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Newsletter #350 Preview: Why the Death of Virtual PC is Another Microsoft Failure

When the news was first broadcast that Microsoft had acquired the rights to Connectix Virtual PC in February 2003, I had mixed feelings. You see, Microsoft was notorious for acquiring technologies from other companies, and then killing them.

But this didn’t make much sense to me, because Virtual PC was a great addition to Microsoft’s product portfolio. It would, after all, sell more copies of Windows, and I had the hope that their Mac Business Unit would somehow eke more performance out of the program, particularly when it came to graphics. As it was, Windows emulation software on the Mac was pathetic, barely usable.

Of course, the marketing people put the usual positive spin on the transaction. According to a Macworld report at the time, quoting Microsoft’s Tim McDonough, “This is just another sign that we’re committed to the Mac by broadening the products we bring to the platform. This is a product we will continue to offer and improve.”


I suppose, for a while. I mean the interface got better, and there were minor performance boosts and interface enhancements. But when it took so many months to make Virtual PC compatible with the Power Mac G5, you could see the handwriting was on the wall.

Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.