State of Mac Virtualization

MacWorld reports from the WWDC and an interview with Ben Rudolph of Parallels:

…”What’s more, Parallels Desktop for Mac will see “fast 3D graphics support,” presumably to help cater to gamers who want to run Windows games without having to reboot their machine”…

I’ve just updated to the latest Parallels beta; it was smooth and you can notice the graphics improvement. Being able to tweak the virtual environment/MacOS X is cool. Not ACPI BIOS yet, so no Vista install. Yet.

Now that Microsoft has left the MacOS X sphere, Parallels seems to be positioning itself at the consumer end of the market: games and ease of use. And increasing its distribution was a smart and calculated move.

This leaves VMware to the high end. As predicted here, two of the three predictions have come true; and according to a Macintouch interview with Dave Schroeder of VMware, the third is going to need customers to voice their needs to Apple. So it is not off the table, however we have Apple’s mantra/dogma of “MacOS X will never run on non-Apple hardware” to surmount.

It is within the realms of possiblity that Apple could create a version of MacOS X Server that had a distinct, non-desktop personality (desktop APIs removed), and checked for either Apple or VMWare “virtual hardware” — creating a stable, enterprise level Unix. This leaves customers to choose either XServe hardware with MacOS X Server, or VMware virtual hardware with MacOS X Server. The result is a live market test and ROI of being in the highly competitive and fast moving blade server marketplace.

Leave the desktop MacOS X to run on Apple hardware only.

There must be a gaggle Product Managers and Finance-types deep inside of Cupertino running their pivot tables in Excel to argue both sides of the equation. The sales of the these new XServes in the next 2-3 quarters will predict the future of MacOS X Server on a virtualization platform.