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Farewell Connectix: Microsoft Snares a Mac Icon


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Connectix, the company behind RAMDoubler, SpeedDoubler and VirtualPC, has been acquired by Microsoft, in Redmond's second Silicon Valley purchase inside a month, according to a story at San Jose Mercury.

Connectix is a long-time Mac developer, best known in recent times for VirtualPC, its emulator which lets Windows and Windows applications run on a Mac in software.

Connectix itself may not disappear as an entity; the company is privately-held, although MS has acquired what amounts to the bulk of its assets.

Around half Connectix's 100 employees will move to Redmond, while the other half, who work on Mac products, will stay in the Valley providing VPC support. Some may move to Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit.

MS will reportedly release a product utilizing Connectix's technology which allows Unix-based operating systems to run on Windows servers, apparently in a bid to outflank Oracle and Sun.

Analysis: A sad day. I swore by (and still do) SpeedDoubler for older Power Macs and PowerBooks for its superior 68K emulation. RAMDoubler was/is a great hack. And VPC is relied upon day in, day out, by 1 million Mac users to run a few Windows apps when they absolutely have to. Let's hope that MS is simply adding to its suite of Mac software, not killing the golden goose. It's reasonable to assume that VPC is profitable, although one fears how MS might butcher it.

In our book, how MS handles VPC will be a litmus test of how seriously both Redmond and the MacBU continue to take their Mac OS software market.




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