Virtual PC 7 for Mac

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by MacRumors, Jan 7, 2004.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001
    Alongside Office 2004 announcements for the Mac, Microsoft also announced that Virtual PC Mac Version 7 will be arriving in the first half of 2004.
    Earlier rumors had hinted at its announcement.
  2. Chealion macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2003
    Calgary, Alberta
    Nice to see but details are very, very vague. You'd think they'd push it harder or something? They tried to wow us with the new features in Office 2004 (I wasn't impressed, as I have no use for those features.), but with VPC being part of Office you'd think they'd cover something.
  3. autrefois macrumors 65816


    Oct 22, 2003
    Somewhere in the USA
    Great news!! I'll be first in online!:)
  4. TMA macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2003
    I'm curious to see what Microsoft have done. 'key enhancements' they say. hmm. Microsoft Apps for Macs have never seemed very speedy to me, so I'm really skeptical that MS can do anything to further improve VPC speed-wise.
  5. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH

    I'm getting a G5 so I will NEED VPC7 (assuming I want to use Virtual PC, which I do). This is good news! I won't have a use for the Office bundle, at least not as far as I know... (I might get it if I can find a good reason to have Office)

    <edit> TMA, you just got me curious... Will VPC7 be fast enough to be more usable than bad for those that are impatient? If not, I probably will NOT buy VPC. </edit>
  6. mkaake macrumors 65816

    Apr 10, 2003
    i'd really like to know more - i have a friend who knows very little about computers (60+years old, took the dive a few years ago), and while he uses a mac, he also uses virtual pc cause one of his investing sites requires the use of ie 6.0, as well as a few of his programs for investing. that said, he came to me about a week ago and asked what it would take to max out and upgrade his g4 350 (agp). that put me in a real hard place - he'd spend about 1100 upgrading that thing to what he's looking for (he wants much better performance in vpc), about 12 or 1300 for a new g4 (using my edu discount, possilby). a g5 would cost just a little more than that, have better performance and upgradeability (for ram, about the only thing he'd ever upgrade on the machine), but right now, they can't do what he needs, and there's no idea of how fast vpc will go when it *eventually* gets here.

    bummer of a place to be. can't really give him any recomendation right now other than to wait...

  7. RIP macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2002
    Phoenix, AZ
    Sounds like he

    Needs the right tool for the job. In this case a PC. I would spend that money on a PC, rather than a Mac. Shoot me, but I am not that biased.

    A question I have is if VPC7 would run slower on the same hardware as VPC6 if ran on a G4? I have no immediate plans to purchase a G5, as much as I would love to, however I also don't want to purchase an upgrade to VPC7 if there are features I like about it just to find that it slowed down because of the need to make it work on a G5 that does not support little endian.

    Has anyone a clue about this?

  8. squatch macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2003
    Technology upgrade for VPC?

    I wonder if Microsoft will do for VPC what they are doing for Office, by allowing you to upgrade to the newer version for free when it comes out if you buy the current version now. I have a B&W G3 that can run VPC 6.1 and really need it right now, but will be getting a (rumored) G5 iMac when they come out and would love to run VPC 7. Any rumors of this? :confused:
  9. Lancetx macrumors 68000


    Aug 11, 2003
    VPC 6.1 on a G4 is pretty much a dog, so I honestly hope that VPC 7 on a G4 (and certainly on a G5) will be a far better experience. It had better be anyway if M$ expects many people to pay the $129+ they'll be certain to charge for it.
  10. squatch macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2003
    Re: Sounds like he needs a PC

    I agree (as much as I hate to say it), but if he absolutely needs more speed for his Windows apps, build him a cheap PC. I just did for my dad who uses a lot of business software for around $250 (no monitor included). Check out They always have great deals and free shipping on most products.
  11. ethernet76 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2003
    This is dumb, why doesn't he just get a PC? Why spend 1100 on upgrading performance when it wouldn't ever reach the performance of even a cheap PC?
  12. varmit macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2003

    Do we know if there has been some major speed improvements, or just a little bit of speed. It is going to be included with MS Office when it comes out right?
  13. andyduncan macrumors regular

    Jan 21, 2003
    Re: Virtual PC 7 for Mac

    Usability improvements consist of the following:

    The Virtual PC 7.0 application is now written in a single line of applescript:

    tell application "Finder" activate
  14. tny macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2003
    Re: Sounds like he

    Yeah, just get him to buy a cheap headless PC and run it through VNC. That should do it.
  15. swissmann macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2003
    The Utah Alps
    VPC 6 runs on my dual 1 GHz G4 about like OS X.2 runs on my parents' iMac G3 400 MHz. I think to surf the web a bit, type some letters, do basic things it's OK. However when you run it on a fast Mac to get this OK performance you go from the speed you are used to to the equivalent of a much older slower system and it feels incredibly sluggish. If Virtual PC could increase it's current speed by 400% or so instead of the usual 20% or so I would think it a valuable app instead of something that some need to fall back on if there are no other options and don't want more hardware on their desk.
  16. lynnpye macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2003
    Re: Speed

    From the article:

    So it appears that if you buy Office X now, you will be able to upgrade to Office 2004 Pro for $90-$129 depending on what version of Office X you are upgrading from. The free upgrade only brings you up to Office 2004 Standard.
  17. ZildjianKX macrumors 68000


    May 18, 2003
    Hell, who cares how bad VPC 7 is, just as long as its ANY faster than 6.1, and it works on G5s.
  18. grahamtriggs macrumors regular


    Jul 31, 2003
    I can't say I have a problem with the performance of the Microsoft Apps, and just because VPC comes out of the same BU doesn't mean it was coded by the same developers!!!

    The claims seem a little wild, but then Connectix made good speed improvements over the years, so there is no reason why it can't be improved again.

    In fact, it wouldn't surprise me that if they could be really clever about the big/little endian handling that it could account for it (switching to a little-endian mode may be quick for low development cost, but the context switching is going to have some penalty).
  19. Jetson macrumors 6502a


    Oct 5, 2003
    I'd like to avoid Microsoft altogether on my Mac. I've tried to use Appleworks but sorry Apple - it's not ready for prime time.

    WordPerfect was a great little word processing package, but it's also fallen by the wayside.

    So it looks like it's the bloated, buggy, way overpriced Mac version of MS Office for me! What a world, what a world.

    I hope that Microsoft has really made some great improvements and are not just shoving out more half-baked code for the Mac platform.
  20. Burrell macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2003
    Newport Beach, CA
    MS Employee Comments @ MW

    I asked around and one guy said he is running the beta on his 2 ghz G5. He merely noted that the G5 version is somewhat faster than his dual G4 1.42 ghz.

    Take it for what it is worth.
  21. Blackcat macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2002
    Cirencester, UK

    If the MSBU can make a DirectX 'driver' for the graphics card in the Mac VPC will go much faster and do 3D.

    Connetix claimed this was impossible, but you're already simulating hardware which doesn't exist and using other real hardware with virtual drivers so I don't see why it can't be done.
  22. Marble macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2003
    Tucson, AZ
    If this is possible, why isn't there a Mac OS emulator for Windows? I am sure that someone would at least want to try, but those that have tried in the past have been unable to get the equivalent of a 1mhz PPC out of even a very fast (2ghz+) x86 rig.
  23. grahamtriggs macrumors regular


    Jul 31, 2003
    There is a Mac OS emulator for Windows. In fact, there is more than one.

    However, they only emulate the old Motorola chips, not the PPC's. PPC's are simply a big challenge for x86 boxes, thanks to the difference in architecture. PPC is RISC based. RISC machines get their speed from having few instructions but executing them very quickly. x86 is CISC based. More complex instructions that run slowly.

    CISC is quite easy to emulate on RISC, because even breaking down the complex instructions, those instructions execute quickly, and so there isn't much loss in performance (beyond the process of chopping up / converting the instructions).

    Emulating RISC on CISC means that you can't really take advantage of the complex instructions. So you simply can't take advantage of much of the power contained in a CISC chip. Which makes the whole thing very slow.

    It's worth noting that many CISC chips nowadays are actually a CISC 'layer' that presents a CISC interface to the outside world for compatability (with older generations of the chip), but the actual execution cores are RISC, and the complex instructions are broken down for the RISC core to process.

    NB: This is all a bit of a simplification, but you should get the overall idea.
  24. ipoddin macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2004
    Los Angeles
    As others have said, just have him buy a cheap PC. Combine that with a KVM switch so he can use his existing monitor, keyboard, and mouse on both computers, and he's all set!
  25. KREX725 macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2003
    Does this new VPC mean I can play Counterstrike on my Mac? :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

    I'm shocked there wasn't one person asking that this time around. :D

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