CodeWeavers Inc., a leading Windows-to-Linux software ISV, announced on Wednesday that it will bring Windows application support to future Macintoshes running on Intel x86 chips.
CodeWeavers is best known for CrossOver and CrossOver Office, productivity tools that enable some Windows applications to run natively on Linux. CrossOver is based on the open-source Wine project, which also lets users run MS-DOS and Windows programs on Unix systems.
Neither Microsoft nor Apple has said if they will support Windows on "Mactels" (Intel-based systems running Mac OS).
"Apples decision to shift to Intel chips is good news for many Windows developers who, for reasons of time and/or expense, have never created Mac versions of their key applications," said Jeremy White, CEO of CodeWeavers, in a statement.
"CodeWeavers can give these developers a low-cost and near-instant path to market through the use of CrossOver technology."
Apples eventual move to Intel x86 chips promises to significantly reduce the time and cost of developing Mac versions of Windows software. This will open new possibilities for midtier Windows software companies, claimed a CodeWeavers spokesperson.
"By using CrossOver as part of Guptas Team Developer suite, Guptas global community of some 14,000 developers has been able to port popular business applications to reach new markets quickly, at a fraction of the costs required to do a traditional port," said Charles Stevenson, chief technical officer of Gupta Technologies LLC.
Even though the Mac OS is built on BSD Unix, CodeWeavers hadnt made a major effort to bring its technology to Macs before because its technology base, Wine, requires Intel CPUs for optimal operation, and up until now Apple only used IBM PowerPC chip sets.
The open-source effort to bring Wine to Mac OS on Intel has already spawned a project called Darwine.
According to Pierre dHerbemont, a Darwine developer, "Wine will be able to work on Mac OS X/x86 as well that it does on Linux, with a limited effort." A very early version of the SDK (software development kit) is already available. There are also early efforts afoot to replace Wines X11 (X Window System 11 graphics system) with Mac OS Xs Quartz graphics.
CodeWeavers is looking for ISVs who desire a full license of CrossOver technology. In addition, CodeWeavers is offering services to help create custom Mac versions of Windows applications to companies that dont need a full license.