Microsoft plans to take a giant leap into the server consolidation space this week by announcing the acquisition of virtual server software company Connectix. The software giant, which is expected to formally unveil the deal Thursday, will use the technology to allow customers to carve out multiple partitions on a single Intel-based server, allowing them to run multiple instances of a single operating system and multiple workloads. Update: Read more for info on the fate of the MacOSX version.“They see a market in server consolidation and they want a piece of it,” said one source familiar with the deal. Connectix also makes Virtual PC for Windows, Virtual PC for Mac and Virtual PC for OS/2, which allows customers to run multiple operating systems on a PC. The technology will be integrated into the Windows code, sources said.
We don’t know the fate of Virtual PC for Mac which allows Mac users to run Windows on their Macs. Virtual PC is strategically an important application for Apple as it allows users to run applications that are tied to Windows that could potentially be important for these users.
Please note that VMWare can not run on any architecture other than x86 while the Bochs emulator is extremely slow when compared to Virtual PC and is neither as flexible, easy to use or as good/compliant with x86 and its peripheral hardware. Bochs is getting better by the day, but it is nowhere near the capabilities and the user experience Virtual PC offers today. If Microsoft decides to not continue supporting the Mac platform, Apple could be facing a big blow, as Virtual PC is among the most important apps in the Mac land and a “bridge” between the two platforms.
Update: A Microsoft executive said the company did not purchase the software to kill it, nor does Microsoft plan to stop developing its native Macintosh software, such as the Mac OS X version of Office.
“Mac OS X applications (are the) best solution for heavy access to applications (like Office),” said Tim McDonough, director of marketing for Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit. “Virtual PC just takes that to the next level–you can now be compatible with applications that only run on the PC.“. OSNews surely hopes that Microsoft will continue to support OS/2 and MacOSX after the purchase of the Connectix assets.