Virtual PC 5 for Mac OS X, the company’s Windows emulator. The new application works with both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X.
Connectix did more than just make Virtual PC 5 run on OS X; they have also added several new features including Windows XP support, DVD-ROM data support, “undoable” drives, and Virtual Switch for increased networking capabilities.
DVD Data support under Virtual PC is for reading disks only, you will not be able to write to a DVD nor will you be able to watch a DVD movie.
Undoable drives is an interesting feature that addresses an issue that many Mac users are not familiar with — viruses. While it’s true that a Mac will not be infected with the many Windows viruses found on the Internet, Virtual PC is exposed and can be infected. Undoable drives will allow you to back out of a Windows session restoring your drive image to before your drive was infected.
“Undoable drives lets you back out of a Windows session and have no changes at all to your drive image,” Kurt Schmucker, Director of Product Management at Connectix told MacCentral. “Even drive images you’ve had running for several days and you saved state — just shutdown and discard all undoable changes and it’ll be as if you never launched Windows through that whole time.”
Undoable drives can also be used after installing beta software or for correcting other problems you encounter in Virtual PC.
Virtual Switch is an added networking feature in Virtual PC 5 that allows multiple guest OS’ to talk to each other, the host and the outside world over a network.
Connectix has also added support for dual processor machines when running under Mac OS X. Virtual PC will automatically use the second processor for all video updating tasks when launched on a dual machine.
When used in full screen mode, especially with large monitors, Virtual PCs Windows desktop often looked choppy — no more says Connectix. Virtual PC 5 now tells Windows to fit to the screen resolution of the Mac, making the desktop look much smoother. You can also resize you Windows desktop and Virtual PC will automatically snap to the next largest or smallest screen size.
With Virtual PC 5, you can now share a drive mechanism. In your preferences you can click an option to always share a particular drive, so when you put in a Zip or DVD, it will automatically be shared with Virtual PC.
In addition, the application supports full mapping between the Macintosh keyboard and a standard PC keyboard, as well as the ability to map keys only found in Windows to your Mac keyboard when using Virtual PC.
Virtual PC 5.0 is currently available in three versions: an upgrade version, a version with Windows 98 pre-installed, and a version with PC-DOS pre-installed. Versions with Windows 2000 and Windows XP Home Edition
pre-installed will begin shipping in late December and early January respectively. Estimated street prices are $79 for Virtual PC 5.0 Upgrade, $99 for Virtual PC with DOS, and $199 for Virtual PC 5.0 with Windows 98. All three of these products are available from the
Connectix online store
and will be at Mac resellers worldwide, including Apple retail locations. Users who have purchased Virtual PC 4.0 anytime since November 1, 2001, are eligible for a free upgrade to Virtual PC 5.0.
The Connectix OS Packs, a companion product to Virtual PC, come with Windows operating systems pre-installed and pre-configured, allowing users to add additional Windows operating systems without having to go through a complex installation process. OS Packs are available at the Connectix online store (www.connectix.com) and include Windows 2000, Windows 98, and Windows Me. Additional Connectix OS Packs with Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Home will begin shipping in late December 2001.
Connectix requires Mac OS X 10.1 and strongly recommends Mac OS X 10.1.1 when using Virtual PC 5.