Using virtualization to run Windows and Linux apps plus Mac OS X could double Apple’s market share

“There has been a lot of grumbling in the Apple fan base that questions the decision to migrate to the Intel platform, but could Steve Jobs have a secret weapon up his sleeves to double Apple’s market share in the desktop computing market? There may very well be and it’s Apple’s exclusive license to run on the x86 platform,” George Ou blogs for ZDNet. “When I speak of virtualization, …I’m speaking of the type of virtualization that’s never been available to Apple before but is now because of the new Intel CPUs. The new form of emulation is a thin translation layer that minimizes resource overhead and there are many possibilities… ultimately, perhaps the final goal of Apple is to support true hardware partitioning through paravirtualization.”

To accomplish paravirtualization, “Intel would have to release new Core Duo CPUs that have VT support which is likely in the near future. Apple would have to implement a BIOS compatibility layer for EFI to support bare-metal installation of Windows that only support the conventional BIOS although this is currently just speculation. If these requirements are ever met, you’ll be able to run [and] install multiple operating systems such as Mac OS X for Intel, Windows, Linux, or BSD directly on to the raw [Mac] hardware,” Ou explains.

“The implication of all this is that Apple will be the only companies licensed to run Mac OS X, Windows, and other common x86 operating systems in the world since no one else is licensed to run Mac OS X. This would open the possibility of using Macs for PC gaming or any other Windows application that traditionally wouldn’t run at all or didn’t run well on PowerPC Macintosh PC emulators,” Ou writes. “All the borderline cases where people aren’t sure about a Macintosh because of their requirements for Windows applications and games will all of sudden be more willing to accept the Mac. If Steve Jobs plays his cards right and delivers true paravirtualization, Apple may indeed double its market share.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If Apple Macs could run Windows applications without Windows (best case), or run Windows at near native speed on Intel in a protected environment similarly to how VirtualPC operates on PowerPC today, or dual-boot Windows at worst, it could significantly increase Apple’s Mac market share as it will open whole new industries to the Mac, for just one example: Architecture (AutoCAD). Apple could be closing in on the goal of the ultimate personal computer: run any application you need, regardless of platform, at usable speeds.

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Related MacDailyNews articles:
Intel’s Virtualization Technology runs multiple operating systems simultaneously – February 08, 2006
Is Steve Jobs prepping ‘The Cupertino Project’ – Intel-based Macs that will run Windows apps, too? – December 27, 2005
Will future Intel-based Apple Macs offer multiple OS worlds via virtualization? – November 16, 2005
Intel’s built-in virtualization tech could be one way to run Windows on Intel-based Apple Macs – June 16, 2005
If Intel-based Macs can run Mac OS X and Windows, buying a Mac will be a no-brainer – June 15, 2005
Intel-based Macs running both Mac OS X and Windows will be good for Apple – June 10, 2005
Why buy a Dell when Apple ‘Macintel’ computers will run both Mac OS X and Windows? – June 08, 2005


  1. I’ll keep both duo’s doing OSX though it’s easy to see that this overcomes many hurdles for the folk who have that one legacy app that only runs on Windows.

    The market share is heading towards dobling in the next 18 months anyway. This might ultimately lead to a quadrupling..

  2. Disagree. It would stunt the growth or migration of OS X apps. Why develop for OS X when people can run Windoze via virtualization. AutoCad needs to be convinced to port their app to OS X and all its benefits.

  3. I concur…Mr. Jobs definitely has something up his sleeve and I think it is going to be just that – to run any application at useable speeds on the most beautifully designed Apple machines.

    We shall wait and see what happens at WWDC…

  4. 1994: Power PC means you can run Windows and Windows apps on a Mac!!! Huzzah!!!!

    (The catch–slow as molasses)

    2006: Intel Chips mean you can run Windows and Windows apps on a Mac!!! Huzzah!!!!


  5. PC users frustrated with Microsoft’s inability to design a better OS, and angered with Microsoft’s requirements that Vista users purchase a completely new system would likely give strong consideration for choosing a Mac running Windows applications at native speed.

  6. I keep telling you bimbos

    It’s not going to happen, at best you will be able to run pre-vista windows programs in a window on Mac OS X.

    But your not going to be able to run Vista or it’s programs without VPC under Mac OS X.

    What may happen is a Apple will provide compiler so tweaked Vista code can be easily compiled for Mactels without significant development time.

    This alone in itself will motivate developers to provide two versions of their software on each disk.

    One developer base, one hardware base, two operating system choices.

    This is the only way Apple can compete.

  7. This is the system for me. OS X and Linux running at the same time. Screw Windows, as far as my own personal use is concerned. But for gaining Windows -> OS X switchers, this is dynamite. And when the Windows on Mac users notice that their systems only get corrupted while running Windows, many will make the obvious move.

  8. Great. Now we don’t have to develop a separate version of Photoshop. Want the latest and greatest version? Run the Windows app.

    You’ve saved me loadsa dough. Thanks, f*ckwits!

  9. Adobe el Presidente said: “Great. Now we don’t have to develop a separate version of Photoshop. Want the latest and greatest version? Run the Windows app.”

    The problem Mr. President, is while you will limit your offering to a Windblows version, Apple and others will take advantage of OS X’s specific advanced features. Which will probably continue to be way ahead of Winblows. So your offering will be inferior and offer much less value. Good luck though!

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  10. MacMania – “….OS X’s specific advanced features.W

    Macmania – what are they and what does the current Mac offerings from Adobe and Macromedia make them different from the Windows version?

    I have a Mac and PC with adobe and macromedia software running on both. I see know difference in the software. In fact, on the PC the software runs faster.

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