February the 19th 2003
Details on Virtual PC acquisition by Micorosft: the good and the bad news.
Today, I actually wasn't really surprised by the announcement that Microsoft purchased Connectix' Virtual Server, Virtual PC emulation software for Mac OS X and Windows (full story here). During the last ten days I received two mails from two different sources that had never proved their reliability to me in any way until today. That's the reason why I had not posted anything related to these mails earlier.

Both of these sources mentioned that Microsoft was about to acquire Connectix Corp or simply Connectix' Virtual PC emulation software and that this was going to be officially announced soon. But they also gave me some details on the reasons why Microsoft would make that move and on the strategy that is behind this.

The good news?
I think that we don't have to worry about the development of Virtual PC for Mac OS X. According to my, now quite reliable, sources, Microsoft is not only going to continue the development of Virtual PC for Mac OS X, it also plans to push that development further and improve it a lot during the coming months. Members of the Connectix development team have also been hired by Microsoft for that purpose. My sources also claim that this could result to long awaited features like native video hardware acceleration support as well as even better integration between the two environments.

Now the bad news!
Both of the sources mentioned that there was an already well defined strategy behind this purchase. Microsoft definitely wants an even larger part of Mac users to run its Windows XP operating system on their Mac. But how are they going to do that? First exit VPC-DOS, exit VPC-Windows 98 exit VPC-Red Hat, only the Windows XP (Home and Pro) and probably Windows 2000 editions will remain. It means that every buyer of Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac OS will also be a new Windows XP user. Even the Windows 2000 version could be cancelled by MS from now or by 2004.

As for Virtual PC for Windows, Microsoft is going to market it as a sort of "multi-OS-on-1-box" solution intended to companies that really need to run several systems (for example Windows and Linux) at the same time on the same box. Microsoft definitely prefers that some companies that want to support Linux run their servers on a Windows+Linux box than on a Linux only box. Finally, the OS/2 version may be simply discontinued!

I'd like to remind you that this information comes only from the two mails I recently received. I decided to post the information found on these mails although I didn't verify the reliability of these sources because one thing they both mentionned (MS aquisition of Connectix' VS & VPC) has come to reality. My sources didn't mention that Microsoft will buy Virtual Sevrer though. Actually, the first claimed Micorosft would acquire Connectix Corp and the second one claimed that it would either acquire the whole company or only Virtual PC. I'll update this article if I have more info. Don't hesitate to contact me here if you have further details.