Feeds

Microsoft gives away Windows 8 to Mac devs

Sells out in hours

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Microsoft has decided the best way to get Mac-using developers to use Windows 8 for web compatibility testing is to give it away.

Redmond today launched an offer to developers whereby they'd get Windows 8, Parallels desktop virtualisation software and a USB containing both if they make a $US25 donation to a charity through a service called Swish.

The offer was made in a blog post timed at Wednesday, April 3, 2013 1:12 AM, but without an explanation of the time zone in which the author resides.

Wherever Sandeep Singhal, group program manager for Internet Explorer penned the post, the offer worked: an update confusing time-stamped "10:45am 4/2/2013” says the offer “sold out quickly”.

The offer was not as desperate as it might seem to those bemused by some of the choices Microsoft made with Windows 8's interface and its subsequent less-than-enthusiastic reception. Instead it was made in the context of an upgrade to modern.IE, the web site Microsoft erected back in January to allow developers to test websites for cross-browser compatibility.

“We heard that the most common way you test across browsers is through virtualization of browser and operating system combinations using your favorite virtualization platform, such as Hyper-V, VMWare, VirtualBox, or Parallels,” Singhal wrote, adding that “costs to purchase software and licensing can be difficult if you’re that startup looking for your first big breakthrough.” At $25 for Windows 8 and Parallels desktop, developers can hardly afford not to use modern.IE, if you'll excuse our logical and linguistic excursion into advertorial-land.

Parallels will doubtless be chuffed with this arrangement, given Microsoft could have bundled the free VirtualBox or VMware Player or suggested use of Apple's Boot Camp to enable the same outcome. The parentage of the first two applications mentioned – Oracle owns VirtualBox, while Player's genesis needs no explanation – almost certainly means Microsoft was happier to nourish a minor competitor like Parallels instead of closer competition.

It's a little harder to see why Redmond wasn't keen to suggest Mac users install Windows 8 using Boot Camp, as doing so would make the operating system available without the performance-inhibitor that is a desktop hypervisor. Running Parallels will, however, allow users to run more virtual machines than just Windows 8, and that plays into Microsoft's hands as one element of the modern.IE upgrade is pair of new Vms – IE 10 on Windows 7 and IE8 on Windows XP - to further ease website testing. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.