Monday, January 15, 2007

New challenger in the virtualization game: Virtual Box

Back in 1997, there were plenty of Windows Emulation options for the Mac: Virtual PC, Soft PC, Soft Windows, Real PC, etc... And it was encouraging to see how they competed, taking stabs at each other with new features and performance improvements. But with time, only VPC remained as the only option for Windows-hungry Mac heads. And we all know how "innovative" VPC became the only dog in town . No updates in the last 2 years of the PowerPC era.

Fast forward to 2006, and Parallels offers a killer Virtualization product, and it is already putting nails in VMWare's Fusion coffin, even before it is hatched. Q, iEmulator, Wintel and Wine are also going for a piece of cake. Competition is good.

Now there is a new challenger with ambitions to woo the market. Virtual Box by Innotek. A few Slashdot posts suggest thatit is pretty zippy, and from the screenshots it looks pretty mature. And the best of all, Innotek just released its source code under the GPL, so it can go as far as our fellow programming geeks want to take it.

The only clinch is that their Intel Mac version is only at the Alpha stage, and you have to compile it yourself. Any of our favorite Mac developers up to the task of making a polished binary?