The Intel switch, virtualisation, tamper-resistant code and the OS war

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by vniow, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. vniow macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.
    This switch to Intel is looking to be a lot more complicated than the performance-per-watt piece we were fed by Jobs at WWDC. Some recent developments have popped up that shed some light on future plans for Apple and Intel.

    First off, many have noted that Apple recently filed a patent for tamper-resistant code. The majority of people who looked at it saw it as a way to lock OS X to Apple hardware, however, there was a section in the patent that was often overlooked and is far more interesting:

    Linked from here:

    While a lot of Apple's patents have gone by the wayside without producing a product, this one has some backing behind it.

    Intel has just announced their Vanderpool virtualisation technology for desktop processors available now with mobile and dual-core versions coming in 2006, the same time Apple plans to begin the transition to Intel.

    While I suspect Apple will not be the only one with this technology, considering its Intel specific and not Apple specific, Apple will be the only one with the tech that can run Windows, Linux and OS X.

    It looks like things for Apple are starting to heat up in the coming years, the Intel switch was just the beginning...
  2. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    This is good news for me because I will need to run Windows as a grad student, but don't want to give up OS X and can't afford to buy two new computers.

    Apple is good about systems integration, so this makes sense for Apple if they are truly considering allowing Windows (and Linux) to run.
  3. XNine macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2005
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?

    I think this will be great for all of those people who would love to have Windows on their Mac, simply for gaming/required applications for their careers/education, etc. We all thought that this would be the case, but the tech behind it is impressive. This will be great for those who want to develop cross-platform applications.

    Good find!
  4. vniow thread starter macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.
    The difference between this patent and Vanderpool which makes this a far more practical alternative to dual booting is that the computer is running both operating systems at the same time utilising full hardware acceleration, unlike VirtualPC or VMware where they both essentially emulate an entire computer using software, greatly slowing down the speed.

    The real question I have and I'm not sure how the patent answers this (although I'm sure it does, its just buried under legalese) us how is this going to be accomplished? Is it going to be like a VirtualPC/VMware setting where its an app in a separate window, some sort of switch where you can only interface with one operating system at a time or like a Classic style mode, where the other operating system is "tunneled" through the other one?

    People who cite the lack of a Mac-native version of their software as their reason for not buying a Mac will no longer be able to use that reason to justify a PC over a Mac purchase anymore.
  5. feakbeak macrumors 6502a


    Oct 16, 2003
    Great post, vniow

    VMWare and VirtualPC (x86) do not emulate the computer via software. The guest operating systems can run on the hardware natively. There is performance degredation because VMWare/VPC must allocate resources and handle interactions between the guest OS(es) and the host OS. However, these programs are not nearly as slow as VPC for Mac where there is no x86 hardware and so VPC has to emulate the hardware in software. These are two different things though.

    While VMWare and VPC do hardware virtualization and partitioning the fact that it runs in the context of a host OS slows it down. The Vanderpool technology aims to handle the virtualization/partitioning at the hardware-level. Obviously, there is still software managing this in the form of firmware/drivers, etc but having the virtualization handled at a lower level would reduce the overhead and increase performance. As for the implementation I'm assuming that you could simply switch via a keyboard command and any GUI method could be coded to allow the OS-switch to be handled in software.

    This would be a good step forward for Apple to lure more Windows converts. However, there is still extra money that must be invested to purchase Windows and most Windows users will want to run anti-virus and anti-malware software. Still, it's a step in the right direction.

    I am really hoping this happens. I have an aging PC despite my efforts to keep it running as best it can. I also bought my Mac Mini this year to try out OS X and I like it. I need a new PC and I want a more powerful Mac but I'm holding out to see how this MacIntel thing goes. I either want to build an awesome AMD (or Intel if I have to) system and run Windows and OS X on it, if it can be easily hacked without much trouble. OR I want to buy a beefy PowerMac solution. The bottom line is that I would like to consolidate my hardware investments into one powerful system rather than two mid-range systems. I could live with dual-booting but running multiple OSes simultaneously would be amazing.
  6. vniow thread starter macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.

    Erp! I guess my mind was in the PPC world, where Virtual PC was emulating the processor as well.

    Original post updated with a link to relevant quotes from the patent, very very interesting stuff.

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