Microsoft releases Virtual PC 7

First introduced on Jan. 6, 2004, Microsoft Corp.'s Macintosh Business Unit on Tuesday will announce the release of Virtual PC 7 for the Mac. Among the many new features, company executives boast about a 10 percent to 30 percent increase in performance and support for Apple's Power Mac G5.

"On top of the list for imporvements in Virtual PC over the last version is performance," Scott Erickson, group product manager of the Mac BU at Microsoft, told MacCentral. "If you've used previous versions you no doubt know that performance can be a little sluggish. Based on our testing we found that there is a 10 to 30 percent improvement over Virtual PC 6. The biggest improvements are around graphics performance with screen redraws, refresh rate and text rendering."

Erickson said that Microsoft also spent a lot of time on installation and documentation, making the setup easier for Mac users who aren't used to using Windows. Mac OS X Panther users can also print from any PC application, and the file will automatically print to the Mac's default printer, using a new printing wizard in Virtual PC.

Virtual PC 7 with Windows XP Professional and Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Professional Edition are now available at major resellers nationwide. Virtual PC 7 costs US$249, and Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Professional Edition will be $499. An upgrade version of Office 2004 Professional Edition is also available for $329.

Other editions of Virtual PC 7, including Virtual PC 7 with Windows XP Home Edition, Windows 2000 Professional, Standalone and Upgrade, will be available over the next few months. Virtual PC 7 and Office 2004 Professional is available in English only -- details on availability in French, German, Japanese and Swedish will be announced by the comapany at a later date.

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