OS X 10.5 "Red Box" to run windows apps natively?


Scratch & Sniff Committee
I think it'd be a huge waste of Apple's time to do something like this. It'd be much better to focus on Mac developers and helping Windows developers learn about Mac programming, so to get them to port their apps over. There aren't that many programs anymore that don't have an equivalent on the Mac.
Hear hear! If Apple were to integrate Windows support into Mac OS X, then that would mean they would suddenly be supporting a huge range of software compatibility issues which would completely demolish the service levels they achieve at their helpdesks. People would be calling Apple because "Pygmysoft Merchant Analyser for Windows 2000 edition" doesn't run properly in Mac OS X.

By leaving the emulation up to third parties like Microsoft, they would avoid a huge support nightmare.


Find a golden apple.
RacerX said:
Then try not to skew the data... 95% of people who buy new computers every quarter are buying Windows PCs. Most of those people are counted at least once a year and no one is counting how many of the 95% actually remove Windows to replace it with something else.

By contrast, Mac users are often only counted once every three years.

Macs make up about 15% of the installed computers in the US, with Linux/BSD making up somewhere between 8% to 10%. That would leave Windows with about 75%.

Now to say that even those 75% prefer Windows is a fallacy. Many of those people have never tried or seen anything else, and have no idea that alternatives are available.

And as long as I'm posting in yet another Red Box thread... At the time of the rumors of Red Box, it couldn't have been anything more than a VirtualPC-like environment at the time as Blue Box was little more than VirtualMac.

Blue Box runs within it's own display window (you can not see any of the Yellow Box environment while in Blue Box) and the whole environment is running off a disk image. So it is very much like VirtualPC is when running in full screen mode.

And Frankly, that was why the idea that Apple was working on this was so far fetched. Connectix was working with Apple during Rhapsody to try to port VirtualPC. But Apple had no plans for a Red Box environment (they had their hands full with too many other issues at the time to take on something as pointless as this).


Besides, the term Red Box was coined outside of Apple. I can't imagine any one at Apple pick red for an application environment. Purple or green would have been more likely choices.

Why people buy into this stuff... :confused:

Dude! I was simply just making a point. And i can also see your point. I don't really know what the ratio of what operating system is what and where and at the end of the day as a customer i don't really care about that. All i know is that Windows has the largest share. And the most customers, and those customers would most probably really like to have a go of Apple products and OS X If they can simply run there existing application/licences/files on that one Apple machine.

Think of it like this: some users may use a video editing product like Ulead or some other windows based software they would like to use on an Apple but can't afford to take the risk in buying one and then don't like it. I find that difficult, but many people im sure feel this as a reason enough not to buy.

Now lets say that a customer starts to explore their Apple while having the ability to still use his/her Ulead video editing software. And they see iMovie. The customer starts to explore what iMovie can do in the comfort of their own home. I'm sure in many cases customers would instantly like the program and then transition over to iMovie, as it is a much more user friendly application.

After the user is well into using iMovie the user may delete/uninstall Ulead from their system. I don't know how this process would go but its somthing along those lines.

What do you think?


Staff member
I don't think video editing software would work well in this rumoured Red Box for one. But more importantly: 'Real' video editors don't let go of their old software and jump to iMovie that quickly. And Final Cut Express doesn't come pre-installed. Neither does MS Office or Adobe or Macromedia graphics/internet software.


Old Rhapsody User
Quicksilver said:
What do you think?
Here is the problem... as I see it.

Part of the reason I don't use Windows is the applications. Windows applications are crippled because they are Windows applications.

For example... Photoshop.

This was originally a Mac application (and was Mac only until version 2.5). And on the Mac version you open Photoshop and you get your palette and maybe the image window of the image you wanted to work on. If you were working on a web page or page layout in another app, you can still see the other app in the back ground.

Try the same thing on Windows. Photoshop opens by opening a big gray window that takes over the entire desktop. No other applications, no desktop, you are now in Photoshop.

Now the reason I point that out is that all Windows apps are going to run like Windows apps on a Mac in this Red Box. Which is going to make a consumer wonder why they switched at all.

Macs are better... only when they are better.

Why is Mac OS X better than Mac OS 9? If you ask people who only use Carbon apps, they aren't really going to know because Carbon apps (and Carbon developers) don't actually take advantage of most of the advanced features of Mac OS X.

Most the people I know are completely oblivious to many of the incredible things about Mac OS X because they mainly use Carbon apps.

And now you are suggesting that Apple should include an application environment that is, well, worse than Carbon?

If the Mac is better, then lets keep them better. Adding the ability to run Windows apps is going to lead to one thing for sure... the end of Mac apps. And once we don't have Mac apps, we don't have a platform anymore.

Just ask some OS/2 Warp user what they think about being able to run Windows apps in their OS. Because when developers saw that they didn't need to make OS/2 apps any more... they stop making them.

Personally... I think anything to do with Windows is a bad idea. I thing Macs running Windows is a bad idea (mainly because if a Mac can run Windows, then any version of Mac OS X for that Mac is going to be able to be run on a PC designed for Windows) and I think running Windows apps side by side with Mac apps is a bad idea.

I have no problem with VirtualPC (or the like), or even WINE (as it'll be stuck in X11 anyways), as they can not be used as replacement application environments on a Mac.

If you want to get an idea what a Windows app would be like running in a hypothetical Red Box, install an early version (pre-1.0) of NeoOffice. Oddly enough, Mac users (who's systems I installed it on) didn't like it while former Windows users felt right at home. And of course, none of the advanced abilities of Mac OS X worked.


RacerX is my hero...

When he speaks, the coulds of darkness and confusion part to reveal the clarity of light.

So that's it. "Anything to do with Windows is a bad idea". Let's just leave it at that!



Staff member
Gotta agree with most of RacerX' longish post. But be careful in the details, please...

RacerX said (in parantheses): "mainly because if a Mac can run Windows, then any version of Mac OS X for that Mac is going to be able to be run on a PC designed for Windows"

Only if all of Apple's precautions against piracy are hacked at all times.


Old Rhapsody User
fryke said:
Only if all of Apple's precautions against piracy are hacked at all times.
If Apple makes a PC compatible Mac, then any OS that can run on it will be easy to hack to run on a PC compatible system.

Why should Apple not use a Windows compatible design? Because a version of Mac OS X for non-PC compatible hardware couldn't be hacked... it would have to be recompiled... something only Apple could do.

Windows NT 4.0 for PowerPC couldn't run on Macs. Why? Because the hardware design wasn't compatible.

Windows NT 4.0 for MIPS couldn't run on SGIs. Why? Because the hardware design wasn't compatible.

NEXTSTEP for 68K couldn't run on Macs. Why? Because the hardware design wasn't compatible.

The Mac OS for 68k couldn't run on NeXT systems. Why? Because the hardware design wasn't compatible.

In all those cases, the processor compatibility of the operating system made no difference at all.

If Apple doesn't make hardware that is compatible with Windows (the one thing that is true about all PCs), then Mac OS X for Apple hardware is only going to run on Apple hardware.

Is that enough detail? (I know I've posted that somewhere before, but I couldn't find it to link to it.)

Gotta agree with most of RacerX' longish post.
Okay... when was I ever known for short posts? :confused:

There are very few people who have known me as long as you, and you know that I can go on, and on, and on, and on... and on...

and on...


Well, you get the picture. ;)


Staff member
Hehe... :) ... Well, then I have to go into a little more detail myself. Apple can make Mac OS X depend on several hardware parts that are not needed to boot Windows. This way, Mac OS X wouldn't run on a "similar" PC. Yet: Windows could still be booted on such a machine, if the Windows installer simply ignores those parts. (We're on speculation field, in my opinion, anyway.)

An intel Mac will still have industry-compatible RAM, slots, ports etc. Now it'll even have the "PC" processor. Let's say people will have about the same energy to make Windows run on those Macs that they have to make Mac OS X run on 'other' PCs. (They've by now managed to make it run on AMD processors, for example.) They might run into some problems, but if you end up with Windows XP on an intel Mac that has some unidentified hardware in the device manager, that's still "running Windows". That's why I wanted to disagree there. If Mac OS X doesn't run on PCs does by no means mean that Windows won't work on Macs. It all depends on what _exactly_ the reasons are. Historical examples are not proof, they're merely examples.