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Connectix to Offer Virtual PC Acceleration?

Virtual PC, the highly acclaimed leader in Windows emulation software for the Macintosh, is due for a major upgrade in late September. Version 3.0 will pack such features as the ability to share a single Internet connection between your Mac and Windows; extensive USB device support; AppleScript support; faster, more convenient networking; and a handy Configuration Manager.

But what's to come after version 3.0 is said to be the most exciting advancement yet. According to sources, the folks at Connectix are hard at work on a Virtual PC accelerator component. Said to be based around a standard PCI card, the hardware accelerator is rumored to accelerate Virtual PC functions twofold.

According to sources, a 400MHz Power Macintosh G3 with the Virtual PC Accelerator PCI card installed would successfully emulate the speed and functionality of a 350MHz Wintel-based system. Today, if Virtual PC users want a speed boost, they often must resort to cheap system hacks that quit the Finder upon booting and launch directly into Virtual PC.

The PCI accelerator card is currently being developed alongside the next major revision of Virtual PC, which will ship sometime in the middle of next year, sources said. A Virtual PC bundle, which would include the latest version of Virtual PC and the accelerator PCI card, is being positioned to cost under $500 dollars.

This technology would mark Connectix's reentry into the hardware spectrum —an area they recently abandoned. The move would also mark a new era in emulation technology. There'll be much more to come on this new technology as information becomes available.