InformationWeek: Now that Vista is the past, let’s look at the future: Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard

“One of the best things about the launch of Windows Vista — finally — is that it clears the decks. Now we can look past it to the really interesting operating systems coming in the future, like Apple’s version of OS X that will natively run Windows XP applications. I swear I’m not making this up. But other people may be,” David DeJean writes for InformationWeek.

DeJean writes, “People like Robert X. Cringely, for one. The host of PBS’s NerdTV and online columnist earlier this year published a run of weekly columns on the subject of Apple’s OS strategy post-Vista. Boot Camp had just been announced, so he couldn’t take credit for predicting that one, and some of his forecasting is so far out there it sounds like science-fiction. But some of the other things he said in April have turned out to be pretty prescient. Like, Vista ‘will really be Windows XP SP4 with a new name’ (there’s room for argument, but I’d say the statement is covered by the Cringester’s literary license), and ‘I predict that Apple will settle on 64-bit Intel processors ASAP’ (a process that’s well underway).”

So what does Cringely prognosticate for the Mac crowd?
1. Vista on Macs (virtualized): Cringley says something that is may have been a wild-eyed prediction in April but in December is beginning to sound like a draft press release: that maybe Apple should just buy Parallels, Inc.

2. XP apps on Macs without XP: Leopard will run native Windows XP applications with no copy of XP installed on the machine at all — no virtualization, no emulator software like Wine, but by implementing the Windows API directly in the OS.

MacDailyNews Note: Wine Is Not an Emulator.

3. OS X on PCs: After Apple gets all its hardware to 64-bit Intel processors, it will “announce a product similar to Boot Camp to allow OS X to run on bog-standard 32-bit PC hardware, turning the Boot Camp relationship on its head and trying to sell $99 copies of OS X to 100 million or so Windows owners.”

DeJean writes, “Would I like a version of OS X to install on my PC that will run all my Windows apps and free me from having to ever think about Vista again? Uh, let me think about it. OK, I’ve thought about it. Cash or credit card?”

Full article here.

Related articles:
Run Windows apps on Apple Macs without Microsoft Windows – October 10, 2006
CrossOver Mac runs Windows applications on Mac OS X without Microsoft Windows – August 31, 2006
Apple’s Schiller: No virtualization in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, ‘our solution is dual boot’ – July 10, 2006
RUMOR: Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard to feature virtualization, ‘living interface elements’ and more – May 30, 2006
Apple ready to take back market share; may debut Windows virtualization in Mac OS X Leopard – April 21, 2006
Cringely: Apple plans to provide best darned Windows experience anywhere -even better than Microsoft – April 15, 2006
Apple’s Boot Camp is first step towards Mac OS X Leopard’s inevitable support for virtualization – April 11, 2006
Cringely predicts Apple Boot Camp for non-Apple PCs to allow Mac OS X to run on generic x86 boxes – April 07, 2006
RUMOR: Apple’s Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard to include VMWare-like ‘Chameleon’ virtualization software – March 24, 2006


  1. Who cares about Vista on a Mac.

    The only reason to run any flavor of windows is to run applications which are not available for the Mac, like, e.g., AutoCad. As long as I can do that, Vista brings nothing to the table that we cannot do with OSX. I could as well just use Windows 2000 and run AutoCAD with it.

    Of course, the best scenario is to find OSX native alternatives to those few windows-only programs and to dump them like a bag of thrash.

    Developers, developers, developers. Oh, the irony.

  2. Apple will not do virtualization, but I could imagine that they have to buy Parallels so that M$ doesn’t grab it first (and kill it). If Apple did buy Parallels, that would be something.

    The only thing we know is that things are going very well, and there are a lot of people new and old with their eyes on Apple, eagerly awaiting the next insanely great thing.

    Great time to be an Appleite.

  3. OS X on PC’s MAY happen…but not for some time. Not until the Mac gains MAJOR market share in hardware. It would require either NO support from Apple (“I can’t get my printer to work on my Dell running OS X!”)

    or an act of God…

  4. OS X on PCs? Why do people continue to speculate on this point?

    It’ll NEVER happen.

    One of the (many) reasons that the Mac OS has always run so smoothly and predictably (with exceptions, of course) has been that Apple controls the hardware and writes OS code or a relatively limited list of hardware configurations.

    Toss OS X into the cesspool of generic PC boxes and it won’t be OS X.

    Apple will NEVER allow Mac OS X to run on generic hardware.

  5. Actually I could see it if they limited it to 32 bit or somehting, so if you want a “real mac” you still need to buy a “real mac”

    no matter what we need a cheaper mac.. the mini is too much $$$

  6. It will all happen on Mac Hardware, or, it will not happen at all!

    Apple will not sell a couple of hundred dollars of software to run on a $900 dollar PC, when they can offer all the crappy PC software will run on a $1500 Mac. Best of both worlds for the consumer and Apple get to sell more Macs.

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