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Microsoft pulls plug on Virtual PC development

Not seen as rival to BootCamp, VMware et al

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Microsoft is to end development of Virtual PC for Mac, the company admitted this week. While an x86 emulation app makes little sense in a world of Intel-based Macs, the move means the software giant has rejected the chance to turn the tool into a true virtualisation utility.

Microsoft's decision, relayed by a Macworld UK report, follows the announcement yesterday that virtualisation software specialist VMware is to bring its established one computer, multiple operating systems technology to Mac OS X.

When Apple announced its plan to migrate from PowerPC processors to the x86 platform, Microsoft said it was "working with Apple to determine the feasibility of developing Virtual PC for Mac for Intel-based Macs". Since then, Apple has released a test version of BootCamp, its own Windows-on-Mac tool, which it plans to ship commercially in Spring 2007 with Mac OS X 10.5.

In addition to VMware, software developer Parallels is also producing virtualisation code for Mac OS X. It launched the first version of Parallels Desktop last month.

Microsoft bought Virtual PC from its original creator, Connectix, in February 2003. Connectix itself, which had developed a variety of in-demand Mac tools, including RAM Doubler, folded the following summer. ®

Read Reg Hardware's in-depth report on running Windows on an Intel Mac here

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