January 11, 2006
Written By John Rizzo
SAN FRANCISCO—Microsoft and a pack of enterprise developers say they are on target for creating Intel-native Mac software despite Apple’s surprise Macworld Expo release of the first Intel-based Macs six months ahead of schedule.
Microsoft announced that it had signed an agreement with Apple to develop Microsoft Office for Mac OS X for at least the next five years for both Intel and PowerPC Macs.
Microsoft will also port Virtual PC for Mac to the new Macs, enabling Mac users to run Windows at near-native speeds.
“We are committed to moving forward with Virtual PC,” said Amanda Lefebvre, marketing manager for Microsoft’s Mac Business Unit.
Apple has previously stated that it would not prevent developers from enabling Windows to run on the new Macs, but Virtual PC for Intel Macs will enable users to run both Mac OS X and Windows at the same time, without rebooting.
“Users still need to switch between both environments to make the experience less intrusive,” Lefebvre said.
Microsoft did not announce when it would ship the new Virtual PC, but users of the new Macs will have to wait for the port.
Unlike the current version of Office, the current version of Virtual PC won’t run under Rosetta, Apple’s support environment for PowerPC-native applications on Intel Macs.