So far, Apple has not revealed the so-called “secrets” planned for Mac OS X Leopard. OS X already runs Windows.
What would be cooler than that? How about running Windows apps without Windows? Is it even possible?
Apple may have some else in mind to fill the secrets void in OS X Leopard but none would have a bigger Wow Factor™ than the ability to install and run Windows applications without installing Windows.
This isn’t a new idea, so I make no claims for originality. Apple kept secret an Intel version of OS X for years before switching the Mac from PowerPC chips to Intel chips.
It is entirely possible that Apple has something similar planned for Leopard, with roots that reach back into the so-called Red Box development of a decade ago.
That scenario depicted OS X’s potential ability to run Mac Classic software (Blue Box), and Windows software (Red Box). Roughly Drafted provides an in-depth look at the Red Box Myth.
But is it a myth? After all, it was considered a myth that Apple would switch to Intel chips in Macs, but that’s exactly what happened.
It was considered a myth that Apple would allow Windows to run on Macs. That’s exactly what happened. Apple’s Boot Camp software, also due as a feature in Leopard, allows Windows to run on Macs.
Is Boot Camp designed to hide Apple’s upcoming secret features in Leopard? Could OS X Leopard actually run Windows applications without installing Windows? Yes, it’s possible, though the technological and legal hurdles may prohibit such an undertaking.
How would Microsoft respond to a feature in OS X Leopard which allows Windows applications to be installed and run on a Mac without installing Windows? Microsoft is already rattling their patent saber at Linux. What would they do to Apple?
As much as I find it unlikely that Apple would add such a feature to OS X Leopard, I cannot rule it out. Apple’s history of zigging when everyone thought they would be zagging is enough to make the most implausible scenarios somewhat plausible.
Let’s assume that Leopard will run Windows using Boot Camp. What other secret features does Apple have in store for Leopard? Multi touch Macs? I don’t think so. Too much arm and hand effort. The mouse and keyboard work fine.
How about speech recognition ala Star Trek of a few hundred years in the future? Speech recognition today is painfully immature, so there’s room for improvement, right?
How about an animated Finder with a more intuitive and responsive interface? The Finder is over 20 years old and painfully reminiscent of how far we haven’t come.
See? Running Windows applications on Intel Macs without installing Windows doesn’t look that far fetched, does it?