Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard’s top secret: running Windows apps without Windows?

Apple Store“Let’s imagine that Steve Jobs wasn’t kidding when he said he didn’t want to show Leopard’s Top Secret stuff at last year’s WWDC. He wasn’t merely having fun at Microsoft’s expense knowing full well how close Vista was coming to the look (but not feel) of OS X. He was quite serious at playing his cards not just close to his vest, but playing a bet-the-house, put-up or shut-up game of poker,” Les Posen blogs for CyberPsych.

“Let’s also imagine that a man who can turn Apple around from a basket case to one of the most admired companies (coming #1 innovator in BusinessWeek’s estimation three years running), keep OS X-on-Intel secret for years, then adapt Intel’s brains and hearts inside his laptops and desktops, really wanted to make the computing world situp and pay attention,” Posen writes.

Posen asks, “How about making Leopard able to run Windows apps without Windows?”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Possible marketing angle: “This Leopard can change its spots.”

Related articles:
Apple’s Leopard delay not so much about iPhone as ‘top secret’ features? – April 14, 2007
The Red Box Myth: Why Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard will not run Windows software natively – May 13, 2006
Mac OS X Leopard to contain ‘Red Box’ for natively running Windows applications? – June 23, 2005


  1. If about ten years ago Apple won the rights to the Win32 API in their technology swap deal with MS, surely Apple also have the rights to ‘give it away’ in their OS. Sure would be cheaper than being forced to buy Vista Ultimate or XP.

  2. The only thing I would use: SoulSeek. Unfortunately, the PC version is better than any Mac client I’ve seen. I used to use it at my old job on the neglected PC we had in our creative dept.

  3. It’s a great thought, but providing support would be an absolute nightmare for Apple. As long as it provides Boot Camp for booting Windows natively, plus you also have alternatives like Parallels for running Windows within OS X of course, Leopard is going to continue to be far superior to anything else that’s available.

  4. Dont mean to bust the bubble…but this is not going to happen…ever. That would literally be like Apple shooting itself in the foot, becuase its doing everything to support Windows….and now its one step closer…above and beyond the danger zone. I’d rather use Paralles for that 1 program, or Bootcamp to play games on my Macbook Pro under Windows.

  5. Um, let’s see, I’ve got Photoshop, Aperture, iWork, iLife, Freeway Express, and a host of niche apps. What on earth could I want from the Windows world? Ah, well, hmm, um, nope, maybe, nah… I got it!

    Neverwinter 2.

    But not bad enough to install Windows.

  6. CodeWeavers?

    They have done this to a limited extent, being able to run quite a few Win apps in Mac OS X without Windows.

    However it takes time to get the apps to work decently and some apps that worked before then don’t work in their later versions.

    DirectX would be a significant problem.

    Apple really needs to slide under the huge development body of Windows apps, sucky as they are.

    Problem of course is over 95% of exploits occur in applications. Mac OS X hasn’t been doing to well at protecting itself from these bad third party coders.

    Third party developers use their apps as a trojan horse to gain root access and hold your spent money hostage in order to get root to install what they want.

    Root installs are a serious security issue and degrade the overall great Mac OS X security experience.

  7. Bruce,

    If you’re missing something, I’m missing it too. The support for windows apps will intice more users to switch. Now they have to switch and add 3rd party software to bridge gap to OSX. With native support, they can avoid that extra expense and effort, which now only serves as a further barrier to switching. There are a lot of users who only hang on to windows for the sake of one or a few programs that don’t exist for Mac. Once they are assured that they can let go of that final tie, there is no limit to the toppling effect this will have on the MS downfall.

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