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Rumour? Apple to run Windows Apps natively?

The Register (opens in new tab) and Wired have learnt that Apple might be coding its latest Operating system to run Windows applications... natively.

It was Wine Developer (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) in the DLL.

Wine is an Open Source implementation (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) can enable Windows natively in Leopard, then it is "Game Over" for Windows as Cnet puts it gently.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.