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Microsoft's Virtualization Stance Eying Apple?

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the shifty-glances dept.

238

Pisces writes "Over the past several days, Microsoft has flip-flopped on virtualization in Vista, with one ascribing the change in policy to concerns over DRM. A piece at Ars Technica raises another, more likely possibility: fear of Apple. Apple is technically an OEM, and could offer copies of Vista at a discounted price. 'All of this paints a picture in which Apple could use OEM pricing to offer Windows for its Macs at greatly reduced prices and running in a VM. The latter is absolutely crucial; telling users that they need to reboot into their Windows OS isn't nearly as sexy as, say, Coherence in Parallels. If you've never seen Coherence, it's quite amazing. You don't need to run Windows apps in a VM window of Vista. Instead, the apps appear to run in OS X itself, and the environment is (mostly) hidden away. VMWare also has similar technology, dubbed Unity.' Is Microsoft terrified of a world where Windows can be virtualized and forced to take a back seat to Mac OS X or Linux?"

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238 comments

I think Microsoft is more concerned... (2, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | about 7 years ago | (#19648763)

...with people using the lower-priced versions of Vista in virtualization environments they don't understand - on any platform - and then expecting support in such environments.

Obviously, there is nothing technical preventing a person from using any version of Vista in virtualization, and nothing at all, including the license, preventing usage of any version of Vista in Boot Camp.

I can't see a scenario where Apple would be interested in becoming a Windows OEM, supporting Windows, etc. Apple is more content with knowing that users in supported enterprise/academic/government environments can get Macs and use nifty technologies like Parallels, VMware, Boot Camp, etc., but isn't interested in getting into the Windows game itself.

One interesting item of note is that at many sites with Microsoft Volume Licensing Agreements, such as our own, Windows XP Pro and Windows Vista Enterprise are available essentially for free (just the cost of the media) for all departmentally-owned computers - including usage in virtualization, and including usage on Intel-based Macs.

So there are plenty of environments already that are very much taking advantage of this. Microsoft might not shed a tear if its licensing policy for Vista Home editions makes it a little harder financially for some people to justify the jump to Mac, but I doubt that's their primary focus.

Also, Apple doesn't really want to make it too easy for people to run Windows and Windows apps - just when they really need to. The idea is to bring more users to Mac OS X, so that app developers will bring apps to Mac OS X, which use all the nifty Mac OS X functionality. Who wants to run on a great OS (assuming that's the reason you switch) with all of your apps running in some Windows layer? Besides, many people who think they "need" Windows really don't, but the knowledge that they can run Windows if they needed to gets them over the hurdle. Or maybe the run Windows for a while, and realize they can duplicate everything they need and then some in OS X.

That said, yes, the seamless desktop integration features of Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion are really impressive. You can, for the most part, use Windows apps and Mac OS X apps seamlessly, side by side, with Dock integration, and even the ability to specify which kinds of documents open in which environment when double-clicked.

In any event, there are other issues here on both sides.

Re:I think Microsoft is more concerned... (1, Insightful)

apathy maybe (922212) | about 7 years ago | (#19648871)

Sounds like WINE. I can do these things you mention right now, without MS Windows Vista, on my X/GNU/Linux box. Of course, I can't run everything, but still.

Re:I think Microsoft is more concerned... (3, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | about 7 years ago | (#19649157)

Well running a program in WINE is a far cry from running the entire Vista OS. I don't know what microsoft is so afraid of- their OS is so ungainly that unless you have 2GB of memory and don't mind your CPU running hot constantly, it's basically unusable in a VM.

Re:I think Microsoft is more concerned... (1)

antarctican (301636) | about 7 years ago | (#19649587)

Actually it sounds more like OS/2 Warp (blue box). This is a 10 year old idea, back in the mid-90s I could run Windows apps on my desktop natively.

Of course same as with WINE, not everything worked....

Re:I think Microsoft is more concerned... (5, Informative)

smitty97 (995791) | about 7 years ago | (#19648919)

I think Microsoft is more concerned.....with people using the lower-priced versions of Vista in virtualization environments they don't understand - on any platform - and then expecting support in such environments.
OEM versions of Windows don't get Microsoft support, they get the OEM's.

Re:I think Microsoft is more concerned... (1)

include($dysmas) (729935) | about 7 years ago | (#19649055)

well something has got to be better than nothing

Re:I think Microsoft is more concerned... (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | about 7 years ago | (#19649169)

OEM versions of Windows don't get Microsoft support, they get the OEM's.

I'm aware of that, thanks.

But this isn't only about OEM versions of Windows.

Retail Home variants of Vista also aren't licensed for virtualization. Where do you think that support comes from? (Whether it's from Microsoft "contractors", it's still Microsoft).

And Apple (in my opinion) doesn't want to become a Windows OEM in any way, shape, or form.

So the issue is really why virtualization isn't even supported on retail versions of Vista Home, and it's at least in part, if not mostly, for the reason I stated.

Re:I think Microsoft is more concerned... (3, Informative)

hummassa (157160) | about 7 years ago | (#19649365)

Retail Home variants of Vista also aren't licensed for virtualization. Where do you think that support comes from?
In my experience, nowhere. I don't have the recollection of ONE SINGLE PERSON that tried the support number for Home variants of MS OSs that succeeded in having their questions answered.

Re:I think Microsoft is more concerned... (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 7 years ago | (#19648933)

Apple sells hardware.

Why would they mind if people could easily run their (legacy?) Windows apps on a Mac?

If I could get my Windows apps running on a Mac for little more than the cost of the Mac alone, it'll bring me one step closer to dropping Wintel altogether; migration just got easier.

Re:I think Microsoft is more concerned... (1)

Nossie (753694) | about 7 years ago | (#19649005)

its funny... I used to think Apple was a hardware company too...

but steve jobs did say apple was a software company.... so no, your wrong (apparently)

Re:I think Microsoft is more concerned... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 7 years ago | (#19649075)

it'll bring me one step closer to dropping Wintel altogether;
Is going Aptel that big of a jump, you still using Intel Processors. It will just be a different OS.

Re:I think Microsoft is more concerned... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19649095)

Apple doesn't sell hardware.

You see, once upon a time, computer makers made the whole thing: computer, operating system, and even some apps. Apple, Atari, Commodore, you remember those guys right?

Then Microsoft came along and made a deal with IBM to have a Microsoft OS, MS-DOS (*cough*stolen PC-DOS*cough*) on IBM computers.

Apple simply didn't stop making what computer makers made a few decades ago: computer systems.

Re:I think Microsoft is more concerned... (2, Interesting)

mini me (132455) | about 7 years ago | (#19649299)

Apple sells hardware.

But people only buy that hardware because of Apple's software. So, while I'm sure they are making money from the hardware, it's the software that is the real money maker.

Re:I think Microsoft is more concerned... (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | about 7 years ago | (#19649691)

But people only buy that hardware because of Apple's software. So, while I'm sure they are making money from the hardware, it's the software that is the real money maker.
But lately it hasn't been sales of the operating system that's been the real money maker. Their software income is coming from applications like Final Cut Studio, not Mac OS X.

Apple hasn't sold hardware that runs their separately packaged operating system software for a long time now. The box versions of Tiger are PPC only. The only way to get the Intel version of Tiger is to buy hardware. Leopard will be the first Intel-based Mac OS X available independently of hardware.

woosh! (the sound of a . flying by) (1)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | about 7 years ago | (#19649997)

You missed the point. The hardware is the package. The software is what sells a Macintosh.

Somebody sure as hell has to pay... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19648945)

One interesting item of note is that at many sites with Microsoft Volume Licensing Agreements, such as our own, Windows XP Pro and Windows Vista Enterprise are available essentially for free (just the cost of the media) for all departmentally-owned computers - including usage in virtualization, and including usage on Intel-based Macs.

Even under the volume licensing agreement, each separate copy of Windows that gets installed still does have to be accounted for, and paid for... just because you're not the one who has to do the accounting and paying doesn't mean that the license is free at all. I'm the one in our company who has to do this job, and I can't seem to get it thru the thick heads of our junior staff here that despite the fact that we have an MS enterprise licensing agreement in place, that it doesn't mean that they can go about willy-nilly installing various MS software anywhere and everywhere they please. It still must be done in a strict accounting and inventory managed way, and each piece of MS software installed onto a pile of hardware must be justified by proper business authorization, and approved by a manager with budget authority *BEFORE IT GETS INSTALLED* because at the end of each fiscal year cycle, we still have to write a check to MS for whatever got deployed.

Re:I think Microsoft is more concerned... (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about 7 years ago | (#19649129)

If so, it would be the first time they've been so concerned with support costs, which they effectively externalize to third parties and IT departments. Historically, they've always been ready to deploy products with inherent support and security complexities if that product meets their strategic needs.

At the risk of pointing out the obvious, MS is an unique position in the software industry. They can make TCO arguments based, not on the supportability of their products, but on the customers' sunk costs.

That said, I think Windows running on a VM is probably stabler and less costly to support than Windows running on real hardware.

At first blush, features like Parallel's Coherence would seem to be bad for the Mac platform and good for the Windows platform. Not only is there another windows license sold, licenses of Windows based software gain at the expense of Mac based programs.

This is where DRM comes in, I think.

Microsoft understands the value of owning the platform. Virtual Windows on Macs helps them in their traditional businesses, but it undermines their desire to gain control over digital entertainment in the same way they control office automation. Control of de facto DRM standards would be yet another proverbial "license to print money".

People using Macs with cheap copies of virtualized Windows literally side by side with Mac apps is not good for this plan. They will never be a huge market, but they could be influential.

Not getting into the game, destroying the game. (2, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | about 7 years ago | (#19649181)

Apple is more content with knowing that users in supported enterprise/academic/government environments can get Macs and use nifty technologies like Parallels, VMware, Boot Camp, etc., but isn't interested in getting into the Windows game itself.

This is about ending the Windoze game. Apple is offering a safety blanket so that people can user Apple and other applications without fear of not being able to work with dreaded M$ enslaved coworkers. Their users, in turn, will do what they can to interact in standards based ways like Open Office, Google Office and anything but Office 2007. Being able to run Office 2007 in a virtual machine, minimizes Windoze created hardware problems and eliminates the "networking" game M$ uses to push it's upgrade train.

A better way to end that train is to make government use ODF and return all Office Docs to their source with a note that tells the clueless sender why you can't work with them.

The upgrade train is already fatally damaged. Vista is not selling and both it and Office 2007 have been baned almost everywhere. Google and Sun have useful and free alternatives that won't wreck your work in a few years because neither can decide it's time to overhall things to generate revenue. Apple is happy to join the pack of rebels. The lack of Vista sales is hurting hardware makers enough to discredit the perpetual upgrade train for them. This destroys M$'s ability to manipulate hardware vendors and will ultimately bring about real hardware standards and competition. M$'s days of BIOS sabotage are numbered.

Re:I think Microsoft is more concerned... (1)

shotgunsaint (968677) | about 7 years ago | (#19649411)

I fail to see the big impact of running Parallels without a dedicated virtual machine window... you can already do this with many programs using Crossover Mac, which I use on my mac and love to death.

Re:I think Microsoft is more concerned... (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | about 7 years ago | (#19649557)

Obviously, there is nothing technical preventing a person from using any version of Vista in virtualization
Well, other than the people making the virtualization software recognize the versions of Vista that have license terms against virtualization and blocking them from running so as not to get sued by Microsoft for enabling others to violate Microsoft's license agreement.

Last I checked, Parallels didn't support virtualizing all versions of Vista.

But isn't that just a kind of theft? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19649831)

Wouldn't having another OS basically virtualize Windows and run applications like it essentially be a form of theft?

I mean, if OSX or Lunix or whatever can't put up a viable application interface, why is 'borrowing' Windows' functionality legitimate?

You know the FOSSies would be up in arms if Windows started borrowing from Lunix, so why is it ok for OSX and Lunix to mask their deficiencies using Microsoft's hard work?

Re:I think Microsoft is more concerned... (2, Insightful)

surfingmarmot (858550) | about 7 years ago | (#19649913)

"...with people using the lower-priced versions of Vista in virtualization environments they don't understand - on any platform - and then expecting support in such environments."


Microsoft doesn't support end users. Ever. Have you ever tried to get support from Microsoft other than the Knowledge Base? No, Microsoft is no worried about support costs--that isn't a material part of their business model. what they are worried, even paranoid about, is losing control--losing the linkage between Exchange and Outlook, between Sharepoint and Office. Microsoft's entire business model for desktop computing is based on monopolistic tying. If the ties are broken, Microsoft's mediocre products will lose share quickly

Re:I think Microsoft is more concerned... (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | about 7 years ago | (#19650037)

I can't see a scenario where Apple would be interested in becoming a Windows OEM, supporting Windows, etc.

Nor can I see a scenario where Microsoft would be FORCED to do business with Apple as a Windows OEM. Microsoft doesn't need to forbid EVERYBODY from virtualizing Vista to keep Apple away.

Terrified? (0, Redundant)

Lethyos (408045) | about 7 years ago | (#19648765)

Is Microsoft terrified of a world where Windows can be virtualized and forced to take a back seat to Mac OS X or Linux?

Yes.

Re:Terrified? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19648843)

Yeah. The 50 yr old neighbor of mine was asking me the benefits of running Vista in one VM, Mac OS on the other, while using Ubuntu as her main OS, and then combining that with the power of VM running under Mac to virtually run XP just in case she needs to use an application not compatible with Vista, Mac OS and Ubuntu Linux. Microsoft is worried indeed.

Re:Terrified? (2, Insightful)

MontyApollo (849862) | about 7 years ago | (#19648907)

I don't think they care as long as the get paid. Windows can be virtualized now.

If it became Apple's policy to include Vista with ever computer it would only help Microsoft. The people who would be complaining would be HP and Dell if Apple was getting just as good as a deal as they were.

Re:Terrified? (1)

BosstonesOwn (794949) | about 7 years ago | (#19648991)

I agree with you. I would also like to add this may be the correct time for MS to drop the cost of all the different vista versions and go back to the XP scheme except just letting vista "home" with media center and all the ultimate add ons be used just in the home with no virtualization clause in the uela. Let vista business be virtualized as well. But don't make it a huge difference in price.

Let the folks in the companies who are going to virtualize do it , and collect a little bit more on the license instead of just banning it. And enjoy the bump in profit.

Re:Terrified? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19648937)

I think this is a remake of the WIN-OS2 drama (1993).

WIN-OS2 allowed MSWindows apps to run seamlessly on the OS/2 desktop (impressive workplace shell, by the way). The strategy was simple: if users can run their windows apps under OS/2 they will switch to OS/2 easily, and end-up using OS/2 apps because the OS is so superior. So, WIN-OS2 was shipped with every copy of OS/2 as standard.
You remember what happened in the end: people used OS/2 exclusively to run windows apps but at the cost of a bunch of compatibility issues. Eventually, OS/2 apps were never developped, and OS/2 was perceived as just a slow and troublesome version of windows.

Of course, MS had a lot to do with the death of OS/2. But I still think that running Win32 apps on top of OSX will lead to the same fate.

An important nuance. (2, Insightful)

Lethyos (408045) | about 7 years ago | (#19648999)

If my understanding is correct, OS/2 was provided its own implementations of Windows APIs. This is unsustainable and the cost easily overcomes the benefits of the platform. In the Apple scenario, the virtualized environment is the real thing, third parties provide that environment, and Apple continues to develop their platform in blissful ignorance while end-users get a universal platform. I would otherwise be very much inclined to agree with you, but I think these subtle differences will cause a positive outcome (depending on how you look at it).

Re:An important nuance. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19649261)

Actually, WIN-OS2 was initially based on the real win3.1 source code (old agreement with MS), but the memory management was modified to be hosted by OS/2 virtual memory. The changes to the win3.1 codebase were so small, that a later version of OS/2 (red box) came without WIN-OS2 and (during the installation) recreated the entire WIN-OS2 from actual win3.1 binary code already present on the customer's hard disk.
So it was much closer to full virtualization than you think.

In any case, what really matters is not the technology. What matters is the user experience. In that regard, the similarity between the WIN-OS2 case and "Win32 on top of OSX" is striking. And old Ballmer is known to repeat good old proven strategies.

Excellent negation. (1)

Lethyos (408045) | about 7 years ago | (#19649387)

Well, I believe that completely invalidates my argument. Thank you! Now if only reverse that insightful moderation on my comment.

Re:An important nuance. (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | about 7 years ago | (#19649271)

I think an issue would be if an user were to find they were running 90% Windows apps vs 10% Mac apps. Some of these people would begin to question which OS should be the native OS. This could be further spurred along if Mac developers all decided to switch to native Windows. Thier apps would still work seemlessly on the Mac, and they would have a bigger market.

Re:An important nuance. (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about 7 years ago | (#19649381)

If my understanding is correct, OS/2 was provided its own implementations of Windows APIs.

Initially OS/2 included Windows (literally) but later versions could used a separate install.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OS/2#Windows_3.x_comp atibility [wikipedia.org]

Incidentally this

At the launch of OS/2 Warp in 1994, Patrick Stewart was to be the Master of Ceremonies; however Kate Mulgrew of the then-upcoming series Star Trek: Voyager was substituted at the last minute

Reminds me of this

http://www.offspring.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/Offspr ing.woa/wa/lyrics?releaseID=430562&startingTrackNu mber=7 [offspring.com]

He needs some cool tunes
Not just any will suffice
But they didn't have Ice Cube
So he bought Vanilla Ice
Now cruising in his Pinto, he sees homies as he pass
But if he looks twice
They're gonna kick his lily ass

Re:Terrified? (1)

justthinkit (954982) | about 7 years ago | (#19649255)

You remember what happened in the end: people used OS/2 exclusively to run windows apps but at the cost of a bunch of compatibility issues

Actually, what happened next was Microsoft came out with vxd-dependent software and Win-OS/2 became useless.

Re:Terrified? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19649419)

VXD were also incompatible with NT, but they didn't need to care about that at that time.

And they also came up with a strange use of some memory beyond 16MB, that was inocuous to 16bit Windows but was incompatible with OS/2 32bit kernel.

The final blow to WIN-OS2 compatibility was the Win32 API, which was not part of the old source-code deal betweeen MS and IBM (unlike win3.1 source). This way, achieving win32 compatibility for WIN-OS2 would have required a huge amount of IBM developers. The OS/2 team at IBM was very small and under-funded.

Re:Terrified? (1, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | about 7 years ago | (#19649105)

Is Microsoft terrified of a world where Windows can be virtualized and forced to take a back seat to Mac OS X or Linux?

Yes.

No.

If the buyer is demanding a VM running Windows then Windows is in the driver's seat - because his must-have apps are Windows only.

His design and marketing teams will get twenty-five spanking-new Mac workstations. The 25,000 others he employs the generic Windows desktop from Dell.

Re:Terrified? (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 7 years ago | (#19649443)

Not really. It relegates Microsoft to being an API seller. Windows becomes just another cross-platform API. The only difference between using Windows or something like Qt is that your customers have to pay if you use Windows.

MS a Metaphor for the US? (1, Flamebait)

RevHawk (855772) | about 7 years ago | (#19648785)

Is Microsoft afraid of Apple? Not sure. I'm beginning to wonder how much Microsoft is like the United States these days. Think about it. A monopoly with unfair advantages set long ago. Desperate to crush anything that could threaten that in the smallest way. Ruthless, with little to no regard as to what the rest of the world..err market thinks. A country err competitor steps in with something new and innovative, something different? Well, if we have no use for it and can't copy it, crush it! Maybe I've just woken up on the wrong side of the bed?

Re:MS a Metaphor for the US? (1)

Speeple (1108303) | about 7 years ago | (#19648873)

You know you're an idiot when you bring your Anti-American stance on something mutually exclusive ... err ... Well done!

Re:MS a Metaphor for the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19648925)

Except for one important flaw in your comparison: Microsoft doesn't point the barrel of a gun at you and tell you to use it's products "or else".

Re:MS a Metaphor for the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19648941)

You are the man!! Now I know why Linux and Apple remind me of Iraq and Afghanistan respectively!

Re:MS a Metaphor for the US? (0, Troll)

JacksBrokenCode (921041) | about 7 years ago | (#19649115)

A country err competitor steps in with something new and innovative, something different? Well, if we have no use for it and can't copy it, crush it!

Thank you, it's all so clear to me now. Damn all those innovative & progressive goals of the Muslim world! Thank God that our hero George W. Bush was able to crush the burgeoning center of development & social improvement known as Afghanistan and Iraq. Just think: If the US hadn't made a mess in the middle east, Afghanistan & Iraq would be the pinnacle of technological development, a truly enlightened society bringing nothing but goodness to the rest of the world. Silicon Valley was about to be usurped by Mecca unless Team America did something about it.

Wait, what?

Re:MS a Metaphor for the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19649135)

And they're both led by fanatical leaders with the letters G and B in their names - George Bush (GB) and Bill Gates (BG). Apparently, one of them is a little backward. I wonder which one...

Re:MS a Metaphor for the US? (2, Insightful)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | about 7 years ago | (#19649195)

A monopoly with unfair advantages set long ago.


What would these "unfair advantages set long ago" be, in your opinion?

I condemn many things that the USA has done but they have done good things too. In what country of immaculate ethical history do you abide, Sir?

Re:MS a Metaphor for the US? (2, Insightful)

BodhiCat (925309) | about 7 years ago | (#19649215)

How about any empire or monolpoly throughout history. Did the Romans fear the German and French "barbarians"? Did the British Monarchy fear the rebellious colonists in America? Did the Indian Rajas fear the Mogols?

Throughout history empires have crumbled under the invasions and incursions of so called barbarians with greater fighting skills or more drive and energy then themselves. The barbarians take over and become the new empire, new threats arise on the borders, and so on.

The same thing happens in business as new companies arise with new ideas or old companies (Apple) come up with better business models or better products. Its like the old catch phrase for Avis car rental, "Were #2, so we try harder."

The American hubris is that they think they are the greatest and final empire, but sooner or later it will crumble under pressure from outside forces or rebellion from within. Veitnam, 9/11, and Iraq are just examples of how vunerable the American empire is becoming.

Re:MS a Metaphor for the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19649331)

Obsessive much with your anti-american FUD? Good grief man give it a break, this may be a shock, but some of us don't like hearing about the US all the freakin time.

"The Sony battery recall is like the US, in that they provide a crappy level of service to everyone else" *YAWN*

MS is unAmerican. (1)

twitter (104583) | about 7 years ago | (#19649389)

M$ is a small part of the fantasy "IP" Empire some deluded people believe in. Other members are big oil, telco, pharmacy, insurance and financial institutions. Their attitude is ugly but even while ascendent it should in no way be mistaken for real American attitudes or values. They have abused the US government and it's laws and used the US military power to force more of the same around the world, but the backlash is here. Making friends with China has been a disaster and the IP fantasy people increasingly talk about "offshoring" their operations to blackmail the US Government further. Actual Americans are fed up with the whole thing, but if you think they are angry with US companies that have sold them out to Chinese slave labor, just wait until they are asked to do things on behalf of companies based in the Bahamas or Dubai. Fat chance.

The real spirit of America is still enshrined in it's constitution and bill of rights. Those, more than silly, made up corporate and "IP" rights motivate US citizens. It is in that spirit that GNU was founded and grew. M$'s vendor manipulation and marketing billions have bought them some misguided adherents, but they are further and fewer between than ever before. M$ would strip their user of their freedom and choice in something as slippery as software. A command economy based on software, can their be a dumber concept than that? Ultimately, people hate restrictions and being forced to press "I Agree", so the game can't last.

Re:MS a Metaphor for the US? (1)

mashade (912744) | about 7 years ago | (#19649421)

Maybe I've just woken up on the wrong side of the bed?


I think that's fair to say ;)

I don't see Americans crushing innovation simply because it's new and we don't use it here. Do we go and destroy the Mag-lev trains in Japan because we don't use them here, for example? You may have been referring to the patent office, and yes, that situation is bad here. But reform is (hopefully) coming on that front, and I wouldn't consider our patent problems to be an international issue.

Not a bad metaphor (1)

rjschwarz (945384) | about 7 years ago | (#19650079)

But the original poster got it backwards. Microsoft was designed to appeal to the masses rather than the elites. The elites being Linux/unix for technical elite, Apple for cooler than though artist elite types. This is similar to the way McDonalds and Budwiser and big dumb action movies were designed for the masses because the masses mean larger sales. The USA was designed (by elites oddly enough) with government by the masses for the masses and not with some elites telling us what to do all the time. We've enshrined our right to mouth off and tell the government they suck as well as the right to carry a gun in case the government doesn't like our mouthing off. Most other countries are run by elites. Even democracies in Europe have elites trying to force the EU upon member states. Yes the US has elites (in both parties) trying to increase government power all the time, the post would be far to long to cover all the shades-of-gray. And in almost all examples above the elites generally dislike or hate the product/nation designed for the masses with a passion that is sometimes irrational.

Half empty, or half full? (1)

s31523 (926314) | about 7 years ago | (#19648795)

Is Microsoft terrified of a world where Windows can be virtualized and forced to take a back seat to Mac OS X or Linux?"

This is the "half-empty" view. The "half-full" full is that Microsoft welcomes such virtualization in the sense that it's product will be on more computers than ever before and may even have the *gasp* opposite effect of what people think... That is, maybe someone switches back to Windows after running it in a virtual machine. Even at discounted OEM prices, it is still generating revenue that otherwise would not have been there.

Re:Half empty, or half full? (4, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | about 7 years ago | (#19648879)

Initially I thought the exact them thing. But consider the consequences over time. With "hidden" virtualization Microsoft doesn't get to control the desktop. They lose one avenue to promote their brand. They don't get to push new products onto customers' desktops. They may lose control over the user's interface to the web (since Macs have a native browser). And if more people buy Macs more developers will make native applications to replace some of the virtualized ones, so over time the virtualized Windows may become almost irrelevant.

Microsoft has always been interested in control. They believe in the long run it sells the most software licenses.

Re:Half empty, or half full? (4, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | about 7 years ago | (#19649355)

But consider the consequences over time. With "hidden" virtualization Microsoft doesn't get to control the desktop. They lose one avenue to promote their brand. They don't get to push new products onto customers' desktops. They may lose control over the user's interface to the web

All this assumes that users - and support teams - are jumping for joy at the chance to maintain multiple operating systems, software libraries, and skill sets. To anyone but a Geek this can seem sadomasochistic.

God help them if virtualization does not remain transparent.

Re:Half empty, or half full? (1)

apt142 (574425) | about 7 years ago | (#19649637)

I was thinking the same thing as well. What would be the best way to get a user off of a Windows machine and on to a Mac (or Linux)? As an earlier post pointed out, just knowing that a user can switch back to windows if they needed to, gives the person the courage to make that leap. Now, imagine they don't even have to worry about that.

Sure, they'll be capable of using and probably still hooked on their favorite windows programs. But, if you're an OS vendor (or advocate) you just won more than half the battle. You've taken the home field away from MS. How long before you get them trying out the nifty apps native to the OS? Apps, I might add, that would run more efficiently because they're running natively as opposed to virtually. The end users wouldn't be able to tell you why that is the case either. They'd just know that MS apps are slower. So, they'd be excited by the new efficiency.

All you'd have to sell them on is your nifty interface. And OS X has that in spades.

Re:Half empty, or half full? (1)

value_added (719364) | about 7 years ago | (#19649099)

This is the "half-empty" view. The "half-full" full is that Microsoft welcomes such virtualization in the sense that it's product will be on more computers than ever before ...

Personally, I'll wager that the "half-empty" view is more correct. Microsoft's history can be described as one defined by a need for complete dominance and control, even where it was inappropriate, unneeded or counter productive. The possibility that, according to the article, they'll be playing "second fiddle", is more apt to send chairs flying than anything else. To say nothing of the corrosive nature of losing monopoly (perceived or otherwise) power.

The other issue is that while it's entirely possible that Microsoft's bottom line won't suffer immediate negative consequences, it will be the case that Apple's bottom line will, by comparison, be enhanced much more so. For every $100 or so going to Microsoft, there's a corresponding $1000 or more heading to Apple.

For me, I've decided my next computer purchase will be a MacBook Pro. If I buy a copy of Vista, it will be as an accessory. ;-)

Re:Half empty, or half full? (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | about 7 years ago | (#19649263)

That is, maybe someone switches back to Windows after running it in a virtual machine.

God, that was funny.

Wait -- you weren't joking, were you.

No more than Apple is... (1, Interesting)

stubear (130454) | about 7 years ago | (#19648827)

"Is Microsoft terrified of a world where Windows can be virtualized and forced to take a back seat to Mac OS X or Linux?" ...afraid of a world where anyone can obtain a copy of OSX and run it on a white box system instead of the "blessed" Jobsian hardware. Microsoft doesn't want users to virtualize Windows on other operating systems and Apple doesn't want users to run copies of OSX on white box systems. Stalemate.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19648851)

It's still a sale of windows, and it's still perpetuating windows lock in.

MS makes even more money (3, Insightful)

MontyApollo (849862) | about 7 years ago | (#19648857)

Microsoft makes even more money if Apple puts Vista on every computer. It's an untapped market. Seems like it would be good for Microsoft.

Re:MS makes even more money (3, Insightful)

pubjames (468013) | about 7 years ago | (#19648973)

Seems like it would be good for Microsoft.

In the short term. In the longer term, it could be very bad indeed.

Microsoft's power, and profits, come from the fact that they have a stranglehold on the market. They really can't afford to let anyone get too much traction in their own market - as soon as they loose the stranglehold things could turn very ugly very quickly for Microsoft, because it will mean they won't be able to dictate price to the market, the market will dictate to them and that will mean plunging profits.

Re:MS makes even more money (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | about 7 years ago | (#19649049)

Or, as others pointed out, Apple developers may decide to use Windows as their native platform since their apps will run seemlessly on both Macs and Windows, a much bigger market.

Then people start mainly running Windows apps. And then people maybe see no need to use the Mac OS as the middle man...

Not necessarily, but it could happen.

Re:MS makes even more money (1)

pubjames (468013) | about 7 years ago | (#19649109)

Not necessarily, but it could happen.

Not whilst Steve Jobs is around.

Re:MS makes even more money (1, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | about 7 years ago | (#19648989)

An untapped market of what, ~5% of computer users?

The market segment is abysmally small. It just isn't worth it.

Re:MS makes even more money (2, Insightful)

pubjames (468013) | about 7 years ago | (#19649305)

An untapped market of what, ~5% of computer users?

that's right, five percent of the top end of a huge market, any business would be dumb to go after that...

Re:MS makes even more money (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | about 7 years ago | (#19649363)

5% of $10 Billion (or whatever it is) is still pretty good money when the only work you have to do is sign a contract with Apple to load Windows on every computer.

Re:MS makes even more money (3, Insightful)

boxlight (928484) | about 7 years ago | (#19649503)

Microsoft makes even more money if Apple puts Vista on every computer. It's an untapped market. Seems like it would be good for Microsoft.

In the short term sounds good for Microsoft. But in the long term, no.

Here's the scenario that Microsoft is afraid of: Computer user buys a Mac with Mac OS X and Windows. Yes, Microsoft got paid for the copy of Windows. But the user is now living in a Mac OS X world, logging into Mac OS X, using Mac's browser, Mac's Mail.app, iLife and so on. Windows has been delegated to the status of virtual machine, there only to support the running of Microsoft Project and the few other Windows only apps.

Over time, the user is focused more on the OS X software updates, the new OS X features, and the new OS X applications. Windows has become less important -- almost irrelevant, certainly out-of-mind for him.

Five years later, time to buy a new computer. He gets a new Mac. Doesn't even think about getting Windows this time -- or just decides to continue to use the old five year old copy of Windows from his previous Mac. Windows, for him, has become a legacy product.

Bill Gates has *always* said that Windows can be obsolete in five years.

boxlight

Re:MS makes even more money (2, Insightful)

MontyApollo (849862) | about 7 years ago | (#19649781)

>>or just decides to continue to use the old five year old copy of Windows from his previous Mac

OEM versions of Windows generally cannot be legally transferred to a different computer.

The issue in the long run will be how much the user is using Windows-only software. The situation probably won't change unless more Mac software pops up to replace the key apps. I can't see it happening in a few years, especially for games. If the user actually noticed he was using much more Windows apps than Mac apps, the next new computer might be one where Windows runs native.

The more over riding issue though is that this will only affect people who are already likely to buy a Mac to begin with. It would be a significant bump in sales for MS even it only lasts a few years, and it would be sales they would otherwise not have made anyway. If it goes away, then basically Mac people going back to being Mac-only people - the situation now.

The key question would be if pre-loaded, virtualized Vista on Macs would help them capture any more market share. I just don't see the core Windows user worrying much about having two OSes on his computer, especially when the prime OS is one he is not familiar with. They don't even think about the OS to begin with. They just want their apps.

Huh? (3, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 7 years ago | (#19648859)

Apple can do that with XP right now, and simply continue to do so until XP's EOL. It's not like Vista is being adopted widespread, and --more importantly-- it isn't as if 3rd-party Windows' Developer mindshare is falling all over itself to take advantage of Vista-specific features.

That, and, umm, wouldn't such a move sort of alienate the Developer mindshare for OSX? I guess I don't grok the incentive to help nudge Win32/64 developers to download Xcode and go to town if they see that they can continue to use Visual Studio .NET and just hum along in building apps that compile once but run on both platforms.

Apple (or rather, the friendly folks who make Parallels) could use that as a stop-gap (a couple-years' long one) to get behind pushing WINE, CrossOver, Cedega, etc etc... if indeed that's where they're wanting to go.

I like the angle, it has appeal, but it seems more damaging in the long run than to simply work on increasing marketshare among customers to the point where Windows-only dev shops are forced to take a good hard look at coding for OSX for competitive edge and survival reasons.

Besides... if Apple really wanted to give incentives, they could/should push for building tools that make cross-compiling hella easier, with maybe an IDE that can replace VS .NET on Windows entirely, say, with a modified Xcode that --oh by the way-- has a handy and nearly automatic suite of tools to make compiling OSX apps easier for the dev who uses it.

/P

Re:Huh? (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 7 years ago | (#19649187)

OS/2's great Windows 3.1 (and Win 32s) support was one of the reasons it died. There was little incentive for developers at the time to write native OS/2 applications. Of course, shoddy marketing by IBM was the main culprit, but Win-OS/2 was considered to be a big reason that no real killer apps were made for OS/2.

Terrified? I think not. (2, Insightful)

TheGreatHegemon (956058) | about 7 years ago | (#19648881)

I don't know how many times this has been said, but Microsoft is a software vendor, not a hardware one. If they get to sell to Apple users too, then they make more profit. Who cares if Apple sells Vista OEM? The reason Microsoft HAS oems is because they still do make a profit off it. More importantly, this would nearly eliminate reasons for developing software for mac altogether for third party developers - they'll get practically the same penetration if they code just for windows and have Mac users just use Parallels.

I am of the honest opinion that the day Mac starts bundling Vista, or selling it OEM, etc. is the day that Microsoft breaks open bottles of wines and drinks to success.

Yep, I called it (1)

proverbialcow (177020) | about 7 years ago | (#19648883)

My thoughts exactly [slashdot.org]

Well, not exactly...

Haha (3, Insightful)

jswigart (1004637) | about 7 years ago | (#19648903)

If anyone is terrified at virtualization, it's Apple. They are the only OS that you can't run in a VM without resorting to 3rd party hacks that may or may not work with your hardware. I had been trying to install OSX in VMware off and on for several years now, to have a place to compile mac versions of some projects I'm working on. Unfortunately I haven't had much luck. The most recent attempt was able to boot up OSX and run it very well, but unfortunately completely missing network support and other such means of communicating back to the host OS, and creating and mounting ISO images of my source tree to compile stuff on it just isn't an option. Were apple to embrace such support, VMWare and similar programs could support it natively. They won't though, because they fear exactly what this article claims MS fears. If you can run Apple software on your non Apple hardware, you have no use for Apple. Only for MS, virtualization isn't as devastating to their business, because they are a software company, and can still sell software, while Apple needs to sell you artificially proprietary hardware, and even though their software is very good, they rely on having you locked in to their hardware.

Re:Haha (1)

nawcom (941663) | about 7 years ago | (#19649239)

If you can run Apple software on your non Apple hardware, you have no use for Apple.

i can understand your point. Though there are enough hacks out there that I run OS X 10.4.8 on my amd64 machine; in 32bit mode as of now, with full quartz and opengl support (nvidia). is this legal as of now? nope. ever since apple went to the intel platform, it opened a tunnel for the possibility of having a larger range of compatible machines, you just need to write the device drivers. this i suppose can effect how apple sets limitations on hardware compatibility, but my personal opinion is if apple starts selling os x for intel-compatible machines, they would take a big chunk of the os share from microsoft.

however apple is known for their trustworthy hardware. well most of the time heh. from experience its much more trustworthy than any other computer manufacturer ive bought from.

So what am i saying? as of now, apple sets limits on their os because they want you to use their hardware; a major part of their product(s). so dont expect much performance off of a virtual machine running mac os x.

however, the way that people are donating their time to porting drivers and tweaking the os x operating system to machines designed for windows, this will probably change.

Afraid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19648905)

Is Microsoft terrified of a world where Windows can be virtualized and forced to take a back seat to Mac OS X or Linux?"


Nope, as long as they *control* the virtualization. It's much like MS being afraid of IE running on Linux: They would LOVE it. Expect a virtualization-friendly Windows, maybe even free (with an small F). It would not be "the real thing", of course, just enough to get people hooked and asking for more.

Re:Afraid? (1)

BosstonesOwn (794949) | about 7 years ago | (#19649245)

They actually already do this for compatibility testing. They release Virtual PC VHD's that let you run their os in a virtualized state. And from my knowledge it works on OS x or at least Virtual Pc 2007 does.

VHD images http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/aa700831. aspx [microsoft.com] For New VS

http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2007/04/17/ie7-vi rtual-pc-image-and-ie6-virtual-pc-image-refresh.as px [msdn.com]
for XP sp2.

Of course they do expire but new ones are posted when they do.

I run them under VPC 2007 on 64 bit vista and they do just fine. I just wish I could figure out the usb pass through for my usb phone and my ipod. Other then that with additions its a free version of xp to beat on :) and use to test.

finally (1)

include($dysmas) (729935) | about 7 years ago | (#19648971)

this seems to be the only sane reason for their changing position recently,

DRM? come on, if people are going to ignore the DMCA do you really think that they will be bothered by the (probably (location dependent) worthless/illegal) licence agreement

someone like Apple wont dare break it ... me however .. ahem.

Well Played (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about 7 years ago | (#19648981)

Their stance is eying them eh? If that's true then I think the entire house of cards will come down like a row of dominoes... Checkmate.

obFuturama...

Re:Well Played (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 7 years ago | (#19650125)

It could be worse. The stance could be "eyeing" Apple.

The real problem (0, Flamebait)

mmeister (862972) | about 7 years ago | (#19648997)

Perhaps the real problem is that Microsoft priced its Vista products at such a premium price, that folks don't find the features worthwhile. Now, they feel forced to drive the higher priced products by not allowing the Basic to be virtualized. I don't need all the bells and whistles of Premium, I just want to run some software in a VM environment.

MS is once again flexing its monopoly muscles to force end customers to pay higher prices to get stuff they don't really need/want.

Actually... (1)

samael (12612) | about 7 years ago | (#19649001)

That's the first decent explanation I've seen of why MS would be against use of Windows in a VM. Running Windows apps "natively" under OSX would be a real win for Apple.

i think ars is way off here (4, Interesting)

awb131 (159522) | about 7 years ago | (#19649007)

There are a couple of major problems with this analysis:

> Apple is technically an OEM, and could offer copies of Vista at a discounted price.

Microsoft, in the past and at present, has used OEM contracts as their major tool for consolidating their hold on the industry. Their OEM agreements have contained such provisions as "if you want preferred pricing, you can't sell computers that run any other operating system." Only for very, very large computer makers such as Dell and HP -- where Microsoft wants to be because there's huge volume -- do they relax these demands. The likelihood of Microsoft offering Apple an OEM contract is extremely low if MS thought it would be a threat.

Anyway, it's the business market, not the Joe Pirate market, that MS is concerned about.

> Instead, the apps appear to run in OS X itself, and the environment is (mostly) hidden away.

Except for, you know, the general crappiness of the apps. :)

I think what MS fears is what a lot of people already know: the main thing that keeps Apple out of the business market is that there's always one or two apps you need that only run under Windows, or some web site you need to access that only works properly with IE. OSX is more reliable, easier to support, and once you've learned the tools it's somewhat easier to manage configuration over a bunch of machines than Windows. If I could use a Macbook every day and run IE and a couple of other specialty apps alongside my OSX apps, my business' next hardware purchases would be from Apple and not from HP as they have been in the past. We already have no intention of upgrading to Vista until it becomes necessary due to dropped patch support for XP. If this situation arises, Microsoft has lost their monopoly power over the PC OEM's, and the tower crumbles.

Granted, this is more true for notebooks and dekstops than for servers and other infrastructure. But if I was managing a fleet of Macs for my employees, I'd start switching things over from Windows Server to OSX Server, too.

Re:flaw with your reasoning? (1)

Psykechan (255694) | about 7 years ago | (#19649441)

OSX is more reliable, easier to support...and run IE and a couple of other specialty apps alongside my OSX apps

A system that is running OS X and Windows apps is more difficult to secure and administer than a system just running Windows. Running Windows either through a VM or directly on the metal gives you all of the security and administration disadvantages of running Windows! A Mac requires its own, albeit smaller, administrative duties but bringing them into the equation causes more overhead, not less.

If your long term goal was to migrate from Windows to Mac then you may see an eventual payoff but if the goal is just to run both environments concurrently then you must support both environments concurrently.

Not that simple (1)

abb3w (696381) | about 7 years ago | (#19649571)

Microsoft, in the past and at present, has used OEM contracts as their major tool for consolidating their hold on the industry. Their OEM agreements have contained such provisions as "if you want preferred pricing, you can't sell computers that run any other operating system." Only for very, very large computer makers such as Dell and HP -- where Microsoft wants to be because there's huge volume -- do they relax these demands. The likelihood of Microsoft offering Apple an OEM contract is extremely low if MS thought it would be a threat.

Microsoft is a convicted monopolist; Apple is one of the few companies that in any sense can be called a competitor for Microsoft. If Apple seeks an OEM contract, Microsoft may be faced with the choice of Apple threatening them in the marketplace, or Apple threatening them in the courts. With an OEM contract, they get paid; without, they just spend money to defend themselves.

Ya right (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | about 7 years ago | (#19649025)

Apple is technically an OEM, and could offer copies of Vista at a discounted price.
Somehow I don't think Microsoft would mind if every Apple shipped with an OEM copy of Windows. The vast majority of Windows licenses are of the OEM variety (ie, the "discounted" variety) and yet somehow Microsoft seems to scrape by. I think MS would actually really delight in pointing out that Apple machines are only worth buying if you also buy a copy of Windows.

Apple could still offer a cheap biz-edition. (1)

itsjpr (16533) | about 7 years ago | (#19649029)

Couldn't apple still offer a cheaper business edition? I imagine they'd get a discount on that too. They may have to take a bit of a loss or no gain, but that wouldn't be a first in a competition.

With good reason (1)

MarkWatson (189759) | about 7 years ago | (#19649033)

Microsoft has good reasons to be nervous. I used to keep a Windows PC (or two) around for the odd (pun intended :-) consulting jobs that required some Windows only software. I have Parallels running right now because I need to run Ruby+Watir+IE for a customer task.

Microsoft still gets to sell Windows licenses, but they could get marginalized in the tech-elite market. That said, most of my non-computer savvy friends are happy enough to buy a cheap Windows PC to browse the web and do email.

Slowdown ? (1)

Joebert (946227) | about 7 years ago | (#19649045)

I was under the impression that Vista was a resource hog as it is, wouldn't a virtualized Vista require more resources & in turn a beefier computer to run virtualized as opposed to how it's traditionally run ?

Virtualization is a definite threat (1, Interesting)

Aging_Newbie (16932) | about 7 years ago | (#19649061)

Virtualization, particularly when the virtualization is not terribly obvious, is a great threat to MS. I have a Windows box sitting in the corner to do those things for which Linux software does not exist. I fire it up after Patch Tuesday and then once in a while to run whatever it is I need. If I could have VMs (hardware is too limnited) then the same box would support my primary environment and Windows as a rarely used secondary. Not a pleasant place for MS to be when on other fronts they are wringing all the money they can from their products.

Imagine if you will ... People using Open Office in Linux as their primary suite and resentfully starting up the non-standard MS Office to comply with a customer who hasn't seen the light ... Cleaning up the Windows instance from some attack while their Linux instance runs happily along ... Using Linux applications to create anything of lasting importance (without any trusted computing and DRM games) while using Windows for quickie throw-away stuff and interaction to comply with companies who are stuck in Windows environment ... People would begin to see Windows as an added cost instead of a part of overhead.

With its DRM, cost, and licensing restrictions, Windows might quickly be relegated to a media player and other envronments would take their place as serious applications. People would acquire the minimum MS they need to use proprietary stuff (some banks, employer systems, etc) and that is it. Even worse, imagine a system vendor being able to sell you a VM box with a diagnostic instance, linux, and optionally Windows. Suddenly there is no stranglehold on support environments. Manufacturers would tend to virtualize their hardware so that it could be used from Windows as well as other OSs. Compatibility would be a major driver of hardware sales. MS would lose the lock on hardware support.

So, in short, they have a big risk from virtualization and we can expect them to resist it as long as they can.

reminds me of (1)

Wookalar (1109699) | about 7 years ago | (#19649065)

Is it my imagination that OS/2 did essentially the same as far as the unified appearance with windows 3.x in the Warp days? And didn't NT used to run Windows on Windows in a seemless view as well in an essentially virtualized environment? Though I understand the virtulization discussed here is a somewhat different concept as they weren't emulating hardware, but werent they essentially virtual machines? And now that OSX is running on Intel type hardware is this level of emulation necessary any longer? (I can think of circumstances where the answer to that would be yes, or no).

Ask a stupid question, get another one back. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19649125)

Is Microsoft terrified of a world where Windows can be virtualized and forced to take a back seat to Mac OS X or Linux?"
Is a tapeworm terrified of a world where people welcome worms into their guts rather than exterminating them?

C'mon, if a zaibatsu were capable of being "terrified" (that's a pretty weird concept anyway) it wouldn't be terrified of having its products sold to an audience that would not otherwise buy them. And that's the case here, it's Microsoft penetrating the Mac/linux/BSD software market through virtualization, not the other way 'round.

Yes? (3, Insightful)

Vulva R. Thompson, P (1060828) | about 7 years ago | (#19649139)

Is Microsoft terrified of a world where Windows can be virtualized and forced to take a back seat to Mac OS X or Linux?

Yes, imho.

And it's interesting that the press release http://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/fusion ap.html [vmware.com] is officially touting DirectX 8.1 which has been experimental forever.

A seamless "Unity for Ubuntu" and DirectX 9.0c would be the final pieces of the puzzle for a lot of folks. It doesn't help the cause for pushing development of native Linux apps. But it would certainly increase the installed base of non-Windows OSes and that's a solid baby step.

Summary is Misleading (1)

asphaltjesus (978804) | about 7 years ago | (#19649183)

Apple isn't successful because they're copying or somehow making the transition to a Mac easier.

The summary describes a kind of "me too" marketing that Apple just doesn't do. Furthermore, consumers just don't work that way.

The way corporations Apple's size work is they wait long enough for a new segment to have many smaller vendors and enough market research to verify the dollar-size of a market. Then they build a simpler device in the same segment and charge more for it because they have to pay for all the advertising.

This is standard operating procedure.

Apple isn't much better (1)

Afecks (899057) | about 7 years ago | (#19649445)

Hey at least you can run Windows on a Mac. Try to run OSX on anything else but Apple hardware and see if you don't get really popular with some male prisoners FAST.

I love how Apple turns around and uses this as a feature point "Only a Mac can run Windows, Linux and OSX! It is truly a miracle!"....

Where to start? (1, Troll)

earlymon (1116185) | about 7 years ago | (#19649467)

I don't mean to sound cruel or condescending, but my view is that most posts here, with a tip to Feynman, aren't even wrong.

Paraphrasing/summarizing/(even missing-the-point-you-ignorant-slut if you so choose):

1. "MS would win big by having Vista on Apple as it increases revenue." Booooookay - (and I *AM* writing this on an Apple) - aka, any Apple has to be considered as encroachment on their market dominance. Believe what you want, but Apple and Linux aren't threats to MS (from the marketing standpoint) - they're annoyances. It's not like there's an untapped sea of Apple users who have never heard of Windows and could be shown some kind of light. And then discover Windows thanks to VM. And want more of the same. And give access to a great untapped resource of potential Windows users of which you speak. Or anything, man.

2. "MS could win big with an OEM agreement with Apple." Uhhhhhh.... uuuuuuhhhhhhh - Dell, et al, have no other commercially dominant OS supplier to turn to, whereas Apple is devoid of this problem as they can supply their own OS. The only thing an Apple OEM agreement - in my not-so-humble opinion - could do is to invert negotiations everywhere. OEM agreements don't come from the Keebler Elves, you don't get a bag of them that are pretty much the same wherever you go - they're customized. And Mr. We-will-charge-a-buck-for-tunez-no-matter-what is not going to be easy to negotiate with - and neither will Dell, et al, after finding Apple may have some market lock with questions to be asked.

3. "Apple could win big by having an OEM agreement with MS." Ooooooh - scary - it would be admitting that OS X couldn't do it all - BEEEEP! Wrong. If they failed to get appropriate terms and had to charge to more for WinWhatever, then it increases the chances of adoption failure while Apple marketing has to fend off further charges of being overpriced. Better terms than that? See point number 2.

4. "Could be a support nightmare for MS and not worth the fringe buyers." Mmmmmmm - and which of you isn't a support nightmare for MS? And how much sleep have you seen them lose on your so-called nightmares?

5. "MS is all about control and VM under OS X effectively takes that control away." I went into the future where this happened and overheard Sparky and Scooter wondering what that MS Project thing was that they needed for effective Gant charts and WBS management and why that sideways-infinity thing was needed...... Or not. See points 1 and 3.

Where is Google's legal bitch against MS's desktop search? (See http://all.over.the.web.this.week/ [this.week] ) And where is that same Google complaint against Spotlight? (See http://irdf.web-2.0.org/ [0.org] or http://but.apple.is.small.and.cool.and.ms.is.mean. and.sux/ [and.sux]

It's about each side picking their battles, very wisely, with decades of winning and losing in this industry and it's about knowing what side of the consumers' asses to kiss - along with erstwhile partner/competitors - and a few government entities tossed in here and there - and a few renegade lawyers now that I think about it - and when.

But that's just me.

Re:Where to start? (1)

earlymon (1116185) | about 7 years ago | (#19649595)

Wow. Troll was the least of my intentions, most sincerely. I apologize for the bandwidth and will try to do better in future. FWIW - I negotiate with large corporations for a living and truly intended to pass on what I've gained from experience. Again, sincere apologies for sounding otherwise to any/all offended.

DirectX virtualization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19649541)

As someone who use Windows mainly because it is the OS of choice for PC gaming, all I want is the ability for VMware or any other virtualization technology to fully support the latest version of DirectX (at least version 9) at native speed. The day it happens is the day I'm going to dump Windows as my primary OS, and I don't think I would be the only one to make this move.

I imagine crackers distributing .torrent files of the latest games as virtual appliances, running on a stripped version of Windows and ready to be loaded on any x86 box whatever its native OS. Somehow, I can't imagine Microsoft being confortable with this scenario.

Apple's virtualization stance eyeing Microsoft? (1)

nanosquid (1074949) | about 7 years ago | (#19649667)

Given Apple's strict prohibition against virtualizing OS X, it seems hard for Apple fans to complain if Microsoft is doing the same to Apple.

However, as someone who is using virtualization software, I have to say, I doubt they have anything to fear. Virtualization software is non-trivial to set up, has spotty hardware support, has performance hits (particularly for I/O), uses lots of memory, and results in inconsistent UIs and unpleasant window management. I doubt that Microsoft is seriously worried about virtualization on OS X.

Too late. (1)

torpor (458) | about 7 years ago | (#19649843)


Apple *owns* x86 now.

Stability and virus control (1)

rjschwarz (945384) | about 7 years ago | (#19649869)

Microsoft probably doesn't care as the mac market is fairly small by comparison. My question is, if Vista ran on Intel Macs with no virus issues and no stability problems could Windows use that to say the problems with Windows are not really them but with the windows hardware guys. Yeah it might be bull but it might be a useful tool to bash the windows oems when it comes time to deciding prices.

OEM has nothing to do with it... (1)

itsdapead (734413) | about 7 years ago | (#19650129)

Apple is technically an OEM, and could offer copies of Vista at a discounted price. 'All of this paints a picture in which Apple could use OEM pricing to offer Windows for its Macs at greatly reduced prices and running in a VM.

First, the regular OEM price isn't a "greatly reduced price" - its the de-facto going rate for Windows (exactly what price the big boys, Dell, HP etc. pay - and what "Important considerations" they offer in return is another question).

Secondly, the current OEM license already has some major extra restrictions about how and where you can install it - with crossed fingers and a following wind you could probably argue that these already blocked VM use - after all, where would you stick the hologram? :-) They pretty clearly mean that joe user isn't supposed to buy an OEM copy and install it on his VM. If MS had changed the OEM rules to explicitly block "VM bundling" then I doubt it would have raised the sort of negative publictiy than claiming that you can't even use a full-price version on a VM has.

Thirdly, I stand to be proven wrong by posterity, but the only circumstances under which I can see Apple bundling Windows is if they throw in the towel, drop OSX and become a vendor of designer Windows PCs with an iLife-for-windows bundle (while plausible, I'm sure that ain't exactly Plan 'A'). There's a huge PR difference between the current stance of "hey - if you want to use our hardware to run Windows here are some solutions" and saying "actually, so many people can't get buy with OSX alone that we've decided to bundle windows". The latter comes under the heading of "pulling a Ratner*". I'm sure Microsoft would love to be thrown into that briar patch.

Anyway, if you've actually tried to use Parallels (or, by reputation, VMware) you'll know that while they are excellent products, they don't yet come close to the Apple "it just works" standard (on which Windows sets something of an upper limit, anyway!). Coherence is very effective, and certainly solves the screen real-estate issues with running apps inside a VM window - but to say it "makes Windows apps look and work just like OSX" is rather optimistic.

Nope - explanation "A" is that TFA was warm - this policy makes it cheaper to buy a Dell than a legit copy of Windows Vista for your Mac or Linux box. Explanation "B" is that VMs can be used to circumvent DRM and that forcing pirates to buy a full-price copy of Ultimate gives Microsoft enough plausible deniability to stop the MS board from being carted off to G'tmo under the DMCA. Of course, Explanation B only makes sense if you are sufficiently far down the DRM rabbit hole to think that evil terrorist-loving pirates are going to lose sleep over breaching their windows EULA - or will even relate the concepts of "buy" and "windows" , but then...

(*Sorry - I've googled "pull a Ratner" and it might not mean in US English what it means in English English, which is "publicly describing your own product as 'crap' and then wondering where your business went")

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