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The Universal Binary

People are fond of making predictions about Apple so I'll make one of my one. Apple will release a universal binary interpreter for Windows.

What does that mean? It means that developers who develop applications on the MAC will be able to run those applications on Windows. Do I have any proof? Nope, but there is some interesting nuggets that got me thinking...

ITunes is cross platform application developed by Apple that looks and works identically on both the MAC and PC. It's possible that the application has separate code-bases and a core library that allows the two to be simultaneously developed but here's the interesting thing... Not only does the application work the same but all the controls, effects, buttons and screens have the exact same look and feel. Even beyond the look and feel the network stack and database layer is there as well. This implies that there may be a more generic foundation library that is being developed for use on the PC. All the core components of a generic application are being tested within Itunes: Installation , Database Interaction, Networking, Graphics Subsystem, Common Controls, even hardware interaction, File IO, CD burning, etc. If such a library is in the works it may be very attractive to a lot of developers.

What's in it for Apple? Well those guys want to win over developer mind-share. If they can get people developing applications for the Mac then developers may begin to take advantage of features such as Aqua that aren't available on Windows. Developer mind-share leads to more applications on the MAC, and thus to more end-users.

What's in it for developers?
- Develop applications on one machine.
- Test and debug applications on one machine
- Have a single code-base
- Know that your application is truly universal and will run on almost any personal computer in the world.

Doing the emulation is complicated but interestingly the technology used to get MAC applications running on new Intel chips may be used to run MAC application within Windows.

There's no down-side for Apple and no other company can offer this trifecta. If this prediction is to hold true it'll likely happen after all the core laptops and desktop transitions have been announced. (You don't want to shake things up more then once every 8 months, or do you?)

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.