Windows on the Mac changes everything


M

MICHAEL

And MacOS on PCs would really change everything.

http://money.cnn.com/2007/01/19/tec...lels.fortune/index.htm?postversion=2007012206

The kind of software sold by the formidable Parallels is transforming computing and challenging
Steve Jobs, says Fortune's David Kirkpatrick.

By David Kirkpatrick, Fortune senior editor

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- The lines between the Mac OS and Windows are starting to blur. And that
portends major changes going forward in the world of PCs. At last week's MacWorld, a little
company called Parallels won awards for the latest version of its hit product, which enables
you to run both operating systems at the same time on a Macintosh. It's a major breakthrough.
While the last version of Parallels allowed you to run both operating systems at once, it still
required you to switch back and forth between the two. Now, however, Parallels' Coherence
product, which the company says will ship by mid-February, lets you keep multiple windows open
on your desktop, just as you normally would, running a variety of applications. Except now you
can switch between windows running Windows and Mac applications just as if they were all Mac.
(Parallels costs $79, though Mac owners also have to buy a copy of Windows to use it.)

This is the fruit of recent major advances on x86-based computers in the technique called
virtualization, a technique for isolating aspects of computing performance - sometimes hardware
and sometimes software - so multiple functions can be underway simultaneously, while reducing
the risk they will interfere with one another.

The tectonics of virtualization are shifting. It turns out that Parallels is not such a little
company after all. About three years ago it was quietly purchased by an enterprise-focused
virtualization company called SWsoft, a fact that has never been publicly disclosed until now.

SWsoft and its Parallels subsidiary are both Russian-American operations. SWsoft CEO Serguei
Beloussov, based in Virginia, calls the shots for programmers who are based in Moscow.
Parallels employed only seven when SWsoft bought it, but today has 100 people, mostly in
Russian R&D.

Meanwhile, the gorilla of virtualization, VMware, is well along with its own product for the
Mac, one that aims to do many of the same things as Parallels. VMware says that product should
ship by summer.

When Apple (Charts) switched a year ago to using the same standard x86 processors that other PC
companies use, it opened the door to all this progress on virtualization. Apple CEO Steve Jobs
has always been adamant about controlling the hardware on which his software operates, but
because of Apple's switch to x86 his ability to maintain that control is now diminishing.

Both Parallels' and VMware's products virtualize x86 hardware for any operating system, but the
excitement for desktops has been almost entirely about what it means for the Mac. That's
because Mac OS remains the easiest and most enjoyable software to use day in and day out.
Microsoft's (Charts) new Vista, despite being a major advance, doesn't really change that, as
many reviewers including Walt Mossberg in Thursday's Wall Street Journal have recently
reiterated.

Until now it hasn't been possible to for most corporate users to switch to the Mac OS because
they needed applications that only ran on Windows, notably Microsoft Outlook. But that problem
is melting away. Beloussov says Parallels is now talking to a number of big companies about
making the switch.

VMware's CEO Diane Greene told me yesterday that her company's existing x86 desktop product is
already being used by some to run Mac OS on computers from Dell (Charts), Hewlett-Packard
(Charts) and others, though this is not intentional on VMware's part.

SWsoft's Beloussov says that this spring, Parallels will upgrade its software further, in a way
that by coincidence will make it easier to run Mac OS on a non-Apple computer. He also insists
that is not deliberate, but just a consequence of the nature of the technology, especially now
that Intel (Charts) builds virtualization technology into its chips.

Both companies' products specifically aimed at the Mac will remain self-consciously crippled in
order to satisfy Apple's demands that users not be encouraged to put Mac OS on a non Apple
machine. But pressures seem to be building in a way that Apple and Jobs will increasingly have
a hard time controlling.

Greene says one reason VMware's Mac product is delayed is that it was so time-consuming to get
Apple's cooperation and blessing. "We were trying to do it the way they wanted to, but in
hindsight we should have just gone ahead," she says. "I wonder what Steve Jobs is going to do,
because there is so much pressure to run Mac OS on non-Macs. There's no technical reason not to
do it. He's so proprietary about everything, yet it could be a very strategic move for him to
make." Beloussov, for his part, agrees.

In June 2005 I broke the news that Michael Dell wanted to ship Mac OS on Dell machines. This
week in an e-mail he confirmed to me that his thinking hasn't changed. "We would offer MacOS,"
he wrote, "if customers wanted it and Apple would license it on reasonable terms...It's Apple's
decision."

The pressures are building in Steve Jobs. Eventually, as virtualization improves and makes it
easier with or without his cooperation, it will prove harder and harder not to accede to Dell
and others who want to sell his software in different ways.

Meanwhile, SWsoft has several big changes up its sleeve for the near future. For one,
Parallels, which unlike SWsoft's enterprise product uses the same hardware-based virtualization
approach as VMware does, will enter the server market by this summer. It will focus on small
companies and departments in large ones, whereas VMware sells to just about every big company
in the world. SWsoft's Beloussov makes no bones about his longterm intention to go head-to-head
with VMware. Another planned change is the integration of SWsoft's management tools with
Parallels. One of the most profitable realms in virtualization is increasingly the tools to
keep track of it all.

Peter Lewis reviews Vista for next week's Fortune -- see his column online on Jan. 24.
 
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C

Conor

And MacOS on PCs would really change everything.
Nobody would bother. Something to do with the fact Windows works for
99% of the population and Mac software, what little there is, is very
expensive.
 
C

Conor

Nobody would bother. Something to do with the fact Windows works for
99% of the population and Mac software, what little there is, is very
expensive.
And if MaC OS X was so good, Parallels and Boot Camp wouldn't exist.
 
N

Nina DiBoy

Conor said:
Nobody would bother. Something to do with the fact Windows works for
99% of the population and Mac software, what little there is, is very
expensive.

I would. The proprietary MAC hardware (even though it is becoming less
so everyday it seems) is the expensive part. The software mostly is
more affordable than windows based software. I have been wanting to get
a MAC mini to have it around the house to play with, but can't justify
spending that much money just for curiosity. But if I only had to pay
for software, I'd do it in a heartbeat!

--
Priceless quotes in m.p.w.vista.general group:
http://protectfreedom.tripod.com/kick.html

"Good poets borrow; great poets steal."
- T. S. Eliot
 
D

DevilsPGD

In message said:
I would. The proprietary MAC hardware (even though it is becoming less
so everyday it seems) is the expensive part. The software mostly is
more affordable than windows based software. I have been wanting to get
a MAC mini to have it around the house to play with, but can't justify
spending that much money just for curiosity. But if I only had to pay
for software, I'd do it in a heartbeat!

In practice though, developing for a small set of hardware is easy.
Supporting every bloody motherboard, chipset, flaky
not-quite-able-to-keep-up RAM, video card, and other internal components
is what makes Windows unstable.
 
S

Scott

Conor spake thusly on 1/22/2007 9:06 AM:
Nobody would bother. Something to do with the fact Windows works for
99% of the population and Mac software, what little there is, is very
expensive.

I think you mean Mac hardware. Mac software isn't any more (or less)
expensive than Windows software. In addition, there are apps for most
anything the average user needs (including games) AND it's still tops
with creative professionals.

Personally I'd love a Mac and I would dual boot Windows on it (actually
I'd throw in Linux and FreeBSD also).

Windows "works for 99% of the population" because A) Microsoft makes it
difficult for PC Makers to offer an alternative. Plus MS spent years
shoving Windows and Office down everybody's throat. Remember
WordPerfect anyone? It's still out there......

The only reason I don't own a Mac is the hardware. It's overpriced.
 
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R

Rock

Conor spake thusly:

I think you mean Mac hardware. Mac software isn't any more (or less)
expensive than Windows software. In addition, there are apps for most
anything the average user needs (including games) AND it's still tops with
creative professionals.

Personally I'd love a Mac and I would dual boot Windows on it (actually
I'd throw in Linux and FreeBSD also).

Windows "works for 99% of the population" because A) Microsoft makes it
difficult for PC Makers to offer an alternative. Plus MS spent years
shoving Windows and Office down everybody's throat. Remember WordPerfect
anyone? It's still out there......

Sure, it was the first word processor I used, (actaully I toyed with
WordStar originally). I never stopped using WordPerfect from Dos version
4.0 onwards. The first windows version, 6.0 was ..well there are no words
bad enough to describe it, lol, but those after it were fine. I currently
use version 12 on Vista RTM, and have never used MS Word. Within the recent
past it has been the best selling office suite as a stand alone product.
 
T

Thor

Sorry, but Microsoft Office outsells all other desktop suites by almost
30:1.
(That's why the office suite for Linux is the old Corel Suite, inclusind the
WordPerfect clone). Each major application of the Suite (Word, Access,
Excel) also outsells the competition individually on desktop applications.
 
M

Mike

Nina DiBoy said:
I would. The proprietary MAC hardware

Media Access Control hardware is not proprietary.
(even though it is becoming less so everyday it seems) is the expensive
part. The software mostly is more affordable than windows based software.
I have been wanting to get a MAC mini

Playing with network cards isn't all that much fun.

In case you havn't figured it out, it's Mac, not MAC.
to have it around the house to play with, but can't justify spending that
much money just for curiosity. But if I only had to pay for software, I'd
do it in a heartbeat!

Now that Apple is selling Windows PCs, OS X can be installed on pretty much
any PC these days. Check out:

http://wiki.osx86project.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

for info. I have OS X 10.4.6 installed on a ThinkPad T41 laptop (dual
booting with XP), and on this DIY box (triple booting with XP and Vista).
It runs fine on both.

So I would say that OS X on PCs changes everything.

Mike
 
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N

Nina DiBoy

Mike said:
Media Access Control hardware is not proprietary.


Playing with network cards isn't all that much fun.

In case you havn't figured it out, it's Mac, not MAC.


Now that Apple is selling Windows PCs, OS X can be installed on pretty
much any PC these days. Check out:

http://wiki.osx86project.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

for info. I have OS X 10.4.6 installed on a ThinkPad T41 laptop (dual
booting with XP), and on this DIY box (triple booting with XP and
Vista). It runs fine on both.

So I would say that OS X on PCs changes everything.

Mike

Wow, that's actually pretty cool! Thanks for the info, Mike. Is that
OK with the license for OS X though?

--
Priceless quotes in m.p.w.vista.general group:
http://protectfreedom.tripod.com/kick.html

"Good poets borrow; great poets steal."
- T. S. Eliot
 

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