With Microsoft’s acquisition of Connectix’s VirtualPC this past week, some Mac users have begun to wonder about the future of PC emulation on the Mac. Many have begun to actively look for alternatives, including the open-source x86 emulator Bochs, whose installation some users may find daunting. OpenOSX has come to the rescue with WinTel 1.0.0, an Aqua-based graphical user interface to control Bochs. This release of WinTel has been designed specifically for Mac OS X v10.2, “Jaguar.”
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Improvements to WinTel 1.0.0 include increased performance — more than 200 percent faster than previous WinTel releases, according to OpenOSX. It also brings updated software, new features and enhancements, and has been rebuilt specifically for Jaguar.
WinTel 1.0.0 also adds a simplified installer with separate disk images of ten different open source x86 operating systems, including FreeBSD, GNU Hurd, FreeDos, Minix, Debian Linux, Redhat Linux, MuLinux, PicoBSD, NetBSD and DLX Linux. That’s not all, though — OpenOSX has also tested WinTel 1.0.0 with Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2K, Windows NT 4.0 and Windows XP Professional. And if you’re already a user of VirtualPC, you can copy your VirtualPC files over to a WinTel disk image by using the Mac’s Finder.
The US$30 OpenOSX installs WinTel 1.0.0, Bochs 2.0.2 applications and the disk images of various operating systems. OpenOSX recommends a G4/400MHz or faster system running Mac OS X 10.2.2 – 10.2.4. Just like with other PC emulators, running CPU-intensive games aren’t recommended — but if you want to run some productivity software or other applications that don’t have Mac OS X-native equivalents, WinTel may get you there without resorting to buying a new PC.