Thursday, January 12, 2006

Running XP apps on MacTel hardware

We won't be able to dual boot XP on MacTel hardware because Apple is using Intel's BIOS replacement - EFI. (EFI is the foundation for Intel's DRM architecture; I still believe DRM was the real driver of the MacTel deal. The more vociferously Apple denies this the more confident I am that it's true.) Vista (aka Windows XP Service Pack 3) may support this, but perhaps not this year.

So can we run better/faster XP emulators? I thought this was unlikely in the near future, but a Macintouch contributor feels there's hope (though perhaps not from Virtual PC):
Macs on Intel (Part 6)

Dave Schroeder

... What we will *definitely* see are "Virtual PC"-like programs that let you run Windows alongside OS X (in a Window, or taking over the screen, etc., with a hotkey to flip back and forth, for example).

It's important to note this will NOT be emulation: Windows will run at the native speed of the underlying hardware.

vmware already has a version for Mac OS X in development, and Microsoft may even make a version of Virtual PC. Then there are things like QEMU, Xen, etc. The Darwin/Mac OS X version of WINE, DarWINE, has even been working under betas of Mac OS X for Intel. Now that Intel Macs are shipping, it will only be a matter of weeks/months before we have several options for running Windows itself, and/or Windows applications at the native speed of the underlying hardware.

"Dual booting" might not be possible initially, because Windows XP doesn't support EFI (the "next generation" of BIOS from Intel, which Apple used on these machines), but Vista does, for example. And since EFI is the future, it's only a matter of time before x86 OSes and bootloaders start supporting it. For more information on EFI: Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI)

But, in my opinion, dual booting is annoying anyway, and the really interesting thing will be able to just run Windows and Mac OS X side-by-side.

Further, Phil Schiller reiterated that Apple isn't doing anything to prevent people from installing other OSes and Intel has communicated that Apple isn't using proprietary Intel chipsets.

As for the lack of S-Video on the MacBook Pro: S-Video output is possible from the DVI connector via an adapter; there is no longer a dedicated miniDIN-4 port.

I think the new iMac is very interesting as an Aperture or Video machine. - particularly because of the imaging system. On the other hand the new PowerBooks don't make sense to me -- unless they'll run Windows applications very well. Then they make sense.

No comments: