Microsoft's Mac retreat continues: no more Virtual PC

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Microsoft has decided that there’s no point continuing to develop its Virtual PC software for the Mac
, and I quite agree.

With the speed of change in the Mac, with everything moving over to Intel, with Boot Camp coming in Leopard, and with other third-party applications available, what would be the point?

I’ve never been a great fan of Virtual PC, and now with dual-booting Intel based Macs, anyone who really wants or needs to run Windows can, straight out of the tin (well, assuming you’ve bought a Windows OS of course) – or as near as, anyway.

It continues Microsoft’s disappearance from the Mac scene, and I’m tempted to say "Mac users don’t need no stinkin’ Microsoft". Oh, I have.

They told us some time ago that there’d be no further Internet Explorer
development – oh dear, you mean we can’t run the most
up-to-date version of a security-flawed, non-standards compliant browser on our
Macs? How will we cope?

To my mind, the sticking point has always been Microsoft Office – yes,
that huge piece of gloop that nearly everyone the world over has
been trapped with and so must use forever more.

Microsoft and Apple signed a deal at the beginning of this year
guaranteeing we’ll see Office on our Macs for at least the next 5
years. Hopefully by then, open standards will have prevailed and we
won’t need to be tied to the Redmond giant in any way.

Wishful thinking, maybe, but it looks like Apple, third-party devs, and
its users, will need to find decent alternatives, as it looks like
Microsoft could desert completely not too far down the line. It’s not
as if MS and Apple are exactly buddies, is it?

Andy Merrett

3 comments

  • MBU also stated the other day that VB scripting is also going to be making a retreat from the universal version of Office. The Windows Office development group in the meantime are enhancing VB scripting in Office 2007. Which means those who have made extensive use of this in their documents and spreadsheets are going to have an issue with cross platform compatibility in the future as the new version won’t support it and older versions will probably throwup at the enhanced changes.

    This is possibly going to make it more difficult for those already having issues justifying their Mac’s to do so if there are issues (yeah, virtualization and running Windows might be an option but then at that juncture, the company may just force Windows altogether and say no Mac’s).

    So while Office for Mac has yet to retreat as a product, there are changes happening which is going to end rendering it for some folks, as good as a retreat. This is a nice underhanded thing probably being dictated from higher up in Microsoft. I didn’t agree before about seamless apps w/o the need for Windows but after this, something like that is needed for critical apps like Office just as a hedge.

  • The ideal solution will be in the form of any company who takes advantage of WINE, such as Codeweaver, VMware and Darwine. These solutions will allow us to run the few Windows apps we need to on our Macs without having to load the Windows OS.
    They have been using WINE solutions on Linux for years. Bless these folks.

  • I wish Microsoft would refresh Media Player for the Mac. It’s a terrible piece of software but it’s a real struggle to get some of the Windows Media encoded movies to play on my iMac, especially those with DRM.

    Of course, the ideal solution would be for sites to start using another format but that just doesn’t seem to be happening.

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