It looks like Robert X. Cringely has come around, and his latest article seems to echo, in large part, some of my ideas for where Apple may take this new fangled virtualization thing. I even got my thoughts mentioned on Macintouch about it. (I’m the second comment on that day.)
The point that we seem to agree on is that Apple will try to make running Windows applications easier by making having a Windows “system” easier. There are several different ways they could pull this off, including everything from a full virtualization environment, such as what Parallels is trying to pull off to a WINE-like system that allows you to, virtually, boot into Windows if you want on top of your Mac but also allows for Windows apps to run in Mac OS X like they do in WINE.
One thing that I didn’t really emphasize in my easier prognostications is the work that Intel has done to bring virtualization to the PC. Intel has slowly been putting in place a roadmap that changes their system architecture and brings up the possibility for a very interesting future. AMD is also doing the same thing, guaranteeing that virtualization will be part of our collective futures, possibly very soon. If you are interested, read this outstanding article that discusses these changes to computing and how we will be saying things like “What ring are you running the OS in?” and “I moved it from Ring 0 to Ring 1 and everything started working.”
Regardless, the future will be very exciting, and I can definitely see an Intel Mac with a lot of RAM and disk space in my future. And, I suspect, quite a few folks will follow me down that road, as well.