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Windows 7 to sport Mac-like Classic layer?

updated 01:50 pm EDT, Fri April 4, 2008

Windows 7 Emu Layer

Microsoft's next version of Windows will represent a large enough break from the codebase of Vista that the company will have to implement a backwards compatibility layer similar to earlier versions of Mac OS X, according to reports from a user familiar with the early versions of the new software. As many of the application programming interfaces will be fundamentally incompatible with the earlier OS, Microsoft will reportedly no longer support programs from earlier Windows versions; as a result, the company will need to introduce a distinct compatibility layer to support earlier programs.

The solution currently implemented for the problem will bear a strong resemblance to Apple's Classic implementation for Mac OS X. Microsoft will create a single, unified application interface that will be called whenever a legacy program needs to launch. It effectively creates a virtual machine for these applications and leads them to believe their normal environment exists, according to the claims.

The foundation of the new operating system is said to be crucial to staying compliant with antitrust rulings that require Internet Explorer not be forced on to users; the web browser's rendering engine will allegedly be present but only when invoked by a legacy app that requires it.

Microsoft has not publicly discussed most details of Windows 7, which is not anticipated until late 2009. However, the company has often stressed software compatibility whenever possible and still allows Vista to run very old Windows software in an effectively native mode.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. smitch

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2005

    0

    lipstick on a...

    pig

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    0

    How "Mac-like" will it be

    Any guesses as to how this might be implemented? Will it be like Classic (OS 9 inside of OS X), or more similar to Rosetta, or something akin to Parallels? When I transitioned to OS X, I was happy to have Classic for many of the programs at the time. Classic worked well without getting in the way. Then along came Rosetta, and you barely knew it was there outside of tweaking some programs to be forced into Rosetta to accommodate an older plugin.

    Knowing that this is Microsoft, any guesses and to how elegantly this will work?

  1. MeandmyMac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2008

    0

    how "mac-like" more...

    can it get?

  1. dashiel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    as if vista weren't...

    ...enough of a reason to switch. apple got away with the classic compatibility layer because their market share was so small and so loyal.

    microsoft has neither advantage, and after the vista debacle it's going to cost them more users.

  1. climacs

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    Redmond,

    start your copy machines.

  1. Monde

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2004

    0

    Watch Mac Market-share

    Moves like this should do wonders for Mac market share. It is as if Ballmer Inc. wants to give Apple a leg up. I cannot fathom their business rationale, but MS's loss via stupidity is almost everyone's gain by default.

    Ballmer will get the axe one day, and when that happens MS can, perhaps, improve. Until then I really hope they keep this balding salesman and his sycophantic effluvium until Mac hits the 50 percent point in market share. By then, it should be too late.

  1. UberFu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2002

    0

    @meandmymac...

    M$ could always tweak the graphics to "look" like OS X_

    They could also hire Apple to write the code for Windoze and sign a license agreement w/ Apple_

  1. UberFu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2002

    0

    oh also...

    Why in the h*** are we reading about Windows 7 at MacNN?

    Morons !!

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: as if vista weren't

    apple got away with the classic compatibility layer because their market share was so small and so loyal.

    Or, as some might say, Apple got rid of it because they don't give a damn what their users want/need.

    microsoft has neither advantage,

    OK, so your saying that having the large marketshare is a disadvantage? Hmmm, and to think all those "MS is a monopoly!" people were thinking it was an advantage.

    and after the vista debacle it's going to cost them more users.

    Which, from your previous section, I can only gather is a good thing for MS. As the smaller market share means they can start making rash and abrupt decisions without worrying about keeping everyone happy!

    And, so they're going to make Windows 7 more usable and capable (because it would have much better support for older programs, which is the biggest gripe about vista), and that's going to drive away more customers?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: watch mac

    Moves like this should do wonders for Mac market share. It is as if Ballmer Inc. wants to give Apple a leg up. I cannot fathom their business rationale, but MS's loss via stupidity is almost everyone's gain by default.

    Why should this cost MS market share? Everyone is always complaining that MS's problem is their desire for complete backward compatibility, as well an insecure piece of OS (left that way for the backwards compatibility). And one suggestion is that they should do what Apple did. Start over.

    So, they now are foregoing the backwards compatibility and this is a 'problem'? Please, oh please, explain why this is more stupidity (leaving out the "MS just sucks so it must be bad" arguments, we all know those already).

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