Will Mac OS X one day run Windows apps without the need for dual booting or virtual machines? That’s the question/rumor currently making the rounds after Wine developer Steven Edwards discovered Leopard contains an undocumented loader for Portable Executables, a filetype used in Windows applications.
Now that would just be damn sexy. This will clearly appeal to existing Mac users who want to be able to play that kids CD-rom game that doesn’t come out on the platform, as well as would-be switchers who absolutely need their trusty old spreadsheet from the days of yore. It makes OSX an even stronger offering.
It further solidifies the mantra: content is king. A games console is only as good as the games on the platform. A DVD format is only as good as it’s movie releases; and now: an operating system is only as good as its apps. Because in the end, it’s not the desktop wallpaper or the pretty application launcher that entices us or keeps us on one platform. It’s whether the applications we absolutely need, are available. With the second coming of Ubuntu a year or two away, it’ll be interesting to see if operating systems will actually expire in their usefulness altogether.