Leopard food (for thought)

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by VanNess, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. VanNess macrumors 6502a


    Mar 31, 2005
    Reading one of Robert Cringley's past articles about virtualization of Windows in OS X and I noticed this tantalizing tidbit:

    Cringley further notes that virtualization software from Apple or a third party could do the deed, but he believes it's more likely that Apple will implement the Windows API directly in OS X 10.5, citing Apple's 1997 technology sharing agreement with Microsoft.

    Next up to bat we have none other than Apple VP Phil Schiller who is reported to have whispered to an industry analyst asking Phil about the possibility of Windows virtualization in OS X, say OS X 10.5 maybe?:

    I think Cringley is wrong about the the Windows API showing up in the OS X kernel, but I believe he did get factual info regarding what was observed in the mysterious Cupertino lab and Schiller is...well, choosing his words carefully. What I think is in store is a major change to what is probably the most ignored technology currently in OS X, and it's ignored largely because it was designed to be ignored. What is it? Why, Rosetta of course.

    As everyone likely knows, Rosetta is based on technology from a company called Transitive, software that enables "other application software that has been compiled for one processor/operating system to be run on another processor/operating system" Transitive/Rosetta fit the bill perfectly for running PPC apps on Intel, filling in all the blanks for the grand transition, but I wonder if that is all Apple had in mind for Rosetta. According to this article, IBM is going to use Transitive software "to allow Linux binaries compiled for X86 and X64 platforms to run unmodified on its Power-based pSeries and OpenPower servers"

    Is Apple planning to expand Rosetta technology beyond PPC apps so that Windows applications can be run on OS X without the need to install XP or Vista? My guess is that's exactly what's going to happen, and that's what Cringley's spies actually saw in Cupertino. And since Transitive's technology appears to be platform and OS agnostic, it arguably isn't Windows emulation per say, at least in the traditional sense of virtualzation apps like Parallels or Virtual PC delivering the Windows OS more or less lock stock and barrel. So Schiller is off the hook for his remark in that regard, and dual boot is Apple's solution - at least it is right now.
  2. displaced macrumors 65816


    Jun 23, 2003
    Gravesend, United Kingdom
    I think you're a little off-track here. Rosetta doesn't do what you seem to think it does. Rosetta translates between processor architectures, not operating system APIs. Translating between architectures is relatively straightforward, since CPU instructions are well documented, and if you've got access to the guts of the code you need to translate (in Rosetta's case, the OS X APIs), then you can do some great optimisation.

    However, APIs are vastly greater in both size and complexity that CPU architectures. Apple's technology agreement with Microsoft most likely only covers API code developed up to that date, which has been greatly expanded since.

    Your comment regarding IBM's use of Transitive is likewise mistaken, since the Power-based servers will still be running Linux (or at the very least a close relative). Again, in this case, Transitive would be translating code between CPU architectures, not between APIs.
  3. treblah macrumors 65816


    Oct 28, 2003

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