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MacRumors
Nov 30, 2007, 09:57 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

An interesting observation (http://www.winehq.org/pipermail/wine-devel/2007-November/060846.html) was noted on the Wine mailing list. As it turns out, new in Leopard is the ability to load and understand Windows Portable Executable (PE) files (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_Executable) which is the common format for Windows applications and libaries. Understandably, the author raises a number of questions about the discovery:
So this leads to the question. Whats going on? Is this a hold over from EFI which is PE by default? Why would the OS need to load the EFI files? Maybe just for easy of development and testing? Or is something else going on? Is Apple going to be adding a win32 compatibility layer to OS X? Is having a loader of any use to us?
This, of course, leads some people (http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2007/11/30/uncovered-evidence-that-mac-os-x-could-run-windows-apps-soon) to the most dramatic conclusion: that Apple may be integrating Windows virtualization into Mac OS X itself. Of course, rumors of this possibility had been circulating for the months prior to Leopard's official release.

One developer we contacted about this thought it was very unlikely and felt that this parsing of PE files may simply be the product of Apple's ongoing work with Safari and iTunes for Windows. He also noted that simply parsing PE files is a far step from being able to actually run Windows applications.

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/11/30/leopard-recognizes-windows-executable-format-virtualization-in-the-works/)



Eidorian
Nov 30, 2007, 09:59 AM
Great now we're back to WWDC 2006 rumors on Leopard.

xUKHCx
Nov 30, 2007, 10:00 AM
This sounds interesting, the iTunes excuse doesn't seem to fly after all iTunes for Windows was around hell of a long time before Leopard. Wonder what it could mean, probably nothing.

GoCubsGo
Nov 30, 2007, 10:00 AM
I don't really think I like the sound of that.

Geek 2.0
Nov 30, 2007, 10:03 AM
so what does this mean? does it mean i can install windows apps on leopard??? i doubt it does, but i sure hope so, b/c then i can run games w00t (maybe not, but still i'm excited)

CANEHDN
Nov 30, 2007, 10:05 AM
I don't really think I like the sound of that.

Neither do I. Apple has already stated that Bootcamp could hurt Mac built apps. I doubt they would allow windows apps to run on OS X. That could doom the Mac app industry.

diamond.g
Nov 30, 2007, 10:06 AM
Sounds like OS/2 to me...

I don't think it is a good idea for Apple to go down that route at all. The idea is to get people away from Windows not invite UI problems.

0racle
Nov 30, 2007, 10:09 AM
This sounds interesting, the iTunes excuse doesn't seem to fly after all iTunes for Windows was around hell of a long time before Leopard. Wonder what it could mean, probably nothing.

That iTunes on windows was around long before Leopard adds to the suggestion it is related to that work. It could simply be that now they are working off of a more unified code base and Leopard was where that unification became apparent.

I also agree that it means nothing. `file` on a ia32 UNIX/Linux can tell you a file is a PPC or ia64 executable but that doesn't mean someone is working on something in the kernel to let a ia32 execute a PPC or ia64 binary.

EDIT: hit a tab when I didn't mean to.

goosnarrggh
Nov 30, 2007, 10:12 AM
Wild speculation:
Could be the first step toward introducing native support for the supposedly platform-independent .NET runtime (or the open-source Mono equivalent).

While not strictly speaking Win32 binaries (or even i386 binaries of any sort for that matter), applications built for .NET are also wrapped up using the PE file format by default .

xUKHCx
Nov 30, 2007, 10:15 AM
That iTunes on windows was around long before Leopard adds to the suggestion it is related to that work. It could simply be that now they are working off of a more unified code base and Leopard was where that unification became apparent.

I also agree that it means nothing. `file.



Windows support was added 16/10/2003, Tiger was released 29/04/2005. Why didn't they unify the code based back with Tiger. Not saying you are wrong but it seems a little out but then again this is Apple.

sunfast
Nov 30, 2007, 10:19 AM
Whilst I'm keen not to read too much into this, I would certainly be concerned about the future of mac apps if this becamwe a reality.

JC4
Nov 30, 2007, 10:19 AM
No way. Think of the support headaches if you claim windows app compatibility. Better VM support sure, but Apple wont directly support Windows apps in OS X.

JohnC

DrMoray
Nov 30, 2007, 10:21 AM
I would love to see Windows apps run right in OSX. I'm sure Apple could do it if they wanted to, but they have to have a reason. Leopard with Bootcamp is having it's effect. People are buying Macs. When the bootcamp luster starts to fade a bit, because rebooting or even virtualization have their limits, it could prompt Apple to release such a feature in 10.6 or whatever.

Technically possible, but I'm still left thinking "Why would Apple do this?"

tkidBOSTON
Nov 30, 2007, 10:23 AM
Sweet, I can't wait til I can launch a windows virus in OS X!


...Okay fine, so maybe this news doesn't lead us down that road just yet. I'm not quite there on the technical knowledge to be able to come to a rational conclusion so this is the one I drew. Hopefully I'm way off base.

williedigital
Nov 30, 2007, 10:26 AM
No way. Think of the support headaches if you claim windows app compatibility. Better VM support sure, but Apple wont directly support Windows apps in OS X.

JohnC

Couldn't they limit it to only windows apps that they "approve" kinda like how they approve dashboard widgets? They could release an xcode-like software package that would allow developers to convert their windows apps to a format that by and large fits the osx interface design guidelines. Couldn't they?

Small White Car
Nov 30, 2007, 10:31 AM
Neither do I. Apple has already stated that Bootcamp could hurt Mac built apps. I doubt they would allow windows apps to run on OS X. That could doom the Mac app industry.

Exactly. Boot Camp and Parallels and Fusion are all ok because they present a slight barrier. Someone has to go out and spend money on Windows and then maintain 2 different OSes. It's great that this exists, but let's face it; the 'average' Mac user isn't going to mess with all that stuff.

But if you could just run Windows apps right in Leopard, a LOT of developers would stop writing Mac versions of their software and just tell you to buy the Windows version. That would suck because (1) performance would obviously not be optimized for the Mac and (2) it would look like ****** to have various Windows-themed software mixed in with Mac-looking software.

But if Apple did do this, that's what we'd be stuck with more and more. Macs would stop being "Computers that run any OS" and suddenly become "Computers that run software worse than Windows does."

So it's ok for SOME Mac users to run Windows software but it's not ok for ALL Mac users to run Windows software. I don't think you'll ever see Apple go beyond Boot Camp.

IJ Reilly
Nov 30, 2007, 10:33 AM
Lest we forget, virtualization is already possible. The real question is whether Apple would prefer to do have users virtualize Apple's way or somebody else's way. Given what we know about Apple's interest in controlling the user experience, I think it's only a matter of time before Apple provides users with a method for doing this. The more they see third-party solutions being used, the more likely this becomes. Remember the lesson of Boot Camp!

Darkroom
Nov 30, 2007, 10:36 AM
i'm not a PC gamer, so i can't remember the last time i wanted/needed to use windows for anything...

EDIT: ok, maybe it's nice to have the use of IE7 for web development testing... but seriously... i can't think of anything else.

flopticalcube
Nov 30, 2007, 10:37 AM
I would be happy with fast OS switching alone. Seems much easier to implement than virtualization as most of the components are there already. Alternatively, Apple could be laying down a framework for VMware/Parallels to build on where you could install and run all your Windows apps from you HFS+ boot drive.

Mykbibby
Nov 30, 2007, 10:45 AM
Windows virtualization will never be included with an OS produced by Apple. It just doesn't make sense. Here's Apple, bragging to the world about how its OS is superior to Windows, and they don't ever have to deal with viruses, etc. and to include Windows virtualization support standard wouldn't make sense. Steve sums it up best... We'll offer Boot Camp, and if you wan't something more, there are some great virtualization products available.

tvon
Nov 30, 2007, 10:46 AM
Listen to the voice of reason. Apple is not going to spend the time and money to bring the Windows experience to OSX. It would be a constant headache, and there are already companies out there willing to shoulder the burden.

SthrnCmfrtr
Nov 30, 2007, 10:46 AM
I wouldn't fight with Apple purchasing Parallels.

But this? Way too many problems.

I had to use Boot Camp for a few days there, and it was nice. If it's not 3D, Parallels is fine the way it is.

I agree with what others have said about seriously harming OS X app development.

minik
Nov 30, 2007, 10:48 AM
If that's the fact, I don't like the idea behind it.

Krevnik
Nov 30, 2007, 10:48 AM
Lest we forget, virtualization is already possible. The real question is whether Apple would prefer to do have users virtualize Apple's way or somebody else's way. Given what we know about Apple's interest in controlling the user experience, I think it's only a matter of time before Apple provides users with a method for doing this. The more they see third-party solutions being used, the more likely this becomes. Remember the lesson of Boot Camp!

The lesson of Boot Camp is that Apple and the hackers were both working to get Windows running on the Intel systems. As much as I would like to believe that Apple got the idea from hackers and pushed it out ASAP, the level of work provided with the first Boot Camp beta tells me that the project was going on for awhile internally, but they hadn't intended to release until Leopard. In that situation, it is a bit dangerous to let the hackers run free with their booting solution, and prompted Apple to release the beta. Companies (even Apple) just aren't as agile as the public assumes they are.

Couldn't they limit it to only windows apps that they "approve" kinda like how they approve dashboard widgets? They could release an xcode-like software package that would allow developers to convert their windows apps to a format that by and large fits the osx interface design guidelines. Couldn't they?

Uhm, what? Widgets aren't 'approved' by Apple, and you don't need Dashcode to make them.

Plus, such technology would be a monster to create and maintain. Far far more complicated than WINE or a virtualization tool (which are complex on their own). It would actually just be easier to give devs better porting tools.

longofest
Nov 30, 2007, 10:49 AM
I'm in 100% agreement with the developer that we talked to.

Parsing an executable is a LONG way from running it. If you had a progress chart, you'd be at about .5%. I'm being absolutely serious. There are just too many supporting libraries that would need to be RELIABLY reverse-engineered (or licensed) in order to have the apps run.

Object-X
Nov 30, 2007, 10:49 AM
I'm much more interested in the possibility of being able to run OS X virtually. A Mac Pro with the ability to run multiple instances of OS X, all optimized for multi-core insanity, would make me willing to spend $5000 on a computer.

cohibadad
Nov 30, 2007, 10:53 AM
interesting. but what does it mean?

fluidedge
Nov 30, 2007, 10:55 AM
sounds like we're gonna get some sweet .exe viruses and spyware!!

can't wait

r.j.s
Nov 30, 2007, 10:57 AM
I have found a use for the technology exactly the way it is. I downloaded a software update for my blackberry - it was a self extracting .exe. Leopard recognized it and extracted it, saving me from having to do that on a different computer. I think that is what the technology is there for, nothing more.

unity
Nov 30, 2007, 10:58 AM
Really we are headed down a path were it wont matter how the app was written, it will have a good chance of running on several platforms even if it was written for one.

And I dont think it would hurt the Mac App side.

Apple can go two roads, one they practically have already. License and sell OS X for use on any intel based systems for Dell, HP, etc... This would likely cannibalize their hardware sales and hinder hardware development. My new Dell STILL has a floppy drive... But this is completely doable.

The more practical option is virtualization. They have the development teams in place who are obviously familiar with the workings of windows apps. There is also no licensing issues with Apple saying they can now run apps built for windows. The horsepower to do this is here for most apps. Look at rosetta or in a way the Classic environment for OS 9. Sure somethings like games may be slow on the uptake, but once thing I bet Apple will do is make a SDK for windows as they have done for PPC/Intel. "Use XCode for Windows and build you apps for both platforms".This will get the idea in place the foundation going for XCode for Windows and get developers who are already familiar with XCode a great platform, a single platform, to develop on.

greeneyedsouls
Nov 30, 2007, 11:17 AM
Wirelessly posted (Opera/9.50 (J2ME/MIDP; Opera Mini/4.0.9800/209; U; en))

that kinda means..viruses on Leopard?

sparky672
Nov 30, 2007, 11:19 AM
If you really think this is a good idea, why not visit CodeWeavers and give CrossOver for Mac a quick spin. Their program lets you run Windows apps without a copy of Windows.

What a mess... I tried for months to find value in this product but every single application had it's own set of issues. I couldn't even get IE 6 to print a page without locking everything up. I noticed that every time a new app was found to have an issue, they had to tweak the product so it never seemed to stabilize. (probably because there are just too many apps to accommodate)

I also noticed my MacBook's battery life dropped about 75% and core temperature spiked with CrossOver installed. No, not when CrossOver was actually running anything. Just having it installed does something in the background which hogged every conceivable system resource. I finally had to fully trash it.

Use Boot Camp, or for a few more bucks you can get VMWare or Parallels.... about a billion fewer headaches.

Peace
Nov 30, 2007, 11:22 AM
Just a wild guess but couldn't this just be for better integration in Office 2008 ?

dvkid
Nov 30, 2007, 11:25 AM
I would love to see Windows apps run right in OSX. I'm sure Apple could do it if they wanted to, but they have to have a reason. Leopard with Bootcamp is having it's effect. People are buying Macs. When the bootcamp luster starts to fade a bit, because rebooting or even virtualization have their limits, it could prompt Apple to release such a feature in 10.6 or whatever.

Technically possible, but I'm still left thinking "Why would Apple do this?"

I would think a faster way to switch between a booted version of OS X and Windoze would be more what they would be after. Something similar to Fast User Switching for Operating Systems.

Whatever it is its probably a 10.6 holdout so we have a while to go yet.

diamond.g
Nov 30, 2007, 11:27 AM
If you really think this is a good idea, why not visit CodeWeavers and give CrossOver for Mac a quick spin. Their program lets you run Windows apps without a copy of Windows.

What a mess... I tried for months to find value in this product but every single application had it's own set of issues. I couldn't even get IE 6 to print a page without locking everything up. I noticed that every time a new app was found to have an issue, they had to tweak the product so it never seemed to stabilize. (probably because there are just too many apps to accommodate)

Use Boot Camp, or for a few more bucks you can get VMWare or Parallels.... about a billion fewer headaches.
The only issue I can think of is wanting to not buy another copy of Windows, and thus giving MS more money that they don't need...
So WINE and Crossover and its ilk are good ideas.

Krevnik
Nov 30, 2007, 11:28 AM
Just a wild guess but couldn't this just be for better integration in Office 2008 ?

Office 2008 doesn't need anything like that... neither does any sort of 2007 support/integration either. ;)

The docx format (along with xlsx, etc) are all XML file formats (with a binary XML option). No funny business, thankfully.

Small White Car
Nov 30, 2007, 11:28 AM
Apple can go two roads, one they practically have already. License and sell OS X for use on any intel based systems for Dell, HP, etc... This would likely cannibalize their hardware sales and hinder hardware development. My new Dell STILL has a floppy drive... But this is completely doable.

Apple makes their profits from selling hardware.

You have a plan that would cannibalize their profits, but you deem it "doable?"

What are you basing that opinion on?

IJ Reilly
Nov 30, 2007, 11:32 AM
The lesson of Boot Camp is that Apple and the hackers were both working to get Windows running on the Intel systems. As much as I would like to believe that Apple got the idea from hackers and pushed it out ASAP, the level of work provided with the first Boot Camp beta tells me that the project was going on for awhile internally, but they hadn't intended to release until Leopard. In that situation, it is a bit dangerous to let the hackers run free with their booting solution, and prompted Apple to release the beta. Companies (even Apple) just aren't as agile as the public assumes they are.

Apple obviously had a huge jump on dual-booting. They released Boot Camp within minutes of the first successful dual boot hack, which tells me they were working on it all along. I think they intended to release it the moment somebody figured out the hack, if only because that's what happened. Applying this lesson to virtualization, causes me to believe that Apple will watch very carefully how these products develop and get used. If they become popular, but don't provide users with a good experience, then they will jump in quickly with an Apple solution.

Peace
Nov 30, 2007, 11:32 AM
Office 2008 doesn't need anything like that... neither does any sort of 2007 support/integration either. ;)

The docx format (along with xlsx, etc) are all XML file formats (with a binary XML option). No funny business, thankfully.


I agree.I was referring more to the .NET frameworks that might be used in Office 2008.

sparky672
Nov 30, 2007, 11:33 AM
The only issue I can think of is wanting to not buy another copy of Windows, and thus giving MS more money that they don't need...
So WINE and Crossover and its ilk are good ideas.

Yeah I understand that part. But it's not like copies of Windows can't be easily obtained (legally even).

Have you tried CrossOver? Most people are not computer geeks and would want such WINE products to "just work" out of the box. But they don't "just work"... not without great effort ... expect to have about 100 times the issues you'd have with Boot Camp or Parallels.

I didn't even have to pay for my copy of CrossOver because I was one of their registered testers and just couldn't take the torture anymore.

shamino
Nov 30, 2007, 11:35 AM
Identifying and parsing an EXE file is a far cry from executing the contents. There are plenty of reasons why you might want to process the file without executing the application. Off the top of my head:

To give an accurate description in "get info" windows
To allow file-type associations with third-party emulators
Show the application icon in the Finder
So QuickView can display application resources (icons, string tables, etc.)
So Spotlight can index the application's resources
To speed up application porting (e.g. by converting Windows resources to Mac resources, so they don't have to be re-created from scratch)

Orng
Nov 30, 2007, 11:44 AM
I'd like to say this would be like putting vinyl seats or Bronze-grade gas in a ferrari, but I think it's more like building a Lego extension on a brick house. Or maybe a Mechano extension on a Lego house.

Sorry, I'm having a bad metaphor day.

shamino
Nov 30, 2007, 11:45 AM
... Applying this lesson to virtualization, causes me to believe that Apple will watch very carefully how these products develop and get used. If they become popular, but don't provide users with a good experience, then they will jump in quickly with an Apple solution.
Maybe, but there's a big difference here. Any Windows-compatibility solution that actually works will require licensing Microsoft's code. I don't think MS would sell any such license.

Reverse-engineering the Windows APIs (a-la WINE) is always doomed to failure. It's a massive effort, requires tons of hacking (to determine the undocumented behavior), and is always a game of catch-up (every update from MS will require a corresponding update from Apple.) Apple would need an R&D team larger than Mac OS itself to make this work.

Which leaves running a stock copy of Windows in a virtual environment. There are two very good solutions already out there. I doubt Apple would release a third solution - especially since it would require the customer to buy a Windows license. If they offer any such solution, they'll probably just buy one of the existing products.

sparky672
Nov 30, 2007, 11:49 AM
Reverse-engineering the Windows APIs (a-la WINE) is always doomed to failure. It's a massive effort, requires tons of hacking (to determine the undocumented behavior), and is always a game of catch-up...

Very well said.

offwidafairies
Nov 30, 2007, 12:03 PM
id like to hear more about this.

unity
Nov 30, 2007, 12:03 PM
Apple makes their profits from selling hardware.

You have a plan that would cannibalize their profits, but you deem it "doable?"

What are you basing that opinion on?

Basing an opinion? Um, its an OPINION! lol All I said is that Apple could release OX into the "wild" so to speak, license it out for use on non-apple hardware. How is that not doable? And thats why I said it WOULD cannibalize hardware sales. Cannibalize would be a negative effect.

I am missing you point for quoting me.

Small White Car
Nov 30, 2007, 12:06 PM
And thats why I said it WOULD cannibalize hardware sales. Cannibalize would be a negative effect.

I am missing you point for quoting me.

I could go out and light myself on fire. I would die. But it's doable.

Taking that statement, the obvious question is "Ok, it's doable, but WHY on earth would you do that?"

That's pretty much all I'm asking you. WHY would you suggest that Apple light themselves on fire? That's the question.

blashphemy
Nov 30, 2007, 12:06 PM
next step, integrating the DirectX libraries :D

IJ Reilly
Nov 30, 2007, 12:08 PM
Maybe, but there's a big difference here. Any Windows-compatibility solution that actually works will require licensing Microsoft's code. I don't think MS would sell any such license.

Reverse-engineering the Windows APIs (a-la WINE) is always doomed to failure. It's a massive effort, requires tons of hacking (to determine the undocumented behavior), and is always a game of catch-up (every update from MS will require a corresponding update from Apple.) Apple would need an R&D team larger than Mac OS itself to make this work.

Which leaves running a stock copy of Windows in a virtual environment. There are two very good solutions already out there. I doubt Apple would release a third solution - especially since it would require the customer to buy a Windows license. If they offer any such solution, they'll probably just buy one of the existing products.

Could be. I don't have an opinion about the technical issues involved. So long as Apple is happy with the implementation of the current virtualization solutions, then I can't see them becoming involved directly with this market. However, if we're to gain anything from how they handled dual booting, it would be the lesson that they will fiercely protect user experience with their products, and that they have probably already expended some of the technical effort required to move into this one fairly quickly if the need arose.

guzhogi
Nov 30, 2007, 12:10 PM
I'll admit, I don't understand this all and would need to see how it develops. But I can see a good and bad side to this. Good: more apps. Bad: why would developers have to develop for Mac OS X? They'd just have to create a single program for Windows and it'll work automatically on Macs if my understanding is correct. Hopefully, there are enough really good Mac OS X-only features to keep developers working on Mac native apps.

williedigital
Nov 30, 2007, 12:56 PM
So long as Apple is happy with the implementation of the current virtualization solutions, then I can't see them becoming involved directly with this market.

Almost every major feature in Tiger and Leopard were either stolen or bought from existing developers. Dashboard, coverflow, spaces (virtue desktops). I'm sure Apple could have just let these developers keep at it, but it didn't.

williedigital
Nov 30, 2007, 12:57 PM
Bad: why would developers have to develop for Mac OS X? They'd just have to create a single program for Windows and it'll work automatically on Macs if my understanding is correct. Hopefully, there are enough really good Mac OS X-only features to keep developers working on Mac native apps.

Because the signifigant and growing mac userbase demands for them to?

Babasyzygy
Nov 30, 2007, 01:11 PM
What I'd like to see is something like what Apple did with the old Mac OS APIs and Carbon. They could identify a subset of the Windows APIs that could be used to easily rebuild an application to run natively under Mac OS X.

Kugo
Nov 30, 2007, 01:11 PM
That's David Chartier and Chartier's a fanboy and he's hysterical and he has the journalistic accuracy and integrity of a Shylock. Why Ars hired him on is a mystery.

twoodcc
Nov 30, 2007, 01:14 PM
well it would be cool if this is true. would bring even more people to the mac

Snowy_River
Nov 30, 2007, 01:16 PM
I would think a faster way to switch between a booted version of OS X and Windoze would be more what they would be after. Something similar to Fast User Switching for Operating Systems.

Whatever it is its probably a 10.6 holdout so we have a while to go yet.

This is a feature that many, including me, believe was slated to be launched with Leopard, but didn't make the cut. It even appeared, briefly, on Apple's website:

New, faster restarts.
Leopard brings a quicker way to switch between Mac OS X and Windows: Just choose the new Apple menu item "Restart in Windows." Your Mac goes into "safe sleep" so that when you return, you�ll be right where you were. It's much faster than restarting the computer each time. Likewise, a "Restart in Mac OS X" menu item in the Boot Camp System Tray in Windows makes for a faster return to Mac OS X. With Windows hibernation enabled, you can pick up where you left off.

sparky672
Nov 30, 2007, 01:18 PM
What I'd like to see is something like what Apple did with the old Mac OS APIs and Carbon. They could identify a subset of the Windows APIs that could be used to easily rebuild an application to run natively under Mac OS X.

Easily? Probably not without proper licensing from Microsoft. Without licensing, they'll be reverse engineering. With reverse engineering, they'll be guessing. With guessing, nothing will be easy.

DanB91
Nov 30, 2007, 01:56 PM
this cant be true. if it is, there is almost no reason to have OS X. as people said developers would stop making the mac version and we would have .dll files all over the place and would just be another windows hell. i have no problem with having os x on PC computers (in fact i advocate it), but integrating windoze into OS X is just suicide.

if this is true i would probably just give up on OS X as it would just be just as crappy as windoze (and prob even crappier w/ windoze only apps not optimize for OS X

ChrisA
Nov 30, 2007, 02:23 PM
Easily? Probably not without proper licensing from Microsoft. Without licensing, they'll be reverse engineering. With reverse engineering, they'll be guessing. With guessing, nothing will be easy.

Here is a counter example: http://www.winehq.org/
This works well enough that you can run MS Office for Windows directly pn the Mac without emulation

stompy
Nov 30, 2007, 02:27 PM
I'm in 100% agreement with the developer that we talked to.

Parsing an executable is a LONG way from running it. If you had a progress chart, you'd be at about .5%. I'm being absolutely serious. There are just too many supporting libraries that would need to be RELIABLY reverse-engineered (or licensed) in order to have the apps run.

Undoubtedly the right take on this one.

sparky672
Nov 30, 2007, 02:31 PM
Here is a counter example: http://www.winehq.org/
This works well enough that you can run MS Office for Windows directly pn the Mac without emulation

"Works well enough" is quite subjective. You can't even print a page running IE 6 so as far as that goes, I disagree.

I've tried a flavor of WINE and quite frankly have a very low opinion of this option. After nearly a year of testing CrossOver, I saw very little improvement.

From earlier in this thread:

If you really think this is a good idea, why not visit CodeWeavers and give CrossOver for Mac a quick spin. Their program lets you run Windows apps without a copy of Windows.

What a mess... I tried for months to find value in this product but every single application had it's own set of issues. I couldn't even get IE 6 to print a page without locking everything up. I noticed that every time a new app was found to have an issue, they had to tweak the product so it never seemed to stabilize. (probably because there are just too many apps to accommodate)

I also noticed my MacBook's battery life dropped about 75% and core temperature spiked with CrossOver installed. No, not when CrossOver was actually running anything. Just having it installed does something in the background which hogged every conceivable system resource. I finally had to fully trash it.

Use Boot Camp, or for a few more bucks you can get VMWare or Parallels.... about a billion fewer headaches.

cohibadad
Nov 30, 2007, 02:43 PM
I bet Apple will do is make a SDK for windows as they have done for PPC/Intel. "Use XCode for Windows and build you apps for both platforms".This will get the idea in place the foundation going for XCode for Windows and get developers who are already familiar with XCode a great platform, a single platform, to develop on.

seems unlikely to me that 3rd party developers would use the minority platforms tools to build for the majority platform unless they were amazingly better than what they already have. Apple, Inc is smart but I think they would be better off focusing on development for their own platform.

diamond.g
Nov 30, 2007, 02:50 PM
"Works well enough" is quite subjective. You can't even print a page running IE 6 so as far as that goes, I disagree.

I've tried a flavor of WINE and quite frankly have a very low opinion of this option. After nearly a year of testing CrossOver, I saw very little improvement.

From earlier in this thread:

Sadly it will stay like that unless MS allows Apple (or officially sacntions WINE/CrossOver) to go the same route IBM did with OS/2 Warp. The downside is at any moment MS could change something to make Windows apps non-compatible like they did to IBM. I still think overall it is a bad idea and can't for the life of me figure out why it would be seen as a good thing from a Mac users standpoint.

IJ Reilly
Nov 30, 2007, 03:01 PM
Sadly it will stay like that unless MS allows Apple (or officially sacntions WINE/CrossOver) to go the same route IBM did with OS/2 Warp. The downside is at any moment MS could change something to make Windows apps non-compatible like they did to IBM. I still think overall it is a bad idea and can't for the life of me figure out why it would be seen as a good thing from a Mac users standpoint.

Somebody needs to explain to me how Microsoft could change something to make Windows applications incompatible with virtualization. It seems to me that anything they changed in Windows to make applications incompatible with virtualization would also make them incompatible with Windows.

As for why it would be good thing for Mac users, I can think of several -- provided that it was actually workable and reliable.

sparky672
Nov 30, 2007, 03:01 PM
Sadly it will stay like that unless MS allows Apple (or officially sacntions WINE/CrossOver) to go the same route IBM did with OS/2 Warp. The downside is at any moment MS could change something to make Windows apps non-compatible like they did to IBM. I still think overall it is a bad idea and can't for the life of me figure out why it would be seen as a good thing from a Mac users standpoint.

Even if they got it officially sanctioned, it's still a technical nightmare. Certainly not something the average user would want to deal with on a daily basis.

ATG
Nov 30, 2007, 03:02 PM
This doesn't sound like something apple would do. Windows software is notoriously "un-maclike". Cross platform software sucks for this reason. Windows is based around, you guessed it, windows. OS X is based around applications. The two don't mix.

Also, apple seems to be moving away from 3rd party development (see iPhone, Apple tv...). I'm not at all saying they want to ditch it completely, but they do prefer closed platforms to open ones, and this would be a very big step towards a more open platform (not that that's a good thing). This would be completely out of character for apple.

However, since the intel switch, mighty mouse and video iPod, I've learnt that apple just loves doing 180s with their policies, so it may not be so farfetched after all.

kingtj
Nov 30, 2007, 03:17 PM
From what I read about this, earlier this morning, there was talk of a tech. writer saying previously that his sources claimed Apple already paid Microsoft for rights to use the entire Windows XP API.

If that's really true, this would require no reverse-engineering at all..... and Apple may be basically sitting on this option right now, just like they sat on a completed Intel port of OS X. They may figure it's not the right time to incorporate Windows into OS X natively, but after MS discontinues XP and tries to force all their users to move to Vista? Then it might be an "ace up their sleeve" to pull out, telling all the people who preferred XP to "come on over to a Mac, as an alternative to a Vista migration"?


I'm in 100% agreement with the developer that we talked to.

Parsing an executable is a LONG way from running it. If you had a progress chart, you'd be at about .5%. I'm being absolutely serious. There are just too many supporting libraries that would need to be RELIABLY reverse-engineered (or licensed) in order to have the apps run.

robd003
Nov 30, 2007, 03:18 PM
As much as I love Apple's engineers I have to say there's no competing against VMware. Parallels sucks and I'm sure they could get something more stable than that, but VMware has been working on virtualization for 10+ years. They have tons of tricks to eek out performance and if Apple were to do anything it would be license VMware. I don't see them doing that because it just doesn't make sense... Not everyone will use virtualization, so why bother paying for it? I'm sure they're working very closely with VMware to make sure there are as few issues as possible, but I don't see them doing more than that. BTW if you've ever reversed Parallels you'll be scared ********, those guys have no idea how to write kernel level code... (I'm almost convinced they're just trying to sabotage their company from the inside)

Apple obviously had a huge jump on dual-booting. They released Boot Camp within minutes of the first successful dual boot hack, which tells me they were working on it all along. I think they intended to release it the moment somebody figured out the hack, if only because that's what happened. Applying this lesson to virtualization, causes me to believe that Apple will watch very carefully how these products develop and get used. If they become popular, but don't provide users with a good experience, then they will jump in quickly with an Apple solution.

IJ Reilly
Nov 30, 2007, 03:26 PM
As much as I love Apple's engineers I have to say there's no competing against VMware.

Maybe so, but I always felt that Apple had this card tucked up their sleeve, just in case. Apple has been able to pull off some neat tricks too (including the transitions from 68k to PPC to Intel). Maybe it's one of those things which is more fun to think about than it is likely. Still...

shamino
Nov 30, 2007, 03:34 PM
Sadly it will stay like that unless MS allows Apple (or officially sacntions WINE/CrossOver) to go the same route IBM did with OS/2 Warp.
OS/2 got its Window support by running a full-blown copy of Windows 3.1 in a virtual machine. That's why their "OS/2 for Windows" packaging cost less - it required you to have your own Windows license.

It is possible for Apple to license or develop a VM and boot XP or Vista into it, but they'd have to include a Windows license, and those won't be cheap. And MS probably won't go along with "family pack" pricing.

Would this feature be useful? Sure. Would this feature be important enough to raise the price of Mac OS from $130 to $400? Not to me it isn't. Not even close.
This doesn't sound like something apple would do. Windows software is notoriously "un-maclike". Cross platform software sucks for this reason. Windows is based around, you guessed it, windows. OS X is based around applications. The two don't mix.
That happens when an app is developed on one platform, and is ported to the other. You get Mac apps that aren't Mac-like, and you get Windows apps that aren't Windows-like (e.g. iTunes for Windows).

But it doesn't have to be that way. In the not-too-distant past, there were several cross-platform software development kits that didn't compromise on those things. One such product, Galaxy (http://www.ambiencia.com/overviewgalaxytdfeatureswindow.php) (which, in the spirit of full disclosure, I helped develop, back in the 90's) worked very well in that capacity. You developed your app for Galaxy, based on Galaxy's coding paradigms. The app would look and feel like a Windows app on Windows, and like a Mac app on Mac OS (and like an OS/2 app on OS/2, and like either Motif or OpenLook on UNIX.)

But high-power toolkits like Galaxy don't come cheap (when I was involved, the C version sold for $10K per developer seat, and the C++ version for $16K), so you won't find it used on projects that are on a tight budget.
Somebody needs to explain to me how Microsoft could change something to make Windows applications incompatible with virtualization. It seems to me that anything they changed in Windows to make applications incompatible with virtualization would also make them incompatible with Windows.
If the solution is to run a stock copy of Windows in a VM, then they can't. Any update to Windows can be installed via Windows Update, just like on a PC, although changes to the VM configuration would show up like hardware changes, possibly interfering with MS's product activation system.

If the solution is to license/develop Windows work-alike code, to avoid the need for a separate Windows license, then Apple ends up being responsible for porting all updates. MS could bundle a system update with Office (as they have done in the past), making it incompatible with platforms that aren't running a real copy of Windows.

They could probably also tie things to Genuine Advantage, which certainly wouldn't work without a real copy of Windows.

irun5k
Nov 30, 2007, 03:36 PM
I don't think Apple is adding virtualization. But IF they were, it would remind me of the version of OS/2 Warp that could run 16 bit Windows apps.

I always thought it was a sign of weakness, personally. Like IBM was saying that OS/2 couldn't stand on it's own, or didn't have an adequate library of software to support most users (sadly this was pretty much true though.) Most folks I knew used this capability to run MS Office. But unfortunately OS/2 was a 32 bit OS so it always seemed to be a pretty unclean solution to step down to running 16 bit Windows apps.

I wonder how many users running VMWare/Parallels have a legit need to run Windows applications, and how many are simply unwilling or uncomfortable switching to a new Mac application that provides the same functionality? I assume most Mac users are not enterprise customers who are stuck with custom built or internally developed Windows apps. Personally I use Parallels because I'm a software engineer and need to test code out on Windows from time to time. On really rare occasions I have no other choice but to fire up Internet Explorer to deal with some pesky web site.

shamino
Nov 30, 2007, 03:45 PM
I always thought it was a sign of weakness, personally. Like IBM was saying that OS/2 couldn't stand on it's own, or didn't have an adequate library of software to support most users (sadly this was pretty much true though.)
Many people (myself included) believe that this is one of the things that killed OS/2.

Developers didn't bother to write OS/2 apps, in part because of the Windows compatibility - they said "if I develop a Windows app, I can target both platforms without any learning curve".

Then customers said "there aren't any OS/2 apps" followed by "if all I'm running are Windows apps, then I might as well just run Windows".

I'm sure Apple is aware of this history. If Apple ever bundles Windows compatibility, the exact same thing will happen. If the emulation sucks, it will be an embarrassment. If it works, developers will have a strong incentive to give up on Mac application development, which will give customers a strong incentive to give up on the platform altogether.

(How many minutes do you think MS would continue developing Mac Office if all Macs could run the Windows version? Ditto for Adobe, and all the game developers.)

It's one thing to provide a dual-boot tool and to provide an infrastructure to allow third-party emulation solutions. It's quite another to bundle the emulation with the OS itself.

IJ Reilly
Nov 30, 2007, 04:00 PM
If the solution is to run a stock copy of Windows in a VM, then they can't. Any update to Windows can be installed via Windows Update, just like on a PC, although changes to the VM configuration would show up like hardware changes, possibly interfering with MS's product activation system.

If the solution is to license/develop Windows work-alike code, to avoid the need for a separate Windows license, then Apple ends up being responsible for porting all updates. MS could bundle a system update with Office (as they have done in the past), making it incompatible with platforms that aren't running a real copy of Windows.

They could probably also tie things to Genuine Advantage, which certainly wouldn't work without a real copy of Windows.

The bottom line is, Microsoft can only change their own software. They can't cause a virtual machine to stop working if it doesn't rely upon a copy of Windows.

irun5k
Nov 30, 2007, 04:18 PM
Many people (myself included) believe that this is one of the things that killed OS/2.

I agree with you here. And, spending time developing integrated virtualization wastes resources that could be utilized to further improve other parts of OS X. It is totally just a road not worth going down if you are Apple.

The thing that virtualized Windows apps will never have is tight integration with the rest of the standard apps and the OS. But this wouldn't be enough to cause most software shops to pump out native OS X apps. So the end user experience really suffers.

shamino
Nov 30, 2007, 05:50 PM
The bottom line is, Microsoft can only change their own software. They can't cause a virtual machine to stop working if it doesn't rely upon a copy of Windows.
They can't make the VM stop working, but they can modify critical apps (like Office) such that they require updates to Windows, and bundle those updates with the application (or a live-update to the application). If the VM is booting real windows, the update will go through and work. If the VM is running non-MS code, the update (obviously) won't happen and the app will break.

A VM that technically works, but doesn't run critical apps, is useless.

inkswamp
Nov 30, 2007, 05:58 PM
This sounds interesting, the iTunes excuse doesn't seem to fly after all iTunes for Windows was around hell of a long time before Leopard. Wonder what it could mean, probably nothing.

Exactly what popped into my head as well. What changed here?

I'm not saying this is a sure thing, but running Windows programs from within OS X has been one of those rumors that has floated around for quite a while and never quite disappeared despite sounding unlikely. And we've had a few such rumors that turned out to be true, despite all the self-appointed rumor experts claiming they were impossible or would ruin Apple. Two examples: the fabled Intel build of OS X and the iPhone, two rumors that floated around for ages before turning out to be true.

Look at Apple's trajectory over the last few years. What have they been doing? They have taken all the complaints that people had about Macs and slowly and surely been knocking them down, one-by-one. Slower than PCs? Doesn't have standard components? Too expensive? No headless, entry-level Mac. Etc., etc. The next standing gripe is that it can't run Windows apps, namely games and whatnot, without a reboot.

Looking at Apple's recent history and recent features like Boot Camp, I'd say running Windows on a Mac right out of the box from *within* OS X seems like a logical next step.

shamino
Nov 30, 2007, 06:32 PM
... rumors that turned out to be true, despite all the self-appointed rumor experts claiming they were impossible or would ruin Apple. Two examples: the fabled Intel build of OS X and the iPhone, two rumors that floated around for ages before turning out to be true.
The rumor about Intel was about Apple selling OS X for PCs. That never happened. They released Macs with Intel processors, which is not really the same thing, even though Intel Macs have many parts in common with PCs.

WRT the iPhone, people called it unlikely, not impossible or company-breaking.
Look at Apple's trajectory over the last few years. What have they been doing? They have taken all the complaints that people had about Macs and slowly and surely been knocking them down, one-by-one. Slower than PCs? Doesn't have standard components? Too expensive? No headless, entry-level Mac. Etc., etc. The next standing gripe is that it can't run Windows apps, namely games and whatnot, without a reboot.

Looking at Apple's recent history and recent features like Boot Camp, I'd say running Windows on a Mac right out of the box from *within* OS X seems like a logical next step.
That strategy can only work if their Windows is 100% compatible, and less expensive than Microsoft's. The only way to be 100% compatible is to run a real copy of Windows, and what makes you think Microsoft will license it to Apple for anything less than the full retail price?

And even if the plan works perfectly, it will marginalize all of the non-Windows parts of Mac OS. Software developers (especially the pig-headed ones like Adobe) will discontinue all their Mac products and tell you to run the Windows version.

No, I'm sorry, your plan doesn't help anybody but Microsoft. Turning Mac OS into "yet another Windows clone" will simply tell the customers that they can get the exact same thing for less money by buying a real Windows PC from another vendor.

IJ Reilly
Nov 30, 2007, 06:42 PM
The rumor about Intel was about Apple selling OS X for PCs. That never happened. They released Macs with Intel processors, which is not really the same thing, even though Intel Macs have many parts in common with PCs.

I think he was probably referencing the long-standing rumor that Apple was building an Intel version of OSX alongside the PPC version, long before they announced an Intel-based Mac platform. So what else has Apple got brewing in the basement? You must admit, it is fun to ponder.

inkswamp
Nov 30, 2007, 11:11 PM
The rumor about Intel was about Apple selling OS X for PCs. That never happened. They released Macs with Intel processors, which is not really the same thing, even though Intel Macs have many parts in common with PCs.

What's your point? Macs are now PCs. There is no difference between a Mac's hardware now and some cheapo PC with the exception that it's a better quality machine. Both can run Windows. End of story. The PowerPC lost. Macs are now PCs configured to run a particular OS optimally (OS X.)

WRT the iPhone, people called it unlikely, not impossible or company-breaking.

You're splitting hairs. The point is that there were a lot naysayers out there concerning the phone rumors.

That strategy can only work if their Windows is 100% compatible, and less expensive than Microsoft's. The only way to be 100% compatible is to run a real copy of Windows, and what makes you think Microsoft will license it to Apple for anything less than the full retail price?

What if Apple creates a future OS with Parallels-like ability built in where you can buy Windows off-the-shelf, install and run. Microsoft can do squat-all about that. Whatever form it takes, I think running Windows applications in one form or another from within OS X is definitely on the Mac roadmap.

And even if the plan works perfectly, it will marginalize all of the non-Windows parts of Mac OS. Software developers (especially the pig-headed ones like Adobe) will discontinue all their Mac products and tell you to run the Windows version.

People have been hoisting this red flag every time Apple has made the Mac more Windows-friendly, and it turns out to be utterly false every time. The more Windows-friendly the Mac is, the more comfortable people will be trying Macs, and then you'll have more people moving over to the platform and demanding native applications, applications to look and act the way they like, not something that reminds them of Windows. And the more people you have demanding that, the more pressure developers will feel to produce them. People made these same claims about Boot Camp and yet the number of Mac-native apps has never been higher. That theory you just floated has been often repeated but has never panned out.

Dj-Grobe
Dec 1, 2007, 03:37 AM
I would love to see Windows apps run right in OSX. I'm sure Apple could do it if they wanted to, but they have to have a reason. Leopard with Bootcamp is having it's effect. People are buying Macs. When the bootcamp luster starts to fade a bit, because rebooting or even virtualization have their limits, it could prompt Apple to release such a feature in 10.6 or whatever.

Technically possible, but I'm still left thinking "Why would Apple do this?"

Just simple question to that final line:

They do that, because windows OS is the 90% or more of the world market !!
The impact this have on the industry is really amazing.
The real increase on apple sales is originated in HIGH percent due virtualization and bootcamp and lower prices of apple hardware.

PC users now can buy apple machine and if not stay 100% happy with OSX can use windows on same machine.

I hoppe apple really do this !!
I really dream with direct virtualization inside OSX

I love OSX, is amazing OS, but the software offer for windows is BIG !!! and really more atractive.

Imagine the benefits of any windows user, just need buy apple machine and can inmediatly start use OSX + any windows software !!

OSX can really be the best OS of the world, but is used just for 3% or little more computrs users of the world market !! just only 3% !!

The major problem for any user want start use apple, is price, and software.........Price of apple hardware continue going down in the next months, i think the 2008 can be the year where finally buy apple computer "ceased to be a matter of price" right now for any profesional usage price not is a barrier.

The only barrier is the software (partially fixed now with bootcamp and virtualization like fusion or paralells)


Imagine that software barrier just not exist !!.......imagine just for one second..........sombody think after that windows continue for long time like the OS most widely used on the planet?

I think the answer is simple....... : )

I hoppe Apple take this way.


Sorry for my bad english, my native lang is spanish.

Dj-Grobe
Dec 1, 2007, 04:07 AM
sounds like we're gonna get some sweet .exe viruses and spyware!!

can't wait


For people think exe be = to virus........lol !! i just can say stay absolutly wrong.

The primary problem with windows, like xp or olders its simple, you stay loged on the system like user,and that users have the same permision like admin/root, any aplication running on that session, have permision for change any file system.......the result of this is catastrofic....and add o that the holes on windows.........you have perfect coctail for disaster.
Windows not really bad OS, its the system more used around the planet and that contribute to find more holes, never forget that please ! and vista is really more secure comparated with xp, xp and olders really have trouble of security due any appz have root permision !

OSX is a unix based system, the permision on any session never is root !! so if sombody write some virus software for osx, the impact of the demage be really low in comparation with windows.

I simpplificated this explain just for people not understand a lot... how and why .... etc etc

RUN exe aplications directly on OSX not mean osx will look plagued by virus ..........and one more thing......virus for pcs, are writed for pcs, lol

Imagine right now you can run any exe on osx directly, and you run exe infected with some virus.......basically that virus not do nothing.......is created for run on windows and modify/patch/delete windows system files, not existent on OSX : )
Same for spyware !! spyare is writed for WINDOWS INTERNET EXPLORER, i use firefox on my pcs, and never have spyware : )

At system level....any virus from pc not do nothing.

Virus from pc, created for demage SYSTEM not take effect on OSX.
Any new virus on exe format need to be coded for demage OSX.....and OSX is really secure OS......not perfect but really secure....

So please just stop with that tweaked ideas about virus or spywraes jijiij


If some virus can affect OSX......can be writed right now, and not need to be EXE from windows, can be coded with Xcode like native OSX appz...... i can write one simple native aplication and when you run delete all your documents in yuor osx......i can attach the aplication on mail and send and put some message like "RUN THIS FUNNY GAME" and when you run all the documents in your OSX just be deleted......ITS POSSIBLE DO ! RIGHT NOW !

Well i not consider that a virus lol......virus should inffect your machine, without your acceptance....and using some hole on the system for install, run, and if possible propagate to other machines......and all this not have relation about if aplication is exe from pc or native appz osx......all this is related to the system structure of the OS and exploitables holes the OS have

Best regards.

Dj-Grobe
Dec 1, 2007, 04:22 AM
Oh just one more thing !!


Its time to STOP call PC to windows computers !!!

PC= PERSONAL COMPUTER

Any personal computer is a PC, no matter if run windows, osx, linux, or any other.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_computer


So please stop call PCs !!! to windows computers lol.....

All apple machines are x86 compatible, so please is time we start talk correctly and we can AND SHOULD USE:

APPLE PC, OSX PC, WINDOWS PC

CALL MACHINE PC JUST FOR MAKE DIFERENCE IF THAT MACHINE IS X386 COMPATIBLE........THAT IS OLD STORY !!!

All machiens we use like PC, are personal computers, and are x86 compatibles running different OPEARTIVE SYSTEMS !!
:D

egsaxy
Dec 1, 2007, 08:44 AM
with apple having source code for all of windows (some agreement from a while ago) then their isn't a reason they couldn't start building in windows support i.e. basic underpinning to implement embedded virtualization. Its a smart business move. Like the article over at apple.com under hot news about iona college switching to macs. When you can do everything cool on a mac and run those holdout windows programs then why would you ever need to buy from Dell or to be honest actually own windows? just do it in a way that its slow enough that software will still be written for the mac, but fast enough people will actually use it.

bigandy
Dec 1, 2007, 09:58 AM
From what I read about this, earlier this morning, there was talk of a tech. writer saying previously that his sources claimed Apple already paid Microsoft for rights to use the entire Windows XP API.

If that's really true, this would require no reverse-engineering at all..... and Apple may be basically sitting on this option right now, just like they sat on a completed Intel port of OS X. They may figure it's not the right time to incorporate Windows into OS X natively, but after MS discontinues XP and tries to force all their users to move to Vista? Then it might be an "ace up their sleeve" to pull out, telling all the people who preferred XP to "come on over to a Mac, as an alternative to a Vista migration"?
I'm sorry, but that's just hilarious.


What's your point? Macs are now PCs. There is no difference between a Mac's hardware now and some cheapo PC with the exception that it's a better quality machine. Both can run Windows. End of story. The PowerPC lost. Macs are now PCs configured to run a particular OS optimally (OS X.)
There is a big difference - EFI and BIOS. Two completely different beasts. The only reason that both can run Windows is because the nice chaps at Apple were kind enough to let out an EFI update which includes emulation of the Basic Input/Output System.

Without this, Macs could not boot Windows. (See previous to the BC Beta, when the only way to get Windows on Macs was to hack open your XP installer disc, and insert an unsupported EFI loader).

Even now, the only actual release of Windows that actually supports EFI out of the box is 2003 Server (Vista's planned suport was dropped sometime in 2006).

They may share components, even major ones such as the processors, but they are not the same. Not by a long shot.

Cleverboy
Dec 1, 2007, 10:13 AM
Someone's probably already commented on this, but recognizing the Windows executable format is just another facet of Quick Look...

Like zip files, JPEG, MPEG, EPS, etc, etc. Apple has created a wonderful thing in Quicklook allowing it to look at nearly everything that support has been added for. For instance, I was looking over a Windows ICO file the other day. I opened it right up in Preview, and there were all the alternate versions, etc. Great stuff. Why wouldn't Apple add support for Windows EXE? It certainly makes it easier for companies like Parallels and VMWare to do tighter integration with the core OS. Why wasn't this mused upon at the very beginning? Sounds like the most obvious answer.

That said, I wouldn't mind a little Wine with my fruit.

~ CB

pubwvj
Dec 1, 2007, 10:20 AM
If Apple can support Windows they should support Classic. We have a tremendous number of small business and educational software titles that only run under Classic. It is shameful that Apple abandoned it.

mikesown
Dec 1, 2007, 11:06 AM
I highly suspect Apple is indeed working on a compatibility layer - but not based on Wine- Wine, as good as it is, is nowhere near good enough for an "average" user who is configuration file-phobic. Instead, I think Apple is going to use the antitrust rulings to force M$ to license them the native, binary, DLLs for the next version of OSX. And then, I think Apple will focus all development efforts towards getting the GUI interfaces perfectly implemented in the native Quartz UI. Using native DLLs, hundreds(thousands?) of engineers, and putting a lot of effort towards this could result in a major change in tide for marketshare. If Apple gets Windows apps to run perfectly in OSX, the Mac platform will suddenly seem a lot more appealing to users. You'd get the best of both worlds: Mac and Windows apps running side-by-side perfectly, on top of a high-performance architecture(Darwin). Things are about to change.

Cleverboy
Dec 1, 2007, 12:12 PM
I highly suspect Apple is indeed working on a compatibility layer - but not based on Wine- Wine, as good as it is, is nowhere near good enough for an "average" user who is configuration file-phobic. Instead, I think Apple is going to use the antitrust rulings to force M$ to license them the native, binary, DLLs for the next version of OSX. And then, I think Apple will focus all development efforts towards getting the GUI interfaces perfectly implemented in the native Quartz UI. Using native DLLs, hundreds(thousands?) of engineers, and putting a lot of effort towards this could result in a major change in tide for marketshare. If Apple gets Windows apps to run perfectly in OSX, the Mac platform will suddenly seem a lot more appealing to users. You'd get the best of both worlds: Mac and Windows apps running side-by-side perfectly, on top of a high-performance architecture(Darwin). Things are about to change.-- BLINK -- Aw come on... you're not serious are you? Apple has absolutely NO interest in licensing the MacOS to run on other machines. I'm sure Microsoft has NO interest in losing marketshare to Apple either (other than what is useful in gaining more footing when arguing issues over its relative lack of healthy competition). If the recent hubaloo over how the latest EA games are being "ported" are any indictation... most people think that having developers NOT consider native Mac app development due to the ability to "port" things without really porting them, can't be a GOOD thing at all. The OS NEEDS native apps to move forward.

~ CB

mikesown
Dec 1, 2007, 12:28 PM
-- BLINK -- Aw come on... you're not serious are you? Apple has absolutely NO interest in licensing the MacOS to run on other machines. I'm sure Microsoft has NO interest in losing marketshare to Apple either (other than what is useful in gaining more footing when arguing issues over its relative lack of healthy competition). If the recent hubaloo over how the latest EA games are being "ported" are any indictation... most people think that having developers NOT consider native Mac app development due to the ability to "port" things without really porting them, can't be a GOOD thing at all. The OS NEEDS native apps to move forward.

~ CB

M$ doesn't want to license their DLLs, obviously. However, Apple may be able to force M$ to do so, because of the antitrust ruling.

Also, native apps are better than win32 apps on OSX, no question. However, there are a lot more win32 apps, and most switchers will first ask the question "Can I still run my old applications which I spent money on?" Once Apple gains significant(>20%) marketshare, THEN they can focus on getting more native apps out. However, their focus right now should be solely increasing marketshare, which comes with more applications on the platform. The easiest way to do this is to implement a very high quality compatibility layer to allow thousands(tens of thousands, probably) of windows applications to run on Mac OSX.

IJ Reilly
Dec 1, 2007, 12:41 PM
M$ doesn't want to license their DLLs, obviously. However, Apple may be able to force M$ to do so, because of the antitrust ruling.

Microsoft is not being required to license Windows code as a part of the antitrust settlements. What they are being required to do is open up their entire application programming interface for Windows to third-party developers, which is quite a different thing.

Cleverboy
Dec 1, 2007, 12:48 PM
The easiest way to do this is to implement a very high quality compatibility layer to allow thousands(tens of thousands, probably) of windows applications to run on Mac OSX. Today I ran Darwine on my new iMac for the first time. I purchased an SEO program last year on my Windows computer called SEO Elite. Windows only. It was impressive to double click on the EXE file and run the software inside of Leopard... analyze backlinks to my website "Freewho.com", and begin considering a new link campaign. --So, I agree with you... it would be nice to have more applications supported in such a fashion... transparently. I'll be using Darwine more often in the future and testing out a number of legacy apps from my old computer. If some development dollars were poured into Darwine, it'd probably get SCARY good. I've yet to look into some font issues, but I was able to run a surprising amount of apps without tweaks, virtualization or emulation (which is highly cool).

--That said, I look at Apple with a mix of suspicion and impatience. I have a hard time believing that they'll: A.) Create a Windows compatibility layer for OS X (like Darwine), or B.) Create a DVR solution and/or add it to Apple TV/iTunes. Anti-trust won't be "forcing" Microsoft to do ANYTHING for Apple. They don't have that kind of relationship... moreover, I can't see Microsoft being forced to license its property in a way it chooses not to. Either take the entire product or don't. The most Europe has been able to get them to do, is adopt an open document format for its Office products.
Microsoft is not being required to license Windows code as a part of the antitrust settlements. What they are being required to do is open up their entire application programming interface for Windows to third-party developers, which is quite a different thing.Exactly.

~ CB

FX120
Dec 1, 2007, 01:03 PM
I am sure Microsoft would be more than happy to license Windows API's to Apple.

Seriously. They get to sell a copy of Windows to people who otherwise might not have bought it, at the same time shutting down development for their competitors platform.

bigandy
Dec 1, 2007, 01:10 PM
If Apple can support Windows they should support Classic. We have a tremendous number of small business and educational software titles that only run under Classic. It is shameful that Apple abandoned it.

SheepShaver (http://gwenole.beauchesne.info/projects/sheepshaver/).

In my view, Apple dropped Classic at the right time. I mean, it's been what, six years since it was a current release platform?

Plus, if you need Classic that desperately you can pick up, for example, a G3 iMac that'll run it fine. Can't deal with the bulk on your desk? VNC, hello.

inkswamp
Dec 1, 2007, 02:23 PM
I am sure Microsoft would be more than happy to license Windows API's to Apple.

Seriously. They get to sell a copy of Windows to people who otherwise might not have bought it, at the same time shutting down development for their competitors platform.

That would be a maintenance nightmare for Apple. Not only would they have to stay on top of any little change to the Windows API but they would also have to field complaints and support calls for running Windows applications. I doubt that's going to happen.

On the other hand, it would be feasible for Apple to create a compatibility layer, something like Parallels or Classic, where a full install of the OS could run within OS X. That would explain why OS X would be parsing Windows files which is the very same reason OS X once parsed applications and files for information about Classic--to let the user know that running this file requires launching Windows. OS X will need to know what an exe file is, alert the user and know how to pass it off to the Windows environment. That was exactly how it worked with Classic.

In that kind of scenario, Apple does not have to offer support for Windows. It's still Windows and therefore it's still Microsoft who must support any problems with it. Also, Apple does not have to update this environment each time the Windows API changes because you're running a full copy of Windows. They need only update the environment to ensure that it can run the OS.

Virgil-TB2
Dec 1, 2007, 04:10 PM
Almost every major feature in Tiger and Leopard were either stolen or bought from existing developers. Dashboard, coverflow, spaces (virtue desktops). I'm sure Apple could have just let these developers keep at it, but it didn't.This is a great mischaracterisation of the truth.

Even if we ignore your bad grammar and bad spelling, you are unwarranted in casting Apple's software development in such a negative light. "Stolen" is a particularly loaded term, implying not only that they copied the ideas, but that they did not recompense the originators of those ideas.

This is patently false.

"Virtual Desktops" (note the spelling), have indeed been done before, but no one owns the idea and no one is being "stolen" from. Coverflow was indeed thought up by someone who did not at that time work for Apple, but the idea was immediately seen by Apple as revolutionary (when others did not see anything in it at all), and was purchased by Apple from that developer. There is nothing wrong with this at all, despite your attempts to frame it as such by placing it in the same sentence, right next to the "stolen" word.

You also (deceptively) fail to mention those major features like Time Machine, that don't fit into your jaded "stolen and/or borrowed" categories.

I could go on and on about other categories and features of both OS's that prove why you are wrong, but it's just not worth it. You seem to be both too dim to understand such arguments, as well as too uninformed to really put up a good argument in the first place.

Cleverboy
Dec 1, 2007, 05:34 PM
SheepShaver (http://gwenole.beauchesne.info/projects/sheepshaver/).
In my view, Apple dropped Classic at the right time. I mean, it's been what, six years since it was a current release platform? Here's the thing... I still have a Miracle Piano keyboard (http://pianoeducation.org/pnompfaq.html), made by Software Toolworks. I have a USB to serial adapter that some desperate part of me wants to use. If it doesn't work out, no biggie, it goes to my neice who my sister swares would be more than happy to have it. I have too many "extra Macs" I need to unload. With a little more memory, I want my iMac to be the *command central* my Windows computer could never dream to be... doing away with all my PCs, Macs, and ideally my lurking Amigas. The idea that Apple dropped support for something like Classic flies in the face of that happy dream of the universal archive of my computing history. --I mean, I have programs I wrote on my Commodore 128 in 128 basic that auto-booted from a floppy, I think I'm pretty much ok with not being able to fetch those (although I'd love to nab my code and a video of it running). I know... It's terrible. :o

Plus, if you need Classic that desperately you can pick up, for example, a G3 iMac that'll run it fine. Can't deal with the bulk on your desk? VNC, hello. Less computers! Less! Less energy consumption. I'm running my PC through VNC right now, and although Microsoft's remote desktop client is *EXCELLENT* (moreso than VNC) I don't really like this solution that has a whole other machine running in the background. :eek:

P.S. I did NOT know about Sheep Shaver. Sounded familiar, but this is GREAT! Can't wait to install it. Gracias.

~ CB

inkswamp
Dec 1, 2007, 07:21 PM
This is a great mischaracterisation of the truth.

Even if we ignore your bad grammar and bad spelling, you are unwarranted in casting Apple's software development in such a negative light. "Stolen" is a particularly loaded term, implying not only that they copied the ideas, but that they did not recompense the originators of those ideas.

This is patently false.

"Virtual Desktops" (note the spelling), have indeed been done before, but no one owns the idea and no one is being "stolen" from. Coverflow was indeed thought up by someone who did not at that time work for Apple, but the idea was immediately seen by Apple as revolutionary (when others did not see anything in it at all), and was purchased by Apple from that developer. There is nothing wrong with this at all, despite your attempts to frame it as such by placing it in the same sentence, right next to the "stolen" word.

You also (deceptively) fail to mention those major features like Time Machine, that don't fit into your jaded "stolen and/or borrowed" categories.

I could go on and on about other categories and features of both OS's that prove why you are wrong, but it's just not worth it. You seem to be both too dim to understand such arguments, as well as too uninformed to really put up a good argument in the first place.

All of what you wrote is the truth. And as far as Dashboard being a rip-off of someone else's idea, that's cherry-picking the facts. Yes, Apple picked up some of the ideas of Dashboard from a previous developer but when you look at the bigger picture and remember that Apple was the original creator of the desktop accessories concept, then it doesn't seem quite so sinister. Apple created the concept of desktop accessories, Konfabulator did their version of it as Javascript widgets, and Apple took that idea and placed it in its own layer adding a few bells and whistles.

It's funny how many ideas Apple has originated that have been subject to widespread "stealing" by countless other companies out there, and nobody says a thing about that. And yet when Apple turns around and does the same, people scream about how terrible Apple is. Double-standard? I think so.

John Musbach
Dec 1, 2007, 07:27 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

An interesting observation (http://www.winehq.org/pipermail/wine-devel/2007-November/060846.html) was noted on the Wine mailing list. As it turns out, new in Leopard is the ability to load and understand Windows Portable Executable (PE) files (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_Executable) which is the common format for Windows applications and libaries. Understandably, the author raises a number of questions about the discovery:

This, of course, leads some people (http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2007/11/30/uncovered-evidence-that-mac-os-x-could-run-windows-apps-soon) to the most dramatic conclusion: that Apple may be integrating Windows virtualization into Mac OS X itself. Of course, rumors of this possibility had been circulating for the months prior to Leopard's official release.

One developer we contacted about this thought it was very unlikely and felt that this parsing of PE files may simply be the product of Apple's ongoing work with Safari and iTunes for Windows. He also noted that simply parsing PE files is a far step from being able to actually run Windows applications.

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/11/30/leopard-recognizes-windows-executable-format-virtualization-in-the-works/)

I certainly would enjoy this feature, it'd mean no having to pay for Parallels or VMware or having to reboot into Windows (BootCamp) whenever there's a need to occasionally use a windows program. Hopefully if this does happen it'll also include Direct X support...

diamond.g
Dec 2, 2007, 07:28 AM
I certainly would enjoy this feature, it'd mean no having to pay for Parallels or VMware or having to reboot into Windows (BootCamp) whenever there's a need to occasionally use a windows program. Hopefully if this does happen it'll also include Direct X support...

It would be cool to have Direct X support.

I would find it interesting if Apple could provide support for running Windows programs and not charge extra for it. To include a part of Windows in Mac OS X had to have costed Apple lots of money, and Apple doesn't strike me as the kind of company to give something away like that for free. Plus who handles support when the Windows programs cause issues? I am sure MS wont touch it with a ten foot pole, and I doubt Apple wants to get into that business.

IJ Reilly
Dec 2, 2007, 12:08 PM
In my view, Apple dropped Classic at the right time. I mean, it's been what, six years since it was a current release platform?

I don't know if there was a "right" time for Apple to drop Classic. I have less problem with them having done it when they did, than I do with them having done so without any warning or announcement. The continued access to Classic for all these years was a real luxury. Now that it's gone, my bill for switching over to Leopard is more than doubled due to the loss of Classic, and I'll still be left without access to quite a bit of old data which can be accessed only with abandoned software. In order to do that, I probably will have to leave my Cube as-is, never to be upgraded to Leopard, and buy a new Mac. So forget doubled cost -- more like ten times cost. So it's a real issue for many of us.

ezekielrage_99
Dec 2, 2007, 04:41 PM
I think this could be another positive step for Apple like moving to Intel and Bootcamp, the more Apple can support the higher the change over from non-Apple people.

IMHO anything that can make Apple more competitive on the market is a good thing for all consumers.

ajbrehm
Dec 3, 2007, 04:08 AM
The Win32 API is huge and closed. The Wine team have tried to re-implement it from scratch and had remarkable results. But it wasn't enough.

To run Windows applications you need the Win32 API and the complete surroundings, the interface, the expected behaviour of the rest of the OS, and the GUI that fits the applications. Win32 programs are not designed to run on anything but Windows and emulating Windows doesn't solve that problem.

If you want to run Windows programs, run Windows; that's what it's for. Choose between the Ferari and the Maserati, don't ask the mechanic to combine the two.

I am sure that is not what the PE support is for.

But the Portable Executable format is not only used for Win32 programs.

<irrelevant details>
PE was used by BeOS 3.x for Intel BeOS programs. It is also used by Interix for UNIX-based programs running on Windows.
</irrelevant details>

It is also used as the native format for .NET applications.

Now, in contrast to Win32 the .NET API is standardized, well-documented, and several implementations exist. In fact Novell's implementation works really well on Mac OS except for the fact that X11 is needed (for all .NET programs that don't use Cocoa or the console) and the fact that .exe files cannot be easily started on Mac OS X.

.NET programs are also meant to be cross-platform and not supposed to depend on Windows peculiarities.

Portable Executable .exe files do not run on Linux either, unless one compiles a kernel that has support for .exe files.

Mac OS X appears to be implementing a feature of Linux: support for the PE executable format. That's it.

So perhaps Apple (and maybe Novell) are working on a Cocoa-native implementation of Mono (Novell's .NET implementation). I know Novell were working on a Carbon implementation.

JFreak
Dec 3, 2007, 08:04 AM
Apple won't directly support Windows apps in OS X.

Sounds familiar. Oh, wait... I was thinking of "Apple won't ever switch to Intel" :D

goosnarrggh
Dec 3, 2007, 09:13 AM
I'm sorry, but that's just hilarious.



There is a big difference - EFI and BIOS. Two completely different beasts. The only reason that both can run Windows is because the nice chaps at Apple were kind enough to let out an EFI update which includes emulation of the Basic Input/Output System.

Without this, Macs could not boot Windows. (See previous to the BC Beta, when the only way to get Windows on Macs was to hack open your XP installer disc, and insert an unsupported EFI loader).

Even now, the only actual release of Windows that actually supports EFI out of the box is 2003 Server (Vista's planned suport was dropped sometime in 2006).

They may share components, even major ones such as the processors, but they are not the same. Not by a long shot.
You're just blowing smoke. In terms of hardware manufacturers, Apple is certainly not alone in offering machines with EFI. Apple machines and modern beige-box PCs machines are, for the most part, on equal footing in this respect.

Several PC logic board manufacturers, such as ASUS, have given up on waiting for Windows to get past its BIOS dependency. They are selling natively EFI-based machines today.

They use an optional portion of the EFI specification which allows for a BIOS compatibility layer to be placed on top from which Windows is able to boot. This is the same technique that Apple has released to allow Windows to boot on its EFI-based machines.

By the time Windows is up and running, it has replaced all of the legacy BIOS code with hardware specific device drivers anyway (...much like OSX does hehe...), so in terms of any practical measurement, there is no performance hit for the end-user as a consequence of that portion of Microsoft's current design decision.

So perhaps Apple (and maybe Novell) are working on a Cocoa-native implementation of Mono (Novell's .NET implementation). I know Novell were working on a Carbon implementation.
I speculated about that possibility here a couple of days ago. We'll see...

avoskorm
May 16, 2009, 12:06 PM
Why would MicroSOFT even care? They make software, not hardware. If more computers could run their software (apple or not) wouldn't that benefit them?

fluidedge
May 16, 2009, 12:53 PM
*golf clap*

2 year old thread. good one.

dukebound85
May 16, 2009, 12:55 PM
*golf clap*

2 year old thread. good one.

i was all excited.....again

Sehnsucht
May 16, 2009, 01:09 PM
http://i485.photobucket.com/albums/rr214/TheDavidFrom1988/bump-sign-thumb5991375.jpg

Why would MicroSOFT even care? They make software, not hardware. If more computers could run their software (apple or not) wouldn't that benefit them?

jive turkey
May 16, 2009, 05:01 PM
Ugh, I've really got to start checking dates before starting to read threads. :( At least this time it only took me 5 or 6 posts to figure it out, unlike the two pages I normally wade through before realizing how old it is.