Application Swap

by David Schloss

Connectix Virtual PC
Rating 98

Connectix’s Virtual PC 4.0, the most recent upgrade to the company’s PC emulation software, features a number of enhancements that make the package more reliable, faster, and generally more valuable for carrying out a variety of everyday tasks in any of a number of OS environments. Connectix boasts that Virtual PC 4.0 features a tremendous speed improvement, especially for users running the software on PowerMac G4s.

Previous Virtual PC installations consumed a few gigabytes of hard drive space, while the new version takes up less than 500MB at install.

Connectix has long received praise for the tight integration between Virtual PC and the Macintosh with drag-and-drop file support and clipboard access between the two environments. Better yet, Connectix’s excellent implementation of translating Mac devices means that Virtual PC seamlessly works with printers, scanners, input devices, and a host of third-party hardware. The software even utilizes the host Macintosh’s network connection, allowing for instant Internet and workgroup connectivity on machines that are already configured.

Virtual PC is available with Windows 98, PC-DOS 2000, or Windows ME preinstalled, but users can install and use multiple operating systems (including Windows 2000) with one copy of Virtual PC, and can even toggle between running PC environments with ease.

Virtual PC has always been a great option for the Macintosh user with sporadic PC needs, but with Version 4.0 it is a viable way for the Mac user to truly have the best of both worlds.

Pros: Faster speed; easier configuration; rock-solid cross-platform support for Mac users looking to access PC software
Cons: Despite speed boosts, still too slow for some applications

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