The Macintosh Business Unit (Mac BU) of Microsoft Corp. has confirmed the release of Virtual PC 7.0, Microsoftis PC emulation software, has been delayed from the first half of this year until the second half of 2004 due to longer-than-expected development and testing, a company spokeswoman said.
"Virtual PC for Mac Version 7 will be available in the second half of 2004," Jessica Sommer, Product Manager for the Mac BU, told The Mac Observer, Tuesday. Sommer would not be more specific on a time frame or month.
In explaining the delay, Sommer said, "This is the first version of Virtual PC for Mac developed by Microsoft. Initially, our development and testing timeline was estimated based on our experience with development of Office. The developing, testing, and bug fix cycle with Virtual PC is longer than that of Office and the testing more vigorous than previous versions of Virtual PC. Because of this, we have adjusted our release timing to match a more realistic schedule."
In addition, there is an edition of Virtual PC 7 that ships with Windows XP in a box by itself, as well as Windows XP being included in the Office 2004 Professional Edition," she commented. "We are waiting for the release of Windows XP SP2 in order to offer the most recent, most secure version of Windows XP to our Virtual PC for Mac customers. Windows XP SP2 release has moved to the end of July which has impacted our schedule as well."
Sommer would not confirm the amount of manpower that is working on completing Virtual PC 7.0 for release. "There are 165 people in the Mac BU some are focused on Office, some on VPC, some on MSN Messenger," Sommer said.
The company announced at Macworld Expo last January that it planned on releasing Microsoft Office 2004 Standard Edition, Office 2004 Student and Teacher Edition, Virtual PC 7.0 and its associated Office 2004 Professional Edition in the first half of 2004, targeting the month of May.
With the delay in finishing and releasing Virtual PC 7.0, Sommer confirmed to TMO the decision was made to go ahead and ship Microsoft Office 2004 Standard Edition and Office 2004 Student and Teacher Edition now and not to delay customers from purchasing the product. Customers waiting on the new Office upgrade began receiving notification their orders were being shipped beginning today, as earlier reported by TMO, and many customers were able to buy the products at Appleis retail stores as well beginning Tuesday.
Office 2004 is a bundled suite made up of Word 2004, PowerPoint 2004, Excel 2004, Entourage 2004 and MSN Messenger Version 4.0. Office 2004 for Mac Professional Edition is the same offering as the Standard Edition, but includes Virtual PC 7.0 with Windows XP Professional.
Virtual PC enables Mac users to emulate the operating characteristics of a Windows-based PC, providing Mac users with a way to run software that wonit run natively on their Macs. Few details of Virtual PC 7.0is enhancements have been divulged, but Microsoft had previously confirmed it would be compatible with Appleis Power Mac G5 systems.