eWeek: 'Mactels' Could Be Capable of 'Triple-Threat OS'

An article on the eWeek Web site notes that upcoming chips from Intel could enable Appleis 2006 and 2007 Intel-based Macs to run a "triple-threat OS." While Apple has no plans to stop users from running Windows on the new machines, it wonit support them, and questions abound regarding how well Microsoftis OS will work if the hardware uses a custom chipset.

Writer John G. Spooner notes, however, that "thereis a fallback position for more enterprising Mactel owners. Virtualization technology built into Intel chips -- desktop Pentium 4 chips will sport built-in virtualization this year and the Pentium Ms will gain it next -- will allow the machines to be partitioned to run numerous different types of software at the same time. Thus, there is no reason the machines couldnit run Windows or Linux and all of the associated applications on top of Mac OS X."

Mr. Spooner says that Apple is expected to use Pentium M chips in the new Macs, with an Extensible Firmware Interface instead of the traditional low-level BIOS found in Windows computers. Questions remain whether Microsoft will find it cost-effective to support Windows users on "Mactel" hardware, but the writer thinks the ability to run Windows "could woo enthusiasts who might prefer Appleis designs but still want to run Windows. It could also make it easier for others, such as educational institutions, government agencies, and small and midsize businesses, to choose Apple hardware."