Rumour? Apple to run Windows Apps natively?

The Register and Wired have learnt that Apple might be coding its latest Operating system to run Windows applications... natively.

It was Wine Developer Steven Edwards who first discovered that Leopard contains "an undocumented loader for Portable Executables, a file type used in Windows applications."

The Loader was trying to load DLLs, a file type found on the Windows Platform and the question he asks is "Is Apple going to be adding a win32 compatibility layer to OS X? Is having a native PE loader of any use to us?"

Further research shows that the previous edition of Mac OS X, Tiger, didn't have this entry and further rumours were compounded by the fact that Apple was caught masking references to Win and PE in the DLL.

Wine is an Open Source implementation of the Windows API on top of X, OpenGL, and Unix and provides with a compatibility layer for running Windows software without any Microsoft code.

Microsoft is really getting to get all uncomfortable over that. If Apple can enable Windows natively in Leopard, then it is "Game Over" for Windows as Cnet puts it gently.