The Mac with two brains

John Rizzo, former MacUser editor and publisher of the excellent Web site MacWindows has written an informative piece at MacCentral regarding some of the options for running Windows programs on a Mac. After writing a book in the early ’90s about Mac telecom that included a chapter on working with PCs, I actually started a more reference-oriented cross-platform site back in the mid-’90s with the domain xplat.com. I probably could have fetched something decent for that goofy domain name at an auction. Easy come…

In his article, unlike on his site, John doesn’t discuss Win32 API products such as CodeWeavers’ CrossOver. These don’t run Windows on a Mac, but do what most users would probably prefer, which is to run Windows programs on a Mac. However, he does mention an interesting option that will be offered with the VMWare technology for the Mac that will enable “appliances” — preinstalled Windows apps ready to run at nearly native speeds on Mac OS.

Apple has accurately juxtaposed the tradeoff among Boot Camp, virtualization products, and API-compatibility products as one that progressively sacrifice compatibility for convenience. It continues to stick with the most compatible approach in Boot Camp and must tread carefully in terms of supporting its native developers. However, I still think that, for most Mac users, virtualization technology is a better tradeoff than Boot Camp, and Apple would benefit by selling Macs with more RAM to accommodate two simultaneous operating systems.

Regardless, I don’t agree with the point that, “at some point in the not-too-distant future, most Macs—especially those in business and educational environments —will be running multiple operating systems.” Many? Sure. But not most unless Microsoft offers some aggressive pricing to Mac users

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