Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac 7.0 review: Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac 7.0

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.3
  • Setup and interface: 8.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Service and support: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Lets you experience Windows on your Mac.

The Bad Slow; expensive; emulates a slow PC at best; no video-card support; not recommended for PC video games.

The Bottom Line Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac 7.0 is slow and a bit expensive, probably because it includes a Windows license, but it's cheaper than buying and maintaining a real PC--even a low-end one.

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Microsoft Virtual PC 7.0

While Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac 7.0 allows you to run Windows software on a Mac, using any operating-system emulator is like watching a talking dog: you may not think the dog speaks all that well, but the fact that it's speaking is simply amazing. Virtual PC 7.0 doesn't beat the basic emulation problem: you're unlikely to see performance better than that of a bargain-basement PC. But Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac 7.0 offers previously stranded Mac users entry into Windows-only Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and the world of the few remaining PC-only applications, such as Microsoft Access. It also lets designers or customer service reps who need to check PC compatibility or technical issues from a Mac do just that. For those reasons, Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac 7.0 offers business users enough return on their investment.

Installation is a two-step process. First, run the Virtual PC installer, then restart, and install Windows XP Professional. In fact, you can install multiple versions of Windows (if you have copies) by setting up different virtual machines; you can then choose which virtual machine to start up. This is useful for Web and application developers who need to check for compatibility across different versions of Windows.

Launch Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac 7.0, and you're greeted by a standard Windows XP desktop, which you can run in a window or in full-screen mode. Within a separate Virtual PC Settings window, you can modify the virtual level of RAM and VRAM, the virtual machine's networking settings, and more.

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Where to Buy See all prices

Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac 7.0

Part Number: S65-00387 Released: Oct. 7, 2004
MSRP: $129.00 Low Price: $49.95 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Oct. 7, 2004
  • Category networking applications
  • Compatibility Mac