View Full Version : Alternatives To Virtual-pc

2nd July 2005, 10:28 PM
Hi Folks,

Courtesy of the Australian Tax Office, I have a need to run some Windows software on my Mac and while I'm aware of MS's Virtual PC, I'm curious to know if there are any other packages available. The RRP for Virtual PC without Windows is a bit steep, even if the ATO allows me to claim it as a deduction in next year's return.


2nd July 2005, 10:36 PM
Well the best way is to wait until MacIntel release but that isn't always possible :)

Yeah, get an old PC, only has to be a few hundred MHz, and install Windows XP Pro on it and use Microsofts Remote Desktop client to connect to it, a fast secure way to have windows on your mac.

And it also means your computer doesn't have to do all the work

Hope that Helps :)

3rd July 2005, 11:15 AM
Hi cmjl,

I found a good listing of x86 emulators here (http://emulation.victoly.com/windoze/).

The freeware options: BOCHS (slower, more compatible) and Qemu (faster) or PCx. There are also a couple of cheap emulators available on the site.


11th July 2005, 04:07 PM
Thanks for the feedback folks.

I will most probably end up purchasing a copy of Virtual PC for the Mac, dependent on whether or not the tax office advises me that I will be able to claim the cost of purchasing virtula PC as a cost of managing tax affairs expense, as I will only be using it for running etax.

I'll keep you posted.

11th July 2005, 05:41 PM
excellent idea!
While it is unbelievable that the ATO doesn't have a platform agnostic solution to e-tax (surely they could be sued, don't you think on the grounds of inequality of access?), tax deductability could ease the pain considerably.
Question: could it claimed in the first year, or would it have to be depreciated?
I have just bought virtual PC as part of a office prof upgrade, but haven't gotten around to installing it (don't really use it), but my old man thought he needed it, so I got it for him as it worked out cheaper than buying it separately.

Anyway, love to know what you find out!

12th July 2005, 01:13 PM
The actual question I have asked the Tax Office is :-

If I purchase emulation software for my Macintosh system, and I use it to lodge my e-Tax return, am I able to claim the cost of the emulation software as a "Cost of managing tax affairs" deduction in the following year's return?

I decided to leave it to the ATO to put in any provisos about percentage usage and depreciation rates.

I rang the ATO in late June to ask about this and they advised me (helpfully, I may add) to send the question in in writing to their "Provision of Advice" address. They even helped me with the wording of the question. Can't fault their phone enquiry service.

I sent the letter to the ATO on 1 July after confirming that the only version available was Windows, as e-Tax only became available on 1 July. The ATO has advised me that I should expect a response within 30 days. I'll post the response here.

12th July 2005, 01:52 PM
get VPC it comes with MS office but yeah.

I wish connectix still owned it

28th July 2005, 04:06 PM
I received an initial response from the ATO re my query. They are treating it as a "Private Ruling" and have asked me for more information about my enquiry. I have sent back the information and would hope to have a ruling within 28 days.

Stay tuned!

28th July 2005, 04:26 PM
As others have said, the best equivilent to VPC is a real PC. Yes, its more expensive, but the extra money you pay is worth it.

26th August 2005, 11:10 AM
Today I received my private ruling response from the ATO.

After 6 pages of relevant tax law and a restatement of my question, the answer was


(methinks they are in cohorts with Optus?)

Anyways, last week I took lcguy's and others advice and obtained a cheapie PC with which to run etax on.

By cheapie PC, I mean free in exchange for an hour or two of my time helping a friend migrate from his old machine to his new machine. His old machine (sans monitor) became payment.

Still, the machine will have SUSE Linux on it before too long, and if I don't feel like lobotomising it with Windows next year I may buy Virtual PC then, use it, claim it and then uninstall it until the following year, etc.

Thanks again to all for your comments and suggestions!

26th August 2005, 03:36 PM
get a PC...


with the prices of PC these days virtual PC and all that stuff is useless. Virtual PC is a load of S***.

You can get a Dell PC + 17inch screen (sometimes even 19inch) for $899.

I always recommend Dell since they have bottom low prices. Of course you can custom build it and save a hundred or so, but why waste your time?

considering Virtual PC is $299 with no windows CD it is pretty stupid to get it.

emulation is crap, its slow and a big rip off. its very very annoying. you will regret getting virtual pc.

26th August 2005, 05:28 PM
use VPC its the best one out of them all (and still unbelivably slow) so really, its a waste of money unless you really want it...

27th August 2005, 09:44 AM
today I received my private ruling response from the ATO.

After 6 pages of relevant tax law and a restatement of my question, the answer was


(methinks they are in cohorts with Optus?)

Is that yes, in you can claim the cost this year, or yes, it must be depreciated?

27th August 2005, 06:53 PM
The explanation states :=

"In your case the cost of the computer software would not be deductible as it is considered to be a capital expense. However, any use you make of the software for an income-tax related matter will be taken to be for the purpose of producing assessable income. This will enable depreciation to be claimed on the software used for meeting your taxation obligations."

"Section ... of the ITAA 1997 allows a deduction for the decline in value (formerly depreciation) of a depreciating asset owned and used, or installed for use, in the production of assessable income."

"An immediate deduction is available under subsection... of the ITAA for certain depreciating assets costing $300 or less to the extent that the asset is used for taxable purpose during the respective income year."

"Therefore as the software you intend purchasing in the 2006 tax year is less than $300, you can deduct the full cost of the $299 in that year."

So, it looks like any purchase I'd make of VPC would be classed as a depreciating value asset, but as it's less than $300 it can be claimed in one hit.

I believe that the info that the ATO has determined will be published shortly on their rulings web site.


It&#39;s a moot point now though. As I&#39;ve mentioned, I&#39;ve obtained a friend&#39;s old PC and did it that way. I just couldn&#39;t bring myself to buy a new PC otherwise&#33;

27th August 2005, 07:14 PM
Honestly, get yourself a P3 machine, 256MB of RAM 2nd hand, probably cost you &#036;150. Plug it into your Macs ethernet port with a cross over cable, get a trial version of Windows 2003 off the internet, install it, then log into the Windows 2003 box via Remote Desktop.

Handy to keep around for those times you need a Windows machine :)