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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
MacNN reports that FWB Software will be resuming development of Real PC -- a PC emulation product for the Mac.

According to the note forwarded by the MacNN reader:

When Microsoft purchased Virtual PC, we decided it was time to re-release an updated version of Real PC & SoftWindows 98 (and shortly XP etc). We had to discontinue the product as the agreement was with Connectix, not Microsoft. If you would like to update your Real PC to a faster, better and more powerful version, give us 30 days to finish the software and you'll be glad you waited."
-- FWB

Microsoft acquired Virtual PC from Connectix in February.


macrumors newbie
Jul 23, 2002
My memories of RealPC

I remember buying RealPC, back in the days when I had a Rex personal organiser, and needed to synchronise it. I could never get it to work satisfactorily on my Powerbook 3400, and found VirtualPC to be much better.

Still good luck to them for returning to support the Mac platform in this way, and hopefully the software will work better this time around.

Pedro Estarque

macrumors regular
Dec 5, 2002
I think MS has a better chance to make the best PC emulation product for obvious reasons, not that they will, however. Competition is always good anyway...


macrumors 68000
Feb 8, 2002
I'll be happy to have an alternative. VPC was nice, but now that it is owned by the Evil Empire, I think when the time comes, I'll switch again from VPC to RealPC.


macrumors 65816
Nov 9, 2002
East Bay, CA
Thank god. This will keep M$ from letting VPC go all to hell. RealPC was never that great for running Win on a Mac, but at least it'll be an option. Everyone cross your fingers and hope the words "blazing performance" show up in one of their updates.



macrumors 6502a
Dec 15, 2001
I'm glad Microsoft will have some competition on the Mac again.

However, did they say anything about making RealPC Mac OS X native? It'd be kinda pointless to release an OS 9-only product right now.


macrumors regular
Jan 6, 2002
Hmm looks like a good year for Mac users not only for the Laptop !

:D :cool:
Little Joke.

Thats very good idea from FWB to continue the RealPC yes it was never very fast but it is a chance to make M$ some fire under there ass !

No, Its better to hope that it is a cocoa App !
I think the the guys from FWB could solve the probs which Connectix never saw like Video implimation (games) or speed ! (faster chip emulation)

It would be a good market for FWB they could make a lots of money there ?


macrumors 6502
Dec 12, 2002
I'm guessing that RealPC can't run PC games like Age of Mythology...But its just a guess...Can it run games??


macrumors 6502
May 30, 2002
I think you folks forget a few things about Microsoft.

Number 1: Microsoft needs Apple...and to a certain but lesser extent Apple needs Microsoft. Apple is Microsoft's only "competition" in the PC industry. Face it.

Number 2: Microsoft wants to make money, and lots of it.

Number 2a: Microsoft *only* makes software for a reason. It doesn't hurt Microsoft at all to possibly canabalize PC sales so that they can sell more software. Thus, the thought that Microsoft will 'discontinue' VirtualPC is silly, if only because Microsoft sees that they can sell MORE copies of Windows to us Mac users-additionally charge more for it because they are also selling the emulator.

Number 3: IF Microsoft discontinues VPC it will 'look' very bad to the rest of the industry and possibly anyone still interested in pursuing's the same with Microsoft's other software offerings.

Number 4: MacBU, I believe has done a wonderful job with the Macintosh versions of popular Microsoft products. Being someone that switches platforms frequently during the day MacBU's offerings are completely superior to their PC equivilents. It just goes to show you how far a small group of extremely talented people within Microsoft can make all the other parts look bad. I have faith in MacBU even if they do work for Microsoft.

Number 5: Microsoft didn't 'buy' VPC for the sake of buying VPC. What they wanted was Connectix's Virtual Machine technology. They wanted to integrate the ability to run multiple OSes within their Professional server line and also run legacy applications on newer OSes and hardware easily. Getting VirtualPC was just icing on the cake.

Number 6: There is no evidence to support the paranoid and pretty irrational theory that Microsoft 'bought' VirtualPC just to have a Fat Tony to twist Apple's arm. Microsoft stifles the industry, and has caused more destruction to the world than created-but don't always jump to conclusions.

I don't think it should be a big concern that Microsoft will 'kill' VirtualPC...and if it does FWB's announcement means we have alternatives. In addition we have Bochs, and the possibility of a variant of WINE being ported. We wont be left for dead, those of us who depend on compatibility and even the ability to sometimes start up Windows on our Macs.

Call me niave if you will. I think some of us are a little too paranoid. Then again, no one knows until it happens. So I can't say anything for sure and either can anybody else.

I am just going by what I know and by what logic and Microsoft's past moves would dictate.


This gotta be good ...

This is a great thing. Maybe some smart entrepreneur/company will see the potential market for this product and get some serious development dollar behind it.

I'm a potential customer - VPC is no longer an option for me since the takeover.


macrumors regular
Oct 21, 2001
Yujenisis, you said there is a possible port of WINE being ported, do you have a link to the site where they would be doing that? Thanks


macrumors member
Jan 8, 2002
openGL support

hi my question is short and simple is it fair to expect openGL support from VPC or realPc soon. because i know lots of people not swiching jusk because of lack of games


macrumors 65816
Nov 1, 2002
How soon until this runs on OS X? What is the point of emulating something new (Windows XP) on older hardware/software platform?


macrumors 6502a
Oct 24, 2002
Greenville SC
Collusion? Interesting statement....

That was an interesting message from FWB indeed. Sounds like Connectix "paid off" the competition to stop producing and then may have tried to price fix a little. I don't know if that sounds all that legal.

The upper management of Connectix has no rhyme or reason or forethought. First there was the Quickcam, which was actually a nice cam under Connectix, then there was CVGS, the playstation emulator - which should have been developed for Mac OS X then halted (at first that was promised), then the doublers aren't needed under OS X, then Virtual PC.

What assets do they have left?

By the way, for those that asked. Softwindows in my opinion was superior as it didn't emulate hardware, it instead created a software shell for Windows to run full screen. It played games dismally, but everything else including networking and syncing to PC devices was particularly superior.


macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
The Peninsula
sale doesn't automatically void contracts

We had to discontinue the product as the agreement was with Connectix, not Microsoft.

Hmmm. Hope that they've had their lawyers clear this.

The Rules of Aquisition typically include all the contracts and agreements that are associated with the company and products.

Just because the owner of the IP has changed does not mean that contracts concerning the IP are voided. FWB's agreement with Connectix could easily be enforceable by Microsoft....


macrumors 65816
Nov 17, 2002
yeah, it sounds like some weird and a little shady business goes on at connectix... who knows what kind of bizarre agreements they made...


macrumors 6502a
Oct 13, 2002
New York
Originally posted by MacManiac1224
Does anyone remember the performance of RealPC or Softwindows on their Mac's in the past? Thanks

I do. RealPC was about 3x as fast as Virtual PC... that was back when they were all 1.0 though. Still, RealPC kicked ass.


macrumors regular
Feb 2, 2002
Originally posted by Eckslusive
I'm guessing that RealPC can't run PC games like Age of Mythology...But its just a guess...Can it run games??

windows emulation software will probably "never" be able to run intense 3d games...if you want an actual selection of games, then just build a cheap pc to play them on, and use your mac for everything else.

i don't know the cost of virtual pc, but i know that you could build a cheap pc for less than 300, that would work a million times better than vpc or any other emulation software. sure that doesn't work if you have a laptop and need to use windows on the road, but for games it's the perfect solution.


macrumors demi-god
Jul 24, 2002
South Orange, NJ
Re: This gotta be good ...

Originally posted by littlejim
VPC is no longer an option for me since the takeover.


I see this as a favorable turn of events for VPC users, myself included. Microsoft will not stop VPC support for monopoly reasons, nor do they have a financial reason to do so. Some other posts have been right on this-- Microsoft's main concern is making money, and they have the highest margins on Software.

VPC could be improved if the people who engineer the OS's it emulates have control over the code. I don't like MS much more than anyone else, but by using any licensed emulator with an OS pack you're ALREADY supporting them with your dollar. Why shoot yourself in the foot?

VPC was bought by Microsoft because even Microsoft couldn't do the OS emulation/switching that VPC does so better than any other program on the planet. VPC may or may not see speed benefits from this acquisition, but it's no less useful or harmful to you than it was prior.


macrumors demi-god
Jul 24, 2002
South Orange, NJ
Re: openGL support

Originally posted by phantommaul
hi my question is short and simple is it fair to expect openGL support from VPC or realPc soon. because i know lots of people not swiching jusk because of lack of games

Then I would suggest a cheap-o $500 Dell that you shamefully hide in a closet to play games. Then get a Mac and proudly display that as your main machine for productivity. The alternative is to do what I do... get a PS 2. I have a healthy and great game collection on the Mac. No, not everything is made for the Mac, but most of the good stuff is. Shadowbane is particuarly great.


macrumors 68000
Jan 14, 2003
Connectix at it again

Connectix seems like a company with great products but dubious business practices. To read that Real PC and SoftWindows were stopped because Connectix made a deal is a slap in the face for anyone who wants to use Windows on Mac hardware. The great thing about SoftWindows was that it implemented a different approach to running Windows on Macs than Virtual PC did. By paying off the competition Connectix did a disservice to its Mac customers and we were left with a single product to choose from... a single product which has hardly grown and developed.

As for Virtual games Station, Connectix gave Mac gamers hope with what was an outstanding piece of software; even G3 iMacs could run PlayStation games at full speed with it. After legal battles with Sony (which Connectix kept winning) the software was finally sold to... Sony. Needless to say, there is no Virtual Games Station for OS X today.


macrumors newbie
Apr 8, 2003
If I remember correctly, the difference between SoftWindows and VPC was that Softwindows used a modified version of Windows. It had some tuning changes to get it to operate correctly on the Mac Hardware (through the emulator).

VPC on the other hand emulated the hardware itself, so that Windows didn't know the difference. I'm not sure about later versions of Softwindows, but it would be interesting to see if Microsoft would continue the license if they were also selling VPC.
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