Connectix Corporation today shipped the latest version of Virtual PC, their Pentium emulation software for running Windows (and other PC operating systems) on a Macintosh. Virtual PC 5.0, which is available right away bundled with either Windows 98 or PC-DOS, runs in both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X, and takes advantage of multiprocessor Macs under Mac OS X. The software resolves the various shortcomings seen in the Test Drive version under Mac OS X and adds several new touches that we’ll explore in detail in a later article. In brief, Virtual PC 5.0 has "undoable" hard disk images so you can back out of actions made after a specified point, networking between virtual machines under Mac OS X, support for Windows XP, and greatly improved handling of screen resolutions and full-screen mode. Performance is essentially the same as in the previous version of Virtual PC and between Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X, though Mac OS X doesn’t feel quite as snappy.
Connectix is already selling Virtual PC 5.0 through its online store and says most merchants (including Apple Store retail locations) should have it in stock soon if they don’t already. An upgrade to Virtual PC 5.0 from an earlier version costs $80 (free to users who purchased Virtual PC 4.0 since 01-Nov-01); Virtual PC with DOS costs $100; and Virtual PC with Windows 98 costs $200. Versions bundled with Windows 2000 and Windows XP Home Edition will ship in a few weeks, as will Connectix OS Packs for users who wish to add Windows operating systems to an existing Virtual PC installation. Virtual PC 5.0 requires a PowerPC G3- or G4-based Mac (running at least at 400 MHz for Mac OS X support) with Mac OS 9.1 or later or Mac OS X 10.1 or later. RAM requirements vary from 64 MB to 256 MB depending on whether you’re running in Mac OS 9 or Mac OS X and with different PC operating systems; disk space requirements vary with the PC operating system from 260 MB to 2 GB.