Q: Reader Mark Glancey asked about the Aug. 18-25 Technology & You column on Virtual PC, which lets a Mac use Windows software: ''Is a reverse product available that would permit Windows to emulate Mac OS software?''
A: The answer is a very qualified yes. Executor from ARDI (www.ardi.com) is a $249 DOS-based package that gives PCs a limited ability to run Macintosh software. There's no support for networks, sound, or modems, and printing is complicated. Many Mac programs, especially newer ones, won't work. For example, you can run Microsoft Excel 4.0 but not the current 5.0.
There's a simple reason why there are no Mac emulators of the quality of Virtual PC or SoftWindows 95: Apple Computer has refused to license its system software for use in such programs. This has forced would-be emulators to rely entirely on reverse-engineering Apple's software, with less-than-satisfactory results.
Fortunately, there are Windows versions of nearly all Mac software. And Mac-in-DOS, a $129 program from Pacific Micro (800 628-3475), will allow Windows versions of programs such as Adobe Photoshop or PageMaker to read directories on and save files to Mac-formatted disks.
Updated Sept. 4, 1997 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1997, Bloomberg L.P.