Microsoft is likely to ship Virtual PC for Mac 7 in October, the company said last night.

Virtual PC 7 is the latest version of the former Connectix product, and will be required by Power Mac G5 owners that need to run Windows on their Macs. This is because previous versions relied on an arcane on-chip feature that's unavailable on G5 processors.

MacCentral reports that the schedule for shipping the emulation product is "entirely dependent on Microsoft's efforts to ship a new service pack for Windows XP."

The projected date may change, the company warns, if the new service-pack release-date slips.

In a statement, the company said: "We are waiting for the release of Windows XP Service Pack (SP) 2 in order to offer the most recent, most secure version of Windows XP to our Virtual PC for Mac customers.

"Windows XP SP2 release has moved to August, which has impacted our schedule. Based on this, we anticipate that Virtual PC 7 with Win XP Professional and Home will release to manufacturing in September and be on store shelves by early October."

Virtual PC 7 with Windows 2000 and the Standalone and Upgrade versions will be available a few months after this debut," said the company. "Should the Windows XP SP2 release date change the Virtual PC 7 availability date will change accordingly," said Microsoft.