Apple ready to take back market share; may debut Windows virtualization in Mac OS X Leopard

“Needham & Co analyst Charles Wolf is maintaining a ‘Hold’ rating on Apple stock – but has hopes that Mac sales will surge once the entire range move to Intel,” Jonny Evans reports for Macworld UK. “He expects the full product transition to complete by the first quarter of 2007. And he thinks that Boot Camp will be integral to future success. ‘Mac shipments could surge on the strength of the ability of Macs to run Windows applications,’ he wrote.”

“Apple’s secret market share weapon – Boot Camp – could be integral to the company’s future fortunes: ‘The driver of the sales upside will be the ability of the Mac to run Windows applications either through dual-booting or virtualisation,’ the analyst explained,” Evans reports. “Wolf adds that he thinks Apple will extend Windows support in its future Leopard OS by adding a virtualisation engine that lets Mac users run Windows at the same time as OS X. At present users can only choose to boot into Mac or Windows operating systems. ‘In our opinion, we believe there is a reasonable chance that Apple itself will build virtualisation into Leopard, the next version of Mac OS X, which should ship soon after MacWorld San Francisco in January 2007,’ he explained.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple themselves are dropping a big hint about the future of Windows apps on Macs. On their Boot Camp webpage, Apple states, “Apple will include technology in the next major release of Mac OS X, Leopard, that lets you install and run the Windows XP operating system on your Mac. Called Boot Camp (for now), you can download a public beta today.” Note the “(for now)” part. Having the ability to run “Windows as the new Classic,” as John Gruber describes it, along with the ability to cut and paste between OSes, it a much better solution than the choice at bootup offered by the beta Boot Camp. The only big question in our minds is whether Apple can manage to cut Microsoft out of the equation with something like a solid, working Darwine (Windows apps on a Mac without Windows) or if they’ll cozy up to Microsoft and use Windows. Just this morning, Robert X. Cringely says Apple is implementing Windows API directly in Mac OS X Leopard and they already have it running in their labs.

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Related MacDailyNews article:
Apple implementing Windows API directly in Mac OS X Leopard? (Windows apps on Mac without Windows) – April 21, 2006
Dude, you got a Dell? What are you, stupid? Only Apple Macs run both Mac OS X and Windows! – April 05, 2006

20 Comments

  1. I want to run a Windows-only CAD program that I already own (Chief Architect) but I’m holding off buying a full copy of Windows. I’m hoping Apple will figure out a way to let me install this application without needing to have Windows. Just not sure if I can hold out until ’07.

  2. I hope they DON’T use something like WINE.. unless Apple can offer 100% compatibility (or near as) then switchers won’t have the security of knowing their old Windows apps will just work. WINE is dodgy at best, and only works with a few apps, and constantly needs updating.

    The FUD spread would be unbelievable if Apple used a WINE approach. I hope Apple just provide a way to work with Microsoft to enable virtualisation built-in to 10.5 in the same way that Parallels works now, but perhaps in an even more elegant fashion.

    Don’t fight users’ needs, work with them. That means enabling a clean Windows installation on intel Macs and allowing users to install their apps seamlessly, reliably, and without any undue hassle or thought.

  3. Steve,

    “Who gives a s***?” Only people with enough disposable income to actually invest it in their futures. Methinks you’re a hand-to-mouth, where’s my next six-pack kind of guy, right? Return to your trailer and make sure that propane tank valve is screwed on real tight.

  4. I’ve been wondering if Leopard might be able to do virtualization _as well as_ dual boot for Windoze, maybe from the same/single partition on the HD. That way, if you one needs GPU acceleration, you boot into Windoze, and for all else you can use Windoze in virtualization mode.

    How about that; Totally nuts or a workable idea?

  5. Apple is rightly being cautious regarding the compatibility of Windows apps in order to avoid destroying Mac developers. Dual boot (Boot Camp) seems to be a good balance–those who MUST use Windows for an occasional app can do so, but most Mac users will not want the bother of rebooting, nor will they want to spend the $$ to buy their own copy of Windows. Honestly, no sane developer would waste the money to develop an OS X native app if Mac users could run Windows apps seamlessly with no additional expense. Seriously, any CEO that spent money developing OS X apps would be fired by his board, and rightly so. Apple must step carefully here.
    GO APPLE!
    Jake

  6. I personally would be very, very surprised if Apple included any kind of support for running Windows concurrently on OS X. I cannot think of anything that would destroy the market for native OS X applications faster. Why would Adobe bother the *large* task of rewriting photoshop for OS X when their existing Windows product would run adequately under this Windows XP virtualized environment? This would kill all major application support outside Apple. [This would be similar to what happened to OS/2 applications support about 12 years ago (yes, there were other factors).] Unless Apple is planning on getting out of the software side of things entirely and becoming just another Windows OEM who happens to sell iPods, this would make no sense at all. I cannot see Apple going any further than providing BootCamp and leaving the virtualization support to 3rd party vendors.

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