly suspect they will actually port VPC for PCs back to macs.
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post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
As a web designer I'd have to argue that it already is.


But I am not a "web designer". I'm just a guy that has a few web pages. Big difference between us. I think there are more of me than you out there, which is a downer.

And being slow on everyone's computer doesn't make it any better. Enough rants off topic.
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post #30 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by JohnnySmith
I am not confused. Unless Microsoft pulls off a miracle I doubt Windows will run nearly as fast in a virtual state inside Mac OS instead of being diretly booted up on it's own.

Take a look at what the people are saying about Parallels. http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/feedback/....html#storytop
Any VM solution is going to be slower than a native one, but nothing like the slowness of emulating a completely different processor architecture.

Besides, who cares if Microsoft does it? VMWare and Parallels are coming out with commercial products. There are multiple Open Source initiatives, and I wouldn't be surprised if Apple includes something like it in a future OS release.

Rather than a PC emulator, I'm hoping for a generic system emulator so I can install multiple versions of Mac OS X, the linux flavors, and Windows. This way, developers can test for OS and browser compatibility without the overhead of multiple partitions and reboots, etc.
post #31 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by bedouin
...they didn't even program the current VPC.

Exactly! THis never would have been an issue with Connectix.
post #32 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
Huh? The Windows version of both IE7 and Windows Media Player work on Windows XP and they are both free downloads. They aren't tied to Vista and don't make MS money.

If you'd argued they were strategically important to Windows but not to the Mac you'd have a case.

dws is correct. Microsoft has been in the process of killing non-revenue generating products for quite some time. When it killed IE:mac, Microsoft also killed IE as a separate application on all other platforms. Safari had nothing to do with it. Microsoft intended to integrate IE into Windows Longhorn. (This was years before Longhorn became Vista.) At any rate, before Microsoft could get Longhorn/Vista onto the shelves, security vulnerabilities inundated IE6. Corporate customers were in full revolt. Microsoft was forced to revive IE:win. Reluctantly, it unbundled IE7 from Longhorn/Vista and released it as a separate product. Had it not done so, Corporate America would have adopted Firefox in droves.

The takeaway message here is that Microsoft makes decisions to address Microsoft issues. Increasingly, the Redmond Monopoly is playing defense.
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