Patent hints Apple may incorporate Intel’s ‘unified desktop interface’ in Mac OS X Leopard

“On June 22, the US Patent & Trademark Office revealed Intel’s patent application titled ‘Method, apparatus and system for transparent unification of virtual machines,'” Neo reports for Macsimum News.

“The patent states that ‘given the complexity and processing requirements of virtualization, this technology has typically been available only on workstations, servers and/or mainframes for use by sophisticated users. As processor technology advances, however, virtualization is being made available in the desktop environment for use by average users.’ Considering the fact that the patent relates to average consumers using advanced virtual machine technology, the chances are high that Apple will take advantage of Intel’s ‘unified desktop interface’ in their next iteration of OS X, dubbed Leopard. What’s described herein goes far beyond the initial capabilities of Apple’s current Boot Camp solution,” Neo reports.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Tacitus” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: MDN reader “Tacitus” asked in his email to us, “Is this the death of the OS as we know it?” What do you think? A unified interface that controls apps using separate virtual machines is an interesting concept to say the least. Just how radical is Apple planning to be with Leopard?

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Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple ready to take back market share; may debut Windows virtualization in Mac OS X Leopard – April 21, 2006
Apple’s Boot Camp is first step towards Mac OS X Leopard’s inevitable support for virtualization – April 11, 2006
RUMOR: Apple’s Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard to include VMWare-like ‘Chameleon’ virtualization software – March 24, 2006
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


  1. Intel has stated on more than one occasion that they hoped Apple would broaden their (Intel’s) perspective, and that Apple hasn’t disappointed.

    My feeling is that if there is a marriage, of sorts, between Intel’s Unified Interface technology, and MacOSX, the lead influencer of how it looks and operates will be MacOSX.

  2. Darth Avenous. reimpleneting windows API’s (aka the linux wine project) is a massive undertaking and MSFT isn’t going to license them to Apple. People who thin this is an easy thing to do are really out of touch of reality.

  3. Nice… doing web browsing and emails through a VM, that’s pretty sweet! Reading emails in the VM, making it basically impossible for buffer overflows or script-kiddies to take over your machine, keeping address book and other information outside of that VM. Then when you reply or forward it transparently moves it to your host system and allows address book use, etc…

    Same idea for web browsing… the browser could be running on a VM without any visual difference or speed hit, any buffer overflows or vulnerabilities can be kept insulated from your system.

    Of course stupid people can always download and run trojans… there’s no solution for that short of every application being signed by the OS vender, and we DON’T want to go down that road.

  4. and MSFT isn’t going to license them to Apple.

    Apple already has Windows API’s.

    Anyway the Linux Wine project mimicks Windows API’s, do you really think M$ would license their API’s to the open source community?

    Apple has had Mac OS X running on x86 based processors for years, who know what else they have been doing.

    Kensfield Quad core Intel processor – Cinebench Multiple CPU score 1649

    PowerMac G5 Quad (dual Dual Core 2.5) – only 1016

  5. Apple has access to Windows pattens (XP APIs) for those years they shared access to each others pattens when Microsoft bought a bunch of Apple stock. That window has since ended (no new Vista API pattens), but Microsoft needs to remain backwards compitible, so XP APIs still work fine.

    Can it be done, no idea. But it would be interesting.

  6. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that Apple will use this technology it does go along the path that Apple has been following. They have pretty much gotten rid of just about every roadblock that people had with switching. Incompatibility (gone), price (gone), speed (gone), and windows runs slow in VPC (gone. Now they can possibly run just about any piece of software in the Mac OS. Steve has been working hard to make the Mac OS the most versatile OS and this would just be the next logical step. Seriously, the excuses for not switching would all be gone.

  7. Regardless of the API situation, the Wine project has demonstrated that any attempt to reimplement Windows is misguided. The core problem is that Windows shouldn’t have been implemented in the first place; it’s a hodge-podge of interim measures with a lack of an intelligent overall structure.

    The Vista effort has demonstrated that even Microsoft cannot implement Windows with any success any longer. The beast is too complex and lacks the modularity that comes with a good design philosophy. It’s time to buy Windows, not repeat it.

  8. MegaMe: “Apple has access to Windows patten(t)s (XP APIs) for those years they shared access to each others patten(t)s when Microsoft bought a bunch of Apple stock. That window has since ended (no new Vista API pattens), but Microsoft needs to remain backwards compitible, so XP APIs still work fine.”

    Uh, no. Buying another companies stock does not give you rights to anything including patents, except perhaps in bankruptcy proceedings. Having your stock owned by another company doesn’t give you rights to their holdings, even in bankruptcy. If there was any cross licensing done, it was done regardless of any stock transactions.

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