Microsoft To Discontinue Virtual PC for Mac
Microsoft this week announced that it will discontinue work on future versions
of Virtual PC for the Mac. Meanwhile, leading virtualization competitor VMware
has announced it is working on software to enable Intel-based Macs to run x86
operating systems -- including Windows and Linux -- in virtual machines simultaneously
with Mac OS X.
"The Mac Business Unit has made the decision not to move forward with
a Universal version of Virtual PC at this time ... Developing a high-quality
virtualization solution, such as Virtual PC, for the Intel-based Mac is similar
to creating a version 1.0 release due to how closely the product integrates
with Mac hardware," Microsoft said in a statement.
Additionally, Microsoft will kill support of Visual Basic scripting in the
next version of Office for Mac. Instead, the company said it will expand support
for standard Mac scripting methods such as AppleScript and Automator.
Microsoft's statements came during Apple's Worldwide Developers
Conference 2006 in San Francisco. While the company will not be moving forward
with Virtual PC for the Mac, it will continue to provide product support.
"[Microsoft] still recognizes that customers continue to need access
to Windows applications from their Intel-based Macs, and feels confident that
alternative solutions offered by Apple and other vendors," the statement
Interestingly enough, also at the conference, VMware announced and demoed a
new virtualization product targeting that market.
"Virtual machines created with any of VMware's products will run
on Intel-based Macs and, similarly, non-Mac OS X virtual machines created with
the new product will run on the latest versions of other VMware platform products,"
VMware said in a statement.
The product will also be able to take advantage of VMware's growing library
of more than 250 virtual appliances -- including ones for security, load balancing,
collaboration, databases, development, communications and business applications.
Virtual appliances are pre-built, pre-configured software applications, packaged
in virtual machines that run on VMware's virtualization products.
Besides Windows and Linux, it will support NetWare and Solaris. Beta testing
is scheduled to begin later in the year.
Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.