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Unraveling the Red Box Myth
According to proponents of the Red Box Myth, Mac OS X will supposedly soon run Windows software natively, perhaps as soon as Leopard 10.5. They're wrong; here's why.

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More Nails in the Coffin
Clearly, Apple isn't going to be able to dramatically pull a curtain and present the Red Box as the ... "one more thing." There will be no "here's Mac OS X 10.5, and bang, here is that Red Box you've been hearing about! It leapt fully formed from the forehead of Zeus!"

The Mythical Red Box would be a huge, complex, and resource intensive project to complete. Once complete, it would be fraught with incompatibilities and limitations, and actively attacked by Microsoft. Sounds like a dog of an idea!

Which raises a question for the second leap of logic: why? Why would Apple have an interest, desire, or profit motive to sideline its existing business, and developments already in progress, to devote a massive investment in maintaining a secondary version of the Windows platform, entirely dependent on the whim of Microsoft?

Has Mac OS X ran out of steam? Are Apple's sales failing to materialize? Is the NextStep based operating system that Apple chose to buy in 1996, after considering and rejecting Windows NT, failing to outpace the desktop OS development by Microsoft?

Further along the same lines, does Apple desperately need to embarrass itself, after trumping Microsoft in desktop OS development over the last five years? After stealing the crown of "most interesting and progressive commercial desktop operating system software developer" from Microsoft, does Apple suddenly need to lick some Redmond boots?

Still further, how does Apple profit from such a move? How much value does Apple add to its next generation Leopard operating system by announcing it will also run most (or at least some) existing software written for Windows, with exceptions and issues and without Microsoft's blessing? Would Red Box serve to enhance or distract from other new Mac OS X features Apple plans to build into Leopard?

And what lost opportunity costs would result from such a huge endeavor as Red Box? Wouldn't Apple be better off developing new applications along the lines of the recent iWeb and Aperture? New versions of iLife and iWork? Or perhaps they could fix the Finder!

No, Cringely and an army of wishful thinkers demand that Apple spend up its limited resources making Mac OS X run a limited selection of Windows applications in a strange compatibility box, where they look and feel neither exactly like Windows nor native to Mac OS X. How ridiculous!

The ideas behind the Red Box Myth are so patently absurd that anyone who refers to it as the logical next step for Apple deserves to have their credibility seriously called into question. You can post the names and URLs of Red Box Myth weavers in this article's comments.

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