Virtual PC Resurfaces in New Office, with a Catch -- Microsoft last month revamped its Office X lineup, adding the recently acquired Virtual PC to a new professional configuration. Office X Standard Edition, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Entourage, drops to $400 (or $240 for those upgrading from Office 98 or Office 2002). A comparable $150 Student and Teacher Edition allows licensed installation on up to three computers. The Office X Professional Edition adds Virtual PC 6.1 for Mac, with Windows XP Professional pre-installed, and costs $500, roughly $100 off what the products would have cost separately before. Microsoft says Virtual PC 6.1 adds no new functionality and is just a rebranding of the 6.0.2 version released by Connectix. An upgrade to Virtual PC 6.1 from earlier versions costs $100. Virtual PC is also available as a $150 stand-alone product; for $220 it includes Windows XP Home, and for $250 it comes bundled with Windows XP Pro.
Unfortunately, these changes come with news that Virtual PC 6.1 for Mac will not work on Apple's new Power Mac G5. Unlike the PowerPC G3 and G4 chips, the PowerPC G5 processor does not support a feature known as pseudo little-endian mode, which Virtual PC uses to emulate a Pentium processor. Microsoft is reportedly working on a fix, but it requires significant engineering work, and no time frame has been given. [MHA]