The rantings of a beautiful mind

On life, society, and computer technology.

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I live in the Fortress of Solitude. I drive the Silver Beast. My obsession is justice. I used to be a Windows software developer. I retired in 2000 when my stock options helped me achieve financial security.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Windows under OS X

Apple's Plan to Provide the Best Darned Windows Experience Anywhere -- Even Better Than Microsoft

Read I, Cringely.

The version of Boot Camp that will ship with OS X 10.5 will likely be very different from the version people are playing with today. The actual shipping version, I predict, will have full OS virtualization so that both operating systems can run side-by-side and a user can cut and paste data from one to the other. Apple may have already developed this capability, or maybe they'll license or buy it from outside. Parallel Workstation 2.1 sure looks nice from Parallels, Inc. Maybe Apple should buy the whole company.

So Apple will at least offer the option for users to run a virtualized version of Windows Vista atop OS X, which brings with it two HUGE advantages. First, the bad guys and script kiddies will have to get through OS X security before they even have a chance at cracking Vista security. Second, by running a virtual version of Windows Vista loaded from a read-only partition, Microsoft's recommended method of dealing with malware (periodically wipe the OS and application from your disk and load them anew) can be done in seconds instead of hours and can be done daily instead of monthly or quarterly or yearly.

By running Windows Vista this way, Apple can offer the most secure version of Vista available with the lowest Total Cost of Ownership, which could lead to a leadership change in business computing. Down with Dell and HP and up with Apple.

Microsoft engineers were convinced Vista would be so superior that nobody would need OS X again.

These same seven engineers must have stopped for a drink not long ago at John Dvorak's house because he's been making the same claim -- that Apple will drop OS X for Windows.

That's not at all what I think will happen. Apple isn't going to throw away its clearest point of differentiation and greatest technical advantage just to become another Windows OEM. That would make them little better than Sony and Sony can out-manufacture Apple any day.

Running Windows virtually under OS X is brilliant! Yes, I think Cringely is absolutely right on this one...


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